Product Support

Chosen Selector

Adds a "Chosen" Selector with an enhanced UI and auto-suggest

Product Setup

This plugin adds 4 new form element types for you to choose in Participants Database when configuring your fields on the Manage Database Fields page.

  • Chosen Dropdown – Single-select control with search and improved UI
  • Chosen Multi Dropdown – Multiple-Select control with search and tag UI
  • Chosen Dropdown/Other – Single Selector control with the ability to add a new item
  • Chosen Multi Dropdown/Other – Multiple-Select control the allows new items to be added

How to Use the Plugin

Once the plugin is activated all you need to do is select one of the new form element types in your field definition. The user messaging and other UI features may be configured in the plugin settings, in the Participants Database admin menu cluster.

Populating the Dropdown from the Database

Here is a tutorial on how to populate the Chosen Dropdown with options from the database–or any other source: Pre-load a “Chosen” Dropdown with Options from the Database

Product Settings

Selection Prompt

Message shown in the control before a selection is made.

Multi-Selection Prompt

Message shown in a multi-select control before a selection is made.

No Results Message

Message shown when using the search field and no matching selections are found.

Add Other Value Text

When “other” values are allowed, the message that is shown if the user has typed in something that doesn’t match any of the selections, suggesting that they can save it.

Disable Search Threshold

The number of items needed in a dropdown in order for the search function to be active. This is to prevent the search control from appearing when there are only a few items to select from. Has no effect on “other” form elements because the search input is where the use may type in a new value.


How do I create groups of options?

This is done in the “values” field of the field definition. A group of options is called an “optgroup” and you can define optgroups with a title like this:


So for example, here is a list of options that have been divided into two groups:

Activity::optgroup, Sports::sports, Outdoors::outdoors, Yoga::yoga, Hobbies::optgroup, Photography::photography, Art/Crafts::crafts, Music::music, Cuisine::cuisine

That will display in the Chosen Dropdown like this:

Can the Chosen Dropdown have an "other" option?

Yes, it’s very simple to set up. In the field definition, choose “Chosen Dropdown/Other” or “Chosen Multi Dropdown/Other” depending if you want them to choose only one or let them choose several options. That gives the user the ability to type their option in and select it. It looks like this:

When using a multiselect, I can't remove the last item, it keeps coming back.

With the Chosen Multiselect Dropdown, you must define a “none” option in order to be able to clear the value. You only need to do this is you need to give your users a way to clear out all the values in a multiselect.

We do this by adding a “null_select” to the list of options, like in this example:


That will provide a “None” option that saves an empty value, in other words, if the user selects only “None” in the selector, any value that was stored for the field will be blanked out. This is of course not true if they choose other selections along with the “None.”

The word “None” can be anything you want. The “null_select” part tells the plugin that the field is meant to have a blank value.

Support Discussions for Chosen Selector

  • I have a lineup problem related to those fields that have a help comment. I put that under all the Chosen/dropdown fields and a radio button field. In all cases, the menu gets moved up a line, so it looks like it’s part of the field above. btw, I’ve reverted to the default record program.

    • Its hard for me to help you here, it would require specific knowledge of what’s going on on the page and what you want it to look like. Problems like this can usually be solved with some additional CSS, but I can’t be more specific than that.

  • Hi Roland,

    I have a pretty basic setup question, but trying to figure out how to use this add-on. I added a new field that’s called “county_name” and is the Chosen Dropdown form element. I populated the “Options” field with two test values for now “Dekalb, Clarke”. I’m now trying to incorporate this new “county_name” field into my pdb_list shorcode like this:

    [pdb_list search= "true" search_fields="county_name" fields="dropbox_location, dropbox_location_address, dropbox_notes" suppress="true" filter= "dropbox_location!" template=default]

    The search term for “clarke” is working, but I’m not getting any dropdown effect. I feel like I’m missing a step? Do I need to create the dropdown using a different code other the pdb_list shortcode? Here’s the website I’m testing:


    • Hi Roland,

      I’m realizing that the Chosen add-on is probably not what I want to add drop-down functionality to my shortcode right? I found the document, but I don’t feel comfortable editing the template.

      When the combo/multisearch add-on let me add drop down or autosuggest functionality to pdb_list short code without having to customize the template?


      • As in my previous response, you’ll need the Combo Multisearch add-on for this. You won’t need a custom template with that add-on.

    • The Chosen Selector add-on does not place a Chosen selector on the search field. It is only for interacting with records.

      If you need to use the features of the Chosen selector in your search interface, you need to use the Combo Multisearch add-on, which will give you that functionality.

  • Hi Roland, I have a number of fields with quite some options. Customers must have the ability to select more than one option. So, I have to use a multiselect dropdown element. From a page lay out perspective my preference is the chosen version of this multiselect dropdown element, the chosen multidropdown (/other). This element works fine with the admin “add participant”, it works also fine with the multi/combo search. It does not work with a default signup template. It keeps on showing the normal multiselect dropdown. Same with the bootstrap version of the signup template. When I use the single select chosen dropdown (other) then everything is fine. My questions:
    1) What am I doing wrong? Is this behaviour normal?
    2) the admin form for adding a participant is perfect for my customers as well. It only needs to exclude the internal groups. Is there a way to turn that form into a frontend template?


    • This indicates there is some kind of javascript conflict on that page. I’ve tested using this form element in a signup form, no problems, so there is something specific on that page that is causing a problem. One way to see what the issue might be is to open the Developer Tools console and observe what comes in when the page is loaded.

      For your second question, the [pdb_record] shortcode shows an editable form, and won’t include the internal (or administrative) fields. You need a special link (the “private link”) to use that shortcode. This link is typically generated by the plugin and emailed to the user when they complete the signup form. It can also be seen in the admin Participant List display in the “Private ID” column.

      • Thanks Roland.

        Both consoles on Chrome and Firefox do not indicate a javascript conflict related to this plugin. They do indicate a javasript error related to Elementor. I’m not yet sure whether that influnces the Chosen plugin. The strange thing is (in my simple view) that the two Single Chosen selectors work fine and both multiple Chosen selectors behave differently. I’ll continue searching for the error. I’ll keep you informed when I found something.

        • Any javascript error can halt all javascript execution (depends on the context) so you’re not necessarily looking for something directly related to the plugin. What you’re describing sounds like a fatal error that is preventing the Chosen code from initializing. Keep me posted on what you find, I’ll look into it if there is a bug to be fixed on my end.

        • Thanks Roland, problem solved. No problem at your end. When I switched off the elementor header the page did what it had to do.

          At this moment, I’m repairing the header.
          In the header I use a modified version of the template pdb_search template=multisearch . It looks like I made coding mistake which I haven’t found yet. It works fine with your template.
          Since customers have to do a multisearch on 6 fields and I have to place each individual search-field on the right spot in the header I had to break down the loop in your template I think I will be getting there in the coming days.

          Thanks again,
          Have a nice day,

  • Hi,
    It’s not the number of pixels which is custom to my site. But how do I position the drop down? Chosen has only option to set the width.

  • Hi,
    I am trying to use the Chosen single selector in a It works but how do I position this? Like top, left..etc properties?
    I tried changing the chosen.css .chosen-container but on the file it says not to edit.

    • You have to use your own stylesheet to override the built-in stylesheet. Don’t try to edit the plugin code, you will lose your changes when the plugin is updated.

      • Hi Roland,
        I tried to use a different style sheet to set Top property.
        But nothing happens. The drop down sits at the top of the page.

        drop down

        top: 500px;

        • I’m sorry, I can’t tell you what rules to use, it will depend on the exact setup of your site, it will be up to you to figure this out.

  • I am using this plug-in Add on to store a growing list of tags to a directory of contacts. I can use the Chosen Multiselect / Other field definition, but I would like to be able to store the tag a user adds when selecting ‘other’ so the next user would have that tag available to them when they are adding tags to a contact. What would be required to make this happen?

    • Possible, but a bit complex. You’ll certainly need some php/WordPress dev skills to get this done. You would set up an action handler on pdb-after_submit_update (and/or pdb-after_submit_signup) so you can capture the user input. In the action handler, you would then load the field definition and if the user’s term is a new one, update the field definition with the new term. I can provide more details if you need.

  • I’m not sure why get_value seems to work great for several of my field types but for this particular one it just says “Array”

    Here’s my code….

    echo $record->get_value(‘title’);
    • If you’re getting “Array” that means the data for that field is stored as an array of values. This is true for multiselect fields and also “link” fields. IF the field is none of those, you need to check your database directly to see if you’ve got array data in the values for that field for some reason. This can happen if the field type was changed after data was already placed in the field.

  • Hi Roland. I’m trying to get the Chosen Multi Dropdown to be read-only by the user so that only an admin can add it to on their end. I’ve selected Read Only, removed it from sign up, and it’s not required, but still the user is able to edit the drop down after they register. Is this a bug or am I doing something wrong?

    Thank you.

    • It looks like the readonly setting isn’t working for Chosen elements. I’ll need to issue an update to fix this.

      • Roland, thank you for the fix I saw in the update. I’m seeing a new problem that must be from the update. The chosen drop down field values are printing with a span wrap now as I believe they once did not…
        My code:


        prints this:

        Student Worker

        This poses a few problems for my header.

        • Dang code backtick didn’t work…

          It prints this:
          Student Worker, Web and Information Designer

        • Also, if the chosen drop-down is read only it seems to disable to search function entirely on the combo multi-search front-end… All it shows is a disabled “Any” text.

          Sorry for my way too many posts today.

        • Yes, I added a span tag to that, for situations where the chosen dropdown value needs to be treated as a special case. This wouldn’t affect the layout unless you had CSS that targeted it. You may need to make sure you don’t have CSS rules that are too general and are affecting some elements unintentionally.

        • The span class wrap is fine except for if I want to include the value in the html header for SEO. I’m using job titles for this so I was displaying their name and job title respectively. I tried stripping the tags with PHP but no luck so far.

        • If you use the $record->get_value method, the value is not wrapped in a tag.

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