a jQuery plugin


Flexselect is a jQuery plugin that turns select boxes into flex-matching incremental-finding controls. Think of it as Quicksilver squished into a select box. Download, view the examples, and enjoy.

It uses the LiquidMetal scoring algorithm to narrow the selection.


On the left is a traditional select box. On the right is a flexselect control. Just start typing to narrow the selection.

Pick a U.S. President (not pre-selected)

Pick an animal (pre-selected)

TODO: Add more examples for common option overrides


First, load the default styles, jQuery, the LiquidMetal scoring algorithm, and the plugin.

<link rel="stylesheet" href="flexselect.css" type="text/css" media="screen" />
<script src="jquery.min.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
<script src="liquidmetal.js" type="text/javascript"></script>
<script src="jquery.flexselect.js" type="text/javascript"></script>

It's important that the styles come before the javascript. Now, let's convert your select boxes into some flexselect goodness on DOM ready:

jQuery(document).ready(function() {

This will turn all select elements with a class of flexselect into a flex matching masterpiece:

<select class="flexselect">
  <option value="1">George Washington</option>
  <option value="2">John Adams</option>
  <option value="3">Thomas Jefferson</option>

Flexselect also supports some options to override the default behavior:

Experimental Ad Hoc Entry: (The technique for handling this might change) It's possible to allow ad hoc entries into a flexselect input field that don't match the values in the underlying select box. Suppose you had a select box like this:

<select name="email" class="flexselect"> ... </select>

If you enable flexselect with custom options that look like this:

  allowMismatch: true,
  inputNameTransform:  function(name) { return "new_" + name; }

The input text field that replaces the select box will not only allow you to match custom values that weren't in the select box, but it will have a name attribute of new_email assigned to it. You can customize the inputNameTransform function however you like. The argument value passed to it is the original name from the select box.

When the form is submitted (with allowMismatch set to true), the original email param will be an empty string and the new_email param will be the value of the text in the input box.

TODO: Add a detailed list of all the options


Download the "stable" release.

The code is hosted on GitHub: https://github.com/rmm5t/jquery-flexselect. Go on, live on the edge.


Flexselect was built by Ryan McGeary (@rmm5t) and was inspired by jQuery.quickselect, MooTools Select Autocompleter, Live Search with QuickSilver, and jQuery LiveSearch.

Fork me on GitHub