Combobox using Jquery

December 4, 2008 at 5:55 pm Leave a comment

jquery.combobox is an unobtrusive way of creating a HTML type combobox from a existing HTML Select element(s).

A combobox is technically a ‘Select’ HTML element. A combobox is also be known as a drop down list.

This control was written due to the fact that the standard Select element cannot be styled, or is limited in what can be styled.
For instance, in Internet Explorer 6,  the individual items in the list (HTML Options) are very restricted in styling, allowing only the background-color and color and a few other CSS properties.

The other reason for creating this control is the need for a simple way of setting up a control. Other custom comboboxes are not so easily setup, requiring technical knowledge before-hand.

The custom combobox relies on the jquery library, without which, this control would not have been created. The jquery library allows a developer to focus on the problems of your specific requirements rather than focus on technical issues surround cross-browser standards and the like.

note: at the moment the jquery.combobox behaves as a dropdown list and not a full combbox. it does not currently accept text input.


  • easy to set up
  • control over style of combobox using CSS
  • supports keyboard navigation
  • cross-browser support with firefox 2, internet explorer 6 and opera 9*
  • different style of animation for dropdown
  • original Select html control is still available for access and control and reflects the user’s selection
  • works the same with forms and server-side form processing, retaining the original control’s ID and updated values

* – partial testing in this beta stage of development

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Entry filed under: jquery.

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