Fork me on GitHub

Bootstrap Multiselect is a JQuery based plugin to provide an intuitive user interface for using select inputs with the multiple attribute present. Instead of a select a bootstrap button will be shown as dropdown menu containing the single options as checkboxes.

The following code snippet will help you getting started.

<!-- Include Twitter Bootstrap and jQuery: -->
<link rel="stylesheet" href="css/bootstrap.min.css" type="text/css"/>
<script type="text/javascript" src="js/jquery.min.js"></script>
<script type="text/javascript" src="js/bootstrap.min.js"></script>

<!-- Include the plugin's CSS and JS: -->
<script type="text/javascript" src="js/bootstrap-multiselect.js"></script>
<link rel="stylesheet" href="css/bootstrap-multiselect.css" type="text/css"/>

<!-- Build your select: -->
<select class="multiselect" multiple="multiple">
  <option value="cheese">Cheese</option>
  <option value="tomatoes">Tomatoes</option>
  <option value="mozarella">Mozzarella</option>
  <option value="mushrooms">Mushrooms</option>
  <option value="pepperoni">Pepperoni</option>
  <option value="onions">Onions</option>
</select>

<!-- Initialize the plugin: -->
<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect();
  });
</script>
            

The best way learning from the examples is using firebug, chrome developer tools or similar tools for your browser. Examine the generated markup and used javascript code.

Normal select. The plugin will do single selection using radio buttons rather than multiple selection using checkboxes.
Select with preselected options: <option value="cheese" selected>Cheese</option>
Multiselect with a 'Select all' option.
Multiselect with a 'Select all' option and filtering enabled using the enableFiltering option.
The 'Select all' option automatically repsonds to the selection of the user. In particular, it responds to the initial state of the select.
Test the performance of the 'Select all' option with 999 options.
As link using buttonClass: 'btn btn-link'.
Small button using buttonClass: 'btn btn-default btn-sm'.
Multiple select within a group with add-ons and default container for the plugin: buttonContainer: '<div class="btn-group" />'.
Using the onChange option you can add an event handler to the change event. The event handler gets the selected option as first parameter and a variable saying whether the option is checked or not as second one.
For long option lists the maxHeight option can be set.
The plugin supports disabled options, too: disabled="disabled"
Use the buttonWidth option to adjust the width of the button.
Using the onChange option to prevent user from deselecting selected options.
Option groups are detected automatically and for each option group an header element is added: <optgroup label="Mathematics">...</optgroup>
Option groups and options without any group are supported simultaneously.
Using the selectedClass option to turn off the active class for selected options.
Specify an alternative label for the options: <option label="label"></option>
Make the menu drop right instead of dropping left with dropRight.
Using the data-role="multiselect" attribute for automatic wireup.
The multiselect will adopt the state of the select: <select disabled></select>.
The button will keep the tabindex of the select.
Using optgroup with filtering and the select all option.
The onDropdownShow and onDropdownHide represent the show.bs.dropdown and hide.bs.dropdown events provided by Twitter Bootstrap.
Use the checkboxName to adapt the name attribute of the used checkboxes.
Option Explanation Usage
buttonText A function returning the string displayed if options are selected. All currently selected options and the select are passed as argument. In addition HTML can be added to the button, for example the caret icon seen in the examples.
<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      buttonText: function(options, select) {
        if (options.length == 0) {
          return this.nonSelectedText + ' <b class="caret"></b>';
        }
        else {
          if (options.length > this.numberDisplayed) {
            return options.length + ' ' + this.nSelectedText + ' <b class="caret"></b>';
          }
          else {
            var selected = '';
            options.each(function() {
              var label = ($(this).attr('label') !== undefined) ? $(this).attr('label') : $(this).html();

              selected += label + ', ';
            });
            return selected.substr(0, selected.length - 2) + ' <b class="caret"></b>';
          }
        }
      }
    });
  });
</script>
							
numberDisplayed This option can be used to define the number of displayed option before the text defined in nSelectedText is used. This option may not be available when using a custom buttonText function.
<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      numberDisplayed: 4
    });
  });
</script>
							
nonSelectedText A string that is displayed when no options are selected.
 <script type="text/javascript">
   $(document).ready(function() {
     $('.multiselect').multiselect({
       nonSelectedText: 'You have not selected any options'
     });
   });
 </script>
 							
buttonTitle Function defining the title of the button. Similar to the buttonText option.
<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      buttonTitle: function(options, select) {
        var selected = '';
        options.each(function () {
          selected += $(this).text() + ', ';
        });
        return selected.substr(0, selected.length - 2);
      },
    });
  });
</script>
							
buttonClass The class of the dropdown button. Default: btn.
<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      buttonClass: 'btn-primary btn-lg'
    });
  });
</script>
							
buttonWidth The width of the dropdown button. Default: auto. Allowed formats:
  • 100px
  • 50%
  • auto
If the width is defined using CSS the option should be set to false.
<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      buttonWidth: '300px'
    });
  });
</script>
							
buttonContainer The used container holding both the dropdown button and the dropdown menu. Default: <div class="btn-group" />.
<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      buttonContainer: '<span class="dropdown" />'
    });
  });
</script>
							
label Function to write the label of the item.
<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      label: function(element) {
      	return $(element).html()+' ('+$(element).val()+')';
      }
    });
  });
</script>
							
selectedClass The class applied to the parent <li> of selected items. Default: active.
<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      selectedClass: null
    });
  });
</script>
							
onChange This event handler is triggered when the selected options are changed.
<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      onChange: function(element, checked) {
      	alert('Change event invoked!');
      }
    });
  });
</script>
							
onDropdownShow

This event handler is triggered when the dropdown are shown.

Both, the onDropdownShow and the onDropdownHide options are not supported when using Twitter Bootstrap 2.3.

<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      onDropdownShow: function(event) {
      	alert('Show event invoked!');
      }
    });
  });
</script>
							
onDropdownHide

This event handler is triggered when the dropdown are hidden.

Both, the onDropdownShow and the onDropdownHide options are not supported when using Twitter Bootstrap 2.3.

<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      onDropdownHide: function(event) {
      	alert('Hide event invoked!');
      }
    });
  });
</script>
							
maxHeight Used for a long list of options this option defines the maximum height of the dropdown menu. If the size is exceeded a scrollbar will appear.
<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      maxHeight: 400
    });
  });
</script>
							
checkboxName Used to configure the name attribute of the checkboxes or radio buttons used within the multiselect.
<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      checkboxName: 'custom-name'
    });
  });
</script>
							
includeSelectAllOption If set to true a 'Select all' option will be added.
<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      includeSelectAllOption: true
    });
  });
</script>
							
includeSelectAllIfMoreThan If includeSelectAllOption is set to true, the select all option will be added if more than includeSelectAllIfMoreThan options are present. By default this option is set to 0.
<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      includeSelectAllOption: true,
      includeSelectAllIfMoreThan: 10
    });
  });
</script>
							
includeSelectAllDivider If set to true (along with includeSelectAllOption) a divider will be placed below the 'Select all' option.
<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      includeSelectAllOption: true,
      includeSelectAllDivider: true
    });
  });
</script>
							
selectAllText The label for the 'Select all' option.
<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      selectAllText: true
    });
  });
</script>
							
selectAllValue The value by which the select all option is identified.
<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      selectAllValue: 'multiselect-all',
    });
  });
</script>
							
enableFiltering If set to true a search field will be added to filter the visible options.
<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      enableFiltering: true
    });
  });
</script>
							
filterBehavior Either text, value or both. Determines whether the option's text, value or both is used for filtering.
<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      enableFiltering: true,
      filterBehavior: 'both'
    });
  });
</script>
							
enableCaseInsensitiveFiltering The same as enableFiltering but with case insensitive filtering.
<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      enableCaseInsensitiveFiltering: true
    });
  });
</script>
							
filterPlaceholder The placeholder used in the search field if filtering is enabled.
<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      filterPlaceholder: 'Search'
    });
  });
</script>
							
dropRight Will make the menu drop right if set to true.
<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      dropRight: true
    });
  });
</script>
							

The plugin uses templates to create different parts of the plugin - as for example the filter, dividers or the button. The default templates can be seen below.

templates: {
  button: '<button type="button" class="multiselect dropdown-toggle" data-toggle="dropdown"></button>',
  ul: '<ul class="multiselect-container dropdown-menu"></ul>',
  filter: '<div class="input-group"><span class="input-group-addon"><i class="glyphicon glyphicon-search"></i></span><input class="form-control multiselect-search" type="text"></div>',
  li: '<li><a href="javascript:void(0);"><label></label></a></li>',
  divider: '<li class="divider"></li>',
  liGroup: '<li><label class="multiselect-group"></label></li>'
}
            

The templates can be overriden using the templates configuration option. The example below uses a div for dividers.

<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('.multiselect').multiselect({
      templates: {
        divider: '<div class="divider" data-role="divider"></div>'
      }
    });
  });
</script>
                            

.multiselect('destroy')

This method is used to destroy the plugin on the given element - meaning unbinding the plugin.

.multiselect('refresh')

This method is used to refresh the checked checkboxes based on the currently selected options within the select. Click 'Select some options' so select some of the options (meaning added the selected attribute to some of the options). Then click refresh. The plugin will update the checkboxes accordingly.

.multiselect('rebuild')

Rebuilds the whole dropdown menu. All selected options will remain selected (if still existent!).

.multiselect('select', value)

Selects an option by its value (which has to be given as string). Works also using an array of values.

.multiselect('deselect', value)

Deselect an option by its value (which has to be given as string). Works also using an array of values.

.multiselect('dataprovider', data)

Provides data for building the select's options the following way:

var data = [
    {label: "ACNP", value: "ACNP"},
    {label: "test", value: "test"}
];
$("#multiselect").multiselect('dataprovider', data);
                            

.multiselect('setOptions', options)

Used to change configuration after initializing the multiselect. This may be useful in combination with .multiselect('rebuild').

.multiselect('disable')

Disable both the underlying select and the dropdown button.

.multiselect('enable')

Enable both the underlying select and the dropdown button.

Use "Select" and "Deselect" to select or deselect cheese and tomatoes. Use "Values" to display the currently selected elements by using $('.multiselect').val().

<script type="text/javascript">
  $('#example34').multiselect();
  
  $('#example34-select').on('click', function() {
    $('#example34').multiselect('select', 'cheese');
    $('#example34').multiselect('select', 'tomatoes');
  });

  $('#example34-deselect').on('click', function() {
    $('#example34').multiselect('deselect', 'cheese');
    $('#example34').multiselect('deselect', 'tomatoes');
  });

  $('#example34-values').on('click', function() {
    $('#example34-text').text('Selected: ' + $('#example34').val()).addClass('alert alert-info');
  });
</script>
							

Use the button to toggle the selection.

<script type="text/javascript">
  /**
   * Gets whether all the options are selected
   * @param {jQuery} $el
   * @returns {bool}
   */
  function multiselect_selected($el) {
    var ret = true;
    $('option', $el).each(function(element) {
      if (!!!$(this).prop('selected')) {
        ret = false;
      }
    });
    return ret;
  }
   
  /**
   * Selects all the options
   * @param {jQuery} $el
   * @returns {undefined}
   */
  function multiselect_selectAll($el) {
    $('option', $el).each(function(element) {
      $el.multiselect('select', $(this).val());
    });
  }
  /**
   * Deselects all the options
   * @param {jQuery} $el
   * @returns {undefined}
   */
  function multiselect_deselectAll($el) {
    $('option', $el).each(function(element) {
      $el.multiselect('deselect', $(this).val());
    });
  }
   
  /**
   * Clears all the selected options
   * @param {jQuery} $el
   * @returns {undefined}
   */
  function multiselect_toggle($el, $btn) {
    if (multiselect_selected($el)) {
      multiselect_deselectAll($el);
      $btn.text("Select All");
    }
    else {
      multiselect_selectAll($el);
      $btn.text("Deselect All");
    }
  }
   
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('#example21').multiselect();
    $("#example21-toggle").click(function(e) {
      e.preventDefault();
      multiselect_toggle($("#example21"), $(this));
    });
  });
</script>
							

When deselecting an option you will be asked for confirmation.

<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('#example22').multiselect({
      buttonClass: 'btn',
      buttonWidth: 'auto',
      buttonText: function(options) {
        if (options.length == 0) {
          return 'None selected <b class="caret"></b>';
        }
        else if (options.length > 6) {
          return options.length + ' selected  <b class="caret"></b>';
        }
        else {
          var selected = '';
          options.each(function() {
            selected += $(this).text() + ', ';
          });
          return selected.substr(0, selected.length -2) + ' <b class="caret"></b>';
        }
      },
      onChange: function(element, checked) {
        if(checked == true) {
          // action taken here if true
        }
        else if (checked == false) {
          if (confirm('Do you wish to deselect the element?')) {
            // action taken here
          }
          else {
            $("#example22").multiselect('select', element.val());
          }
        }
      }
    });
  });
</script>
							

Switching between different configuration sets is possible using a combination of .multiselect('setOptions', options) and .multiselect('rebuild').

<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {

    var firstConfigurationSet = {
      includeSelectAllOption: false,
      enableFiltering: false
    };
    var secondConfigurationSet = {
      includeSelectAllOption: true,
      enableFiltering: true
    };

    var set = 1;
    $('#example33').multiselect(firstConfigurationSet);
                    
    function rebuildMultiselect(options) {
      $('#example33').multiselect('setOptions', options);
      $('#example33').multiselect('rebuild');
    }

    $('#example33-configuration-set').on('click', function(event) {
      switch (set) {
        case 2:
          rebuildMultiselect(firstConfigurationSet);

          $(this).text('Configuration Set 2');
          set = 1;
          break;
        case 1:
        default:
          rebuildMultiselect(secondConfigurationSet);

          $(this).text('Configuration Set 1');
          set = 2;
          break;
      }
    });
  });
</script>
                            

Limit the number of selected options using the onChange option. The user may only select a maximum of 4 options. Then all other options are disabled.

<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    $('#example37').multiselect({
      onChange: function(option, checked) {
        // Get selected options.
        var selectedOptions = $('#example37 option:selected');

        if (selectedOptions.length >= 4) {
          // Disable all other checkboxes.
          var nonSelectedOptions = $('#example37 option').filter(function() {
            return !$(this).is(':selected');
          });

          var dropdown = $('#example37').siblings('.multiselect-container');
          nonSelectedOptions.each(function() {
            var input = $('input[value="' + $(this).val() + '"]');
            input.prop('disabled', true);
            input.parent('li').addClass('disabled');
          });
        }
        else {
          // Enable all checkboxes.
          var dropdown = $('#example37').siblings('.multiselect-container');
          $('#example37 option').each(function() {
            var input = $('input[value="' + $(this).val() + '"]');
            input.prop('disabled', false);
            input.parent('li').addClass('disabled');
          });
        }
      }
    });
  });
</script>
                            

Record the order the options are selected. When selecting an item an ordering number will be incremented and saved within the option.

<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    var orderCount = 0;
    $('#example38').multiselect({
      buttonText: function(options) {
        if (options.length == 0) {
          return 'None selected ';
        }
        else if (options.length > 3) {
          return options.length + ' selected  ';
        }
        else {
          var selected = [];
          options.each(function() {
            selected.push([$(this).text(), $(this).data('order')]);
          });
          
          selected.sort(function(a, b) {
            return a[1] - b[1];
          })

          var text = '';
          for (var i = 0; i < selected.length; i++) {
            text += selected[i][0] + ', ';
          }

          return text.substr(0, text.length -2) + ' ';
        }
      },
      onChange: function(option, checked) {
        if (checked) {
          orderCount++;
          $(option).data('order', orderCount);
        }
        else {
          $(option).data('order', '');
        }
      }
    });

    $('#example38-order').on('click', function() {
      var selected = [];
      $('#example38 option:selected').each(function() {
        selected.push([$(this).val(), $(this).data('order')]);
      });

      selected.sort(function(a, b) {
        return a[1] - b[1];
      });

      var text = '';
      for (var i = 0; i < selected.length; i++) {
        text += selected[i][0] + ', ';
      }
      text = text.substring(0, text.length - 2);

      alert(text);
    });
  });
</script>
                            

Simulate single selections using checkboxes. The behavior will be similar to a multiselect with radio buttons.

<script type="text/javascript">
  $('#example40').multiselect({
    onChange: function(option, checked) {
      var values = [];
      $('#example40 option').each(function() {
        if ($(this).val() !== option.val()) {
          values.push($(this).val());
        }
      });
      
      $('#example40').multiselect('deselect', values);
    }
  });
</script>
                            

Close dropdown after 3 selections automatically.

<script type="text/javascript">
  $('#example42').multiselect({
    onChange: function(option, checked) {
      var selected = 0;
      $('option', $('#example42')).each(function() {
        if ($(this).prop('selected')) {
          selected++;
        }
      });

      if (selected >= 3) {
        $('#example42').siblings('div').children('ul').dropdown('toggle');
      }
    }
  });
</script>
                            

Trigger hide.bs.dropdown and show.bs.dropdown manually.

<script type="text/javascript">
  $('#example40').multiselect({
    onChange: function(option, checked) {
      var values = [];
      $('#example40 option').each(function() {
        if ($(this).val() !== option.val()) {
          values.push($(this).val());
        }
      });
      
      $('#example40').multiselect('deselect', values);
    }
  });
</script>
                            

For additional styling of the multiselect button, the CSS class multiselect can be used.

Text alignment combined with fixed width and bold, underlined text for option group headers.

.multiselect {
  text-align: left;
}
.multiselect b.caret {
  position: absolute;
  top: 14px;
  right: 8px;
}
.multiselect-group {
  font-weight: bold;
  text-decoration: underline;
}
							

Access the select all option by using the .multiselect-all class. The filter search field can be manipulated by using .multiselect-search;

.multiselect-all label {
  font-weight: bold;
}
.multiselect-search {
  color: red;
}
							

Here are some of the (not necessarily that frequently) asked questions and their answers.

What about older browsers, i.e. Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8?

With version 2.0, jQuery no longer supports the older IE versions. Nevertheless, the plugin should run as expected using the 1.x branch of jQuery. See here for details.

Using return false; within the onChange option does not prevent the option from being selected/deselected ...

The return statement within the onChange method has no influence on the result. For preventing an option from being deselected or selected have a look at the examples in the Further Examples section.

How to check whether filtering all options resulted no options being displayed (except the select all option)?

This issue is discussed here: https://github.com/davidstutz/bootstrap-multiselect/issues/317.

How to use the plugin within a form.form-inline?

This issue is addressed here: https://github.com/davidstutz/bootstrap-multiselect/issues/322.

How to get the selected options using PHP?

This issue is addressed here: https://github.com/davidstutz/bootstrap-multiselect/issues/323.

Mainly there are two ways, either add a name to the select:

<select id="example2" multiple="multiple" name="select[]"></select>

or add an appropriate name to the checkboxes:

$('#example2').multiselect({
    checkboxName: 'multiselect[]'
});

How to change the button class depending on the number of selected options?

This issue is addressed here: https://github.com/davidstutz/bootstrap-multiselect/issues/332.

Why does the plugin crash when using .multiselect('select', value); or .multiselect('deselect', value);?

This may be caused when the class used for the select occurs for other elements, as well. In addition this may be caused if the multiselect has the class .multiselect. See here: https://github.com/davidstutz/bootstrap-multiselect/issues/330.

How to use multiple plugin instances running single selections on one page?

There is a minor bug when using multiple plugin instances with single selection on one page. The bug is described here: https://github.com/davidstutz/bootstrap-multiselect/issues/331. A possible fix is suggested here: https://github.com/davidstutz/bootstrap-multiselect/pull/336.

Why does the plugin not work in Chrome for Mobile?

This may be caused by several reasons one of which is described and resolved here: https://github.com/davidstutz/bootstrap-multiselect/pull/223.

How to underline the searched text when using the filter?

This issue is discussed here.

How to hide the checkboxes?

A related issue is discussed here and includes a possible solution when using CSS to hide the checkboxes:

.multiselect-container input {
  display: none
}
            

How to use Bootstrap Multiselect using $.validate?

This topic is discussed in issue #347. The fix suggested is as follows:

var $form = $("#myForm");
var validator = $form.data('validator');
validator.settings.ignore = ':hidden:not(".multiselect")';
            

© 2012 - 2014 David Stutz - dual licensed: Apache License v2.0, BSD 3-Clause License