Elegant Selects with Quick[select]

By  on  

Form elements have always allowed limited styling...which is why I hate working on form display.  And I started when form elements were virtually unstylable back in the Internet Explorer 4 days.  Of course we've come a long way but there's one element which is still somewhat difficult to style and isn't particularly elegant:  SELECT.  The element looks different from OS to OS and sometimes even browser to browser -- not ideal.

I recently found an awesome jQuery plugin to make the SELECT element more presentable, elegant, and stylable:  Quick[select].  Quick[select] turns SELECT options into clickable buttons with a traditional SELECT as a fallback.

The CSS

Quick[select] comes with a base stylesheet but you can style the option "buttons" in any way you'd like, as you can see in my demo.  Here are my basic styles:

.btn-group .btn {
	border: 1px solid #ccc;
	background: #eee;
	padding: 4px;
	border-radius: 4px;
	margin: 0 10px 0 0;
	font-size: 14px;
	display: inline;

	transition: background .3s, border-color .3s;
}
.btn-group .btn.active {
	background: #7ac9ed;
	border-color: #0c7bb6;
}

Quick[select] also has a helper for bootstrapped-driven sites, if that's your stack.

The JavaScript

Using Quick[select] is easy:  add the plugin to the page and then use the jQuery plugin syntax to create instances for given SELECT elements:

jQuery('#wakeup-time').quickselect({
	activeButtonClass: 'btn-primary active',
	breakOutValues: ['06:30', '07:00', '07:30', '08:00'],
	buttonClass: 'btn btn-default',
	selectDefaultText: 'Other',
	wrapperClass: 'btn-group'
});

The most important option is breakOutValues which generates clickable buttons for popular choices (specified by you) within the SELECT element.  You'll also want to set a custom selectDefaultText value for when the button which triggers the full display of the options.

Quick[select] is the best SELECT alternative that I've seen in a long time.  This plugin allows for elegant, stylish, and usable SELECT elements.  Go check it out and do your users a favor!

Recent Features

  • By
    Create a CSS Flipping Animation

    CSS animations are a lot of fun; the beauty of them is that through many simple properties, you can create anything from an elegant fade in to a WTF-Pixar-would-be-proud effect. One CSS effect somewhere in between is the CSS flip effect, whereby there's...

  • By
    Create Namespaced Classes with MooTools

    MooTools has always gotten a bit of grief for not inherently using and standardizing namespaced-based JavaScript classes like the Dojo Toolkit does.  Many developers create their classes as globals which is generally frowned up.  I mostly disagree with that stance, but each to their own.  In any event...

Incredible Demos

  • By
    Web Notifications API

    Every UI framework has the same set of widgets which have become almost essential to modern sites: modals, tooltips, button varieties, and notifications.  One problem I find is each site having their own widget colors, styles, and more -- users don't get a consistent experience.  Apparently the...

  • By
    Create Spinning, Fading Icons with CSS3 and MooTools

    A goal of my latest blog redesign was to practice what I preached a bit more;  add a bit more subtle flair.  One of the ways I accomplished that was by using CSS3 animations to change the display of my profile icons (RSS, GitHub, etc.)  I...

Discussion

  1. Hi David. Thanks for highlighting my plugin!

  2. MaxArt

    This is a nice alternative way to display multiple options, but if a classic combo is needed I’d rely on the CSS appearance property, and fall back to the unstyled element for those browsers that don’t support it (hint: you can even use @supports in this case).

Wrap your code in <pre class="{language}"></pre> tags, link to a GitHub gist, JSFiddle fiddle, or CodePen pen to embed!