Posts Tagged ‘custom dropdown’

Customizable Form Select / Dropdown Replacement with Mootools

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

After seeing couple of implementations of replacing the default form checkboxes and radio buttons I was on a search for cross-platform select dropdown which can be fully styled with CSS. Unfortunately there are not so many options and the best I could find is elSelect:

elSelect is a great tool that allows you to visually change look and feel of usual select, keeping its functionality.

However I believe there is plenty of space for improvements.

1. Porting to Mootools v1.2

You need to replace setHTML, setText and other deprecated stuff to the new syntax.

2. Instead of creating new input just move the original (otherwise all events connected with the DOM element are lost and it does not work with .NET forms) –


this.hiddenInput = new Element('input').setProperties({
			type  : 'hidden',
			name  : this.source.getProperty('name')


this.hiddenInput = this.source.injectAfter($(this.options.container));

3. Various optimizations + autocomplete functionality and keyboard shortcuts (Tab-ing through the form).

Also I’m checking the browser agent since under iPhone it is better not to replace the select and adding some code graceful degradation:

var addCustomSelect = function(wrapper){
			var mySelect = new elSelect( {container : wrapper});
	if ($(wrapper).getElement('select')) $(wrapper).getElement('select').setStyle('display','inline'); // Select is still here - degrade gracefully
if($('cust-sel')) addCustomSelect('cust-sel'); // Call as soon as possible

Other good tip is to have the select (you are replacing) with style visibility:hidden so it does not flicker when loading.

You can download my modified version from here. It has 1 and 2 applied plus some other minor changes. Still it is a good idea to diff the original and my version since I have custom modification that you might not need.