This article is in need of a technical review.

Summary

The HTML select (<select>) element represents a control that presents a menu of options. The options within the menu are represented by <option> elements, which can be grouped by <optgroup> elements. Options can be pre-selected for the user.

Usage content

Content categories flow content, phrasing content, interactive content, listed, labelable, resettable, and submittable form-associated element
Permitted content Zero or more <option> or <optgroup> elements.
Tag omission none, both the start tag and the end tag are mandatory
Permitted parent elements any element that accepts phrasing content

Attributes

This element includes the global attributes.

autofocus HTML5
This attribute lets you specify that a form control should have input focus when the page loads, unless the user overrides it, for example by typing in a different control. Only one form element in a document can have the autofocus attribute, which is a Boolean.
disabled
This Boolean attribute indicates that the user cannot interact with the control. If this attribute is not specified, the control inherits its setting from the containing element, for example fieldset; if there is no containing element with the disabled attribute set, then the control is enabled.
form HTML5
The form element that the select element is associated with (its "form owner"). If this attribute is specified, its value must be the ID of a form element in the same document. This enables you to place select elements anywhere within a document, not just as descendants of their form elements.
multiple
This Boolean attribute indicates that multiple options can be selected in the list. If it is not specified, then only one option can be selected at a time.
name
The name of the control.
required HTML5
A Boolean attribute indicating that an option with a non-empty string value must be selected.
size
If the control is presented as a scrolled list box, this attribute represents the number of rows in the list that should be visible at one time. Browsers are not required to present a select elements as a scrolled list box. The default value is 0.
Firefox note: According to the HTML5 specification, the default value for size should be 1; however, in practice, this has been found to break some web sites, and no other browser currently does that, so Mozilla have opted to continue to return 0 for the time being with Firefox.

DOM Interface

This element implements the HTMLSelectElement interface.

Examples

<!-- The second value will be selected initially -->
<select name="select">
  <option value="value1">Value 1</option> 
  <option value="value2" selected>Value 2</option>
  <option value="value3">Value 3</option>
</select>

Result

Notes

The content of this element is static and not editable.

The following is an example of how to simulate a select list with editable options, but be warned that screen readers and assistive devices will not interpret the form correctly; this example would be invalid html if the correct elements were used:

This is an example of an editable select through a <fieldset> of radioboxes and textboxes (written in pure CSS, without JavaScript), 

Specifications

Specification Status Comments
HTML5
The definition of '<select>' in that specification.
Recommendation  
HTML 4.01 Specification
The definition of '<select>' in that specification.
Recommendation  

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support 1.0 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
required attribute (Yes) 4.0 (2.0) 10 (Yes) (Yes)
Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support (Yes) [1] 1.0 (1.0) [2] (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
required attribute (Yes) 4.0 (2.0) Not supported (Yes) (Yes)

 

[1] In the Browser app for Android 4.1 (and possibly later versions), there is a bug where the menu indicator triangle on the side of a <select> will not be displayed if a background, border, or border-radius style is applied to the <select>.

[2] Firefox for Android, by default, sets a background-image gradient on all <select multiple> elements. This can be disabled using background-image: none.

Chrome and Safari both ignore border-radius on <select> elements unless -webkit-appearance is overridden to an appropriate value.

See also