Selectize Documentation

Installation & Usage

All pre-built files needed to use Selectize can be found in the dist folder.
If you're looking to get started with minimal fuss, include standalone/selectize.min.js (bundles Sifter and Microplugin dependencies).
Selectize is available at cdnjs.

          <script type="text/javascript" src="selectize.js"></script>
          <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" href="selectize.css" />
            $(function () {


Config / configuration
the initial settings of Selectize, given at initialization.
the current settings of Selectize, might be updated. Accessible with the setting property of the Selectize object.
the list of objects to display. Each object must have a property with an unique value to identify the option; the property name is defined by the valueField setting. Option objects must also have a property with the label to display (as tag, in the drop down, etc.); the property name is defined by the labelField setting. The options can have other properties, ignored, unless referenced by other settings, like sortField or searchField.
the list of selected options. Or more exactly, the list of the values of the selected options.


Setting Description Type Default
options An array of the initial options available to select; array of objects. By default this is populated from the original input element. If your element is a <select> with <option>s specified this property gets populated automatically. Setting this property is convenient if you have your data as an array and want to automatically generate the <option>s. array []
items An array of the initial selected values. By default this is populated from the original input element. array []
delimiter The string to separate items by. When typing an item in a multi-selection control allowing creation, then the delimiter, the item is added. If you paste delimiter-separated items in such control, the items are added at once. The delimiter is also used in the getValue API call on a text <input> tag to separate the multiple values. string ','
create Allows the user to create new items that aren't in the initial list of options. This setting can be any of the following: true, false (disabled), or a function to process input. The function can take one of two forms: synchronous (with signature function(input){} or asynchronous (with signature function(input, callback). In the synchronous case, the function should return an object for the options (eg, with defaults: return { 'value': value, 'text': text };). The asynchronous version should invoke the callback with the result in the same format as the object above (eg, callback( { 'value': value, 'text': text});) boolean/function false
createOnBlur If true, when user exits the field (clicks outside of input), a new option is created and selected (if create setting is enabled). boolean false
createFilter Specifies a RegExp or a string containing a regular expression that the current search filter must match to be allowed to be created. May also be a predicate function that takes the filter text and returns whether it is allowed. RegExp|string|function null
highlight Toggles match highlighting within the dropdown menu. boolean true
persist If false, items created by the user will not show up as available options once they are unselected. boolean true
openOnFocus Show the dropdown immediately when the control receives focus. boolean true
maxOptions The max number of items to render at once in the dropdown list of options. int 1000
maxItems The max number of items the user can select. 1 makes the control mono-selection, null allows an unlimited number of items. int null
hideSelected If true, the items that are currently selected will not be shown in the dropdown list of available options. This defaults to true when in a multi-selection control, to false otherwise. boolean null
closeAfterSelect If true, the dropdown will be closed after a selection is made. boolean false
allowEmptyOption If true, Selectize will treat any options with a "" value like normal. This defaults to false to accomodate the common <select> practice of having the first empty option to act as a placeholder. boolean false
scrollDuration The animation duration (in milliseconds) of the scroll animation triggered when going [up] and [down] in the options dropdown. int 60
loadThrottle The number of milliseconds to wait before requesting options from the server or null. If null, throttling is disabled. Useful when loading options dynamically while the user types a search / filter expression. int 300
loadingClass The class name added to the wrapper element while awaiting the fulfillment of load requests. string 'loading'
placeholder The placeholder of the control (displayed when nothing is selected / typed). Defaults to input element's placeholder, unless this one is specified. string undefined
preload If true, the load function will be called upon control initialization (with an empty search). Alternatively it can be set to 'focus' to call the load function when control receives focus. boolean/string false
dropdownParent The element the dropdown menu is appended to. This should be 'body' or null. If null, the dropdown will be appended as a child of the Selectize control. string null
addPrecedence If true, the "Add..." option is the default selection in the dropdown. boolean false
selectOnTab If true, the tab key will choose the currently selected item. boolean false
diacritics Enable or disable international character support. boolean true
Data / Searching
Setting Description Type Default
options See above array []
optgroups Option groups that options will be bucketed into. If your element is a <select> with <optgroup>s this property gets populated automatically. Make sure each object in the array has a property named whatever optgroupValueField is set to. array []
dataAttr The <option> attribute from which to read JSON data about the option. string 'data-data'
valueField The name of the property to use as the value when an item is selected. string 'value'
optgroupValueField The name of the option group property that serves as its unique identifier. string 'value'
labelField The name of the property to render as an option / item label (not needed when custom rendering functions are defined). string 'text'
optgroupLabelField The name of the property to render as an option group label (not needed when custom rendering functions are defined). string 'label'
optgroupField The name of the property to group items by. string 'optgroup'
disabledField The name of the property to disabled option and optgroup. string 'disabled'

A single field or an array of fields to sort by. Each item in the array should be an object containing at least a field property. Optionally, direction can be set to 'asc' or 'desc'. The order of the array defines the sort precedence.

Unless present, a special `$score` field will be automatically added to the beginning of the sort list. This will make results sorted primarily by match quality (descending).

You can override the `$score` function. For more information, see the sifter documentation.

string|array '$order'
searchField An array of property names to analyze when filtering options. array ['text']
searchConjunction When searching for multiple terms (separated by space), this is the operator used. Can be 'and' or 'or' . string 'and'
lockOptgroupOrder If truthy, Selectize will make all optgroups be in the same order as they were added (by the `$order` property). Otherwise, it will order based on the score of the results in each. boolean false
copyClassesToDropdown Copy the original input classes to the dropdown element. boolean true
Setting Description Type Default
load(query, callback) Invoked when new options should be loaded from the server. Called with the current query string and a callback function to call with the results when they are loaded (or nothing when an error arises). function null
score(search) Overrides the scoring function used to sort available options. The provided function should return a function that returns a number greater than or equal to zero to represent the score of an item (the function's first argument). If 0, the option is declared not a match. The search argument is a Search object. For an example, see the "GitHub" example. function null
onInitialize() Invoked once the control is completely initialized. function null
onFocus() Invoked when the control gains focus. function null
onBlur() Invoked when the control loses focus. function null
onChange(value) Invoked when the value of the control changes. function null
onItemAdd(value, $item) Invoked when an item is selected. function null
onItemRemove(value) Invoked when an item is deselected. function null
onClear() Invoked when the control is manually cleared via the clear() method. function null
onDelete(values) Invoked when the user attempts to delete the current selection. function null
onOptionAdd(value, data) Invoked when a new option is added to the available options list. function null
onOptionRemove(value) Invoked when an option is removed from the available options. function null
onDropdownOpen($dropdown) Invoked when the dropdown opens. function null
onDropdownClose($dropdown) Invoked when the dropdown closes. function null
onType(str) Invoked when the user types while filtering options. function null
onLoad(data) Invoked when new options have been loaded and added to the control (via the load option or load API method). function null
render Custom rendering functions. Each function should accept two arguments: data and escape and return HTML (string or DOM element) with a single root element. The escape argument is a function that takes a string and escapes all special HTML characters. This is very important to use to prevent XSS vulnerabilities.
option An option in the dropdown list of available options.
item An item the user has selected.
option_create The "create new" option at the bottom of the dropdown. The data contains one property: input (which is what the user has typed).
optgroup_header The header of an option group.
optgroup The wrapper for an optgroup. The html property in the data will be the raw html of the optgroup's header and options.


Selectize controls can be controlled programmatically via the methods described in this section. When initializing the control, the selectize property is added on the original <select> / <input> element—this property points to the underlying Selectize instance.

// initialize the Selectize control
var $select = $('select').selectize(options);

// fetch the instance
var selectize = $select[0].selectize;


Property Description
options An object containing the entire pool of options. The object is keyed by each object's value.
items An array of selected values.


Method Description
addOption(data) Adds an available option, or array of options. If it already exists, nothing will happen. Note: this does not refresh the options list dropdown (use refreshOptions() for that).
updateOption(value, data) Updates an option available for selection. If it is visible in the selected items or options dropdown, it will be re-rendered automatically.
removeOption(value) Removes the option identified by the given value.
clearOptions(silent) Removes all options from the control, and resets/clears all selected items. If silent is truthy, no change event will be fired on the original input.
getOption(value) Retrieves the jQuery element for the option identified by the given value.
getAdjacentOption(value, direction) Retrieves the jQuery element for the previous or next option, relative to the currently highlighted option. The direction argument should be 1 for "next" or -1 for "previous".
refreshOptions(triggerDropdown) Refreshes the list of available options shown in the autocomplete dropdown menu.
Method Description
clear(silent) Resets / clears all selected items from the control. If silent is truthy, no change event will be fired on the original input.
getItem(value) Returns the jQuery element of the item matching the given value.
addItem(value, silent) "Selects" an item. Adds it to the list at the current caret position. If silent is truthy, no change event will be fired on the original input.
removeItem(value, silent) Removes the selected item matching the provided value. If silent is truthy, no change event will be fired on the original input.
createItem(value, [triggerDropdown], [callback]) Invokes the create method provided in the Selectize settings that should provide the data for the new item, given the user input. Once this completes, it will be added to the item list.
refreshItems() Re-renders the selected item lists.
Method Description
addOptionGroup(id, data) Registers a new optgroup for options to be bucketed into. The id argument refers to a value of the property in option identified by the optgroupField setting.
removeOptionGroup(id) Removes a single option group.
clearOptionGroups() Removes all existing option groups.


Method Description
on(event, handler) Adds an event listener.
off(event, handler) Removes an event listener.
off(event) Removes all event listeners.
trigger(event, ...) Triggers event listeners.
Method Description
open() Shows the autocomplete dropdown containing the available options.
close() Closes the autocomplete dropdown menu.
positionDropdown() Calculates and applies the appropriate position of the dropdown.
Method Description
destroy() Destroys the control and unbinds event listeners so that it can be garbage collected.
load(fn) Loads options by invoking the provided function. The function should accept one argument (callback) and invoke the callback with the results once they are available.
focus() Brings the control into focus.
blur() Forces the control out of focus.
lock() Disables user input on the control (note: the control can still receive focus).
unlock() Re-enables user input on the control.
disable() Disables user input on the control completely. While disabled, it cannot receive focus.
enable() Enables the control so that it can respond to focus and user input.
getValue() Returns the value of the control. If multiple items can be selected with a "select" input tag (e.g. <select multiple>), this returns an array. Otherwise, returns a string (separated by delimiter if "multiple").
setValue(value, silent) Resets the selected items to the given value.
setCaret(index) Moves the caret to the specified position (index being the index in the list of selected items).
isFull() Returns whether or not the user can select more items.
clearCache(template) Clears the render cache. Takes an optional template argument (e.g. option , item) to clear only that cache.
updatePlaceholder() When the `settings.placeholder` value is changed, the new placeholder will be displayed.
setTextboxValue(str) Sets the value of the input field.


Via the microplugin interface, features can be added to Selectize without modifying the main library. This is great because it protects against code bloat, allows for lean builds, and allows for addons to be sanely isolated. The plugin system isn't meant to be sexy; it's lean, makes very few assumptions, and gives the developer complete control.

Example Plugins

A few notes:

  • All plugins live in their own folders in "src/plugins".
  • Plugin names should be in follow the format: /[a-z_]+$
  • JS source should live in a "plugin.js" file (required).
  • CSS should live in a "plugin.less" file (optional). It will be bundled at build time.
  • Plugins are initialized right before the control is setup. This means that if you want to listen for events on any of the control's elements, you should override the setup() method.


Selectize.define('plugin_name', function(options) {
        // options: plugin-specific options
        // this: Selectize instance

Adding dependencies

Selectize.define('plugin_name', function(options) {


Methods should be extended by wrapping them:

var self = this;
    this.someMethod = (function() {
      var original = self.someMethod;
      return function() {
        // do your logic
        return original.apply(this, arguments);

DOM Events

Because all elements for the control are created within the setup() method (which is invoked after the plugin initialized) events should be added by overriding the setup method, like so:

Selectize.define('plugin_name', function(options) {
      var self = this;

      // override the setup method to add an extra `click`  handler
      this.setup = (function() {
        var original = self.setup;
        return function() {
          original.apply(this, arguments);
          this.$control.on('click', 'div', function(e) {
            alert('A div was clicked!');


Plugin Usage

For a more detailed description of plugin option formats and how the plugin system works, check out the microplugin documentation.

List (without options)

      plugins: ['plugin_a', 'plugin_b']

List (with options)

      plugins: {
        'plugin_a': { /* ... */ },
        'plugin_b': { /* ... */ }