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The HTMLSelectElement interface represents a <select> HTML Element. These elements also share all of the properties and methods of other HTML elements via the HTMLElement interface.

 Properties

This interface inherits the properties of HTMLElement, and of Element and Node.

Name Type Description
autofocus Boolean Reflects the autofocus HTML attribute, which indicates whether the 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-associated element in a document can have this attribute specified.
disabled Boolean Reflects the disabled HTML attribute, which indicates whether the control is disabled. If it is disabled, it does not accept clicks.
form Read only HTMLFormElement Returns the form that this element is associated with. If the element is not associated with of a <form> element, then it returns null.
labels Read only NodeList Returns a list of label elements associated with this select element.
length unsigned long The number of <option> elements in this select element.
multiple Boolean Reflects the multiple HTML attribute, which indicates whether multiple items can be selected.
name DOMString Reflects the name HTML attribute, containing the name of this control used by servers and DOM search functions.
options Read only HTMLOptionsCollection The set of <option> elements contained by this element.
required Boolean Reflects the required HTML attribute, which indicates whether the user is required to select a value before submitting the form.
selectedIndex long Reflects the index of the first selected <option> element. The value -1 indicates no element is selected.
selectedOptions Read only HTMLCollection Set of options that are selected.
size long Reflects the size HTML attribute, which contains the number of visible items in the control. The default is 1, unless multiple is true, in which case it is 4.
type Read only
DOMString
The form control's type. When multiple is true, it returns "select-multiple"; otherwise, it returns "select-one".
validationMessage Read only DOMString Localized message that describes the validation constraints that the control does not satisfy (if any). This attribute is the empty string if the control is not a candidate for constraint validation (willValidate is false), or it satisfies its constraints.
validity Read only ValidityState The validity state that this control is in.
value DOMString The value of the form control (the first selected option).
willValidateRead only Boolean Indicates whether the button is a candidate for constraint validation. It is false if any conditions bar it from constraint validation.

Methods

This interface inherits the methods of HTMLElement, and of Element and Node.

Name Description
add() Adds an element to the collection of option elements for this select element.
blur() Removes input focus from this element. This method is now implemented on HTMLElement.
checkValidity() Checks whether the element has any constraints and whether it satisfies them. If the element fails its constraints, the browser fires a cancelable invalid event at the element (and returns false).
focus() Gives input focus to this element. This method is now implemented on HTMLElement.
item() Gets an item from the options collection for this <select> element. You can also access an item by specifying the index in array-style brackets or parentheses, without calling this method explicitly.
namedItem() Gets the item in the options collection with the specified name. The name string can match either the id or the name attribute of an option node. You can also access an item by specifying the name in array-style brackets or parentheses, without calling this method explicitly.
remove() Removes the element at the specified index from the options collection for this select element.
setCustomValidity() Sets the custom validity message for the selection element to the specified message. Use the empty string to indicate that the element does not have a custom validity error.

Example

Get information about the selected option

/* assuming we have the following HTML
<select id='s'>
    <option>First</option>
    <option selected>Second</option>
    <option>Third</option>
</select>
*/

var select = document.getElementById('s');

// return the index of the selected option
console.log(select.selectedIndex); // 1

// return the value of the selected option
console.log(select.options[select.selectedIndex].value) // Second

A better way to track changes to the user's selection is to watch for the change event to occur on the <select>. This will tell you when the value changes, and you can then update anything you need to. See the example provided in the documentation for the change event for details.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
WHATWG HTML Living Standard
The definition of 'HTMLSelectElement' in that specification.
Living Standard Since the latest snapshot, HTML5, it adds the autocomplete property and the reportValidity() method.
HTML5
The definition of 'HTMLSelectElement' in that specification.
Recommendation Is a snapshot of WHATWG HTML Living Standard.
It adds the autofocus, form, required, labels, selectedOptions, willValidate, validity and validationMessage properties.
The tabindex property and the blur() and focus() methods have been moved to HTMLElement.
The methods item(), namedItem(), checkValidity() and setCustomValidity().
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 2 HTML Specification
The definition of 'HTMLSelectElement' in that specification.
Recommendation options now returns an HTMLOptionsCollection.
length now returns an unsigned long.
Document Object Model (DOM) Level 1 Specification
The definition of 'HTMLSelectElement' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition.

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support 1.0 (Yes) 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) [2] 1.0 1.0 1.0
item() and namedItem() (Yes) (Yes)[3] 4.0 (2.0) 8[3] (Yes) (Yes)
setCustomValidity(), checkValidity(), willValidate, validationMessage, validity (Yes) (Yes) 4.0 (2.0) (Yes) (Yes) ?
selectedOptions (Yes) (Yes) 26 (26) No support (Yes) (Yes)
labels (Yes) No support No support[1] No support (Yes) (Yes)
Feature Android Chrome Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) Firefox OS IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support 1.0 1.0 (Yes) 1.0 (1) 1.0 1.0 1.0 1.0
item() and namedItem() ? ? ? 4.0 (2.0) 1.0 ? ? (Yes)
setCustomValidity(), checkValidity(), willValidate, validationMessage, validity ? ? ? 4.0 (2.0) 1.0 ? ? ?
selectedOptions ? ? ? 26.0 (26) 1.2 ? ? (Yes)
labels ? ? ? No support[1] No support[1] ? ? (Yes)

[1] See bug 556743.

[2] Historically, Firefox has allowed keyboard and mouse events to bubble up from the <option> element to the parent <select> element. This doesn't happen in Chrome, however, although this behavior is inconsistent across many browsers. For better Web compatibility (and for technical reasons), when Firefox is in multi-process mode and the <select> element is displayed as a drop-down list. The behavior is unchanged if the <select> is presented inline and it has either the multiple attribute defined or a size attribute set to more than 1. Rather than watching <option> elements for events, you should watch for {event("change")}} events on <select>. See bug 1090602 for details.

[3] namedItem does not appear to take the name attribute into account (only the id attribute) on Internet Explorer and Edge. There is a bug report to Microsoft about this.

See also

  • The <select> HTML element, which implements this interface.

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