AjaxDropDown allows to use dropdown menu to select one or more values in your form. Dropdown data is sent using the AJAX post method.

This widget is designed to be used with Bootstrap CSS although the option to switch it off is given (‘bootstrap’ => false). In case you don’t want to use Bootstrap make sure to set the proper event for the AJAX data collecting (‘triggerEvent’).

The widget was not tested with Yiistrap, YiiBooster or any other Yii Bootstrap 3rd party library.

How it works

The widget collects AJAX data and displays it as the list where every element can be clicked to select that value for the model attribute. The number of results per page is controlled by the source controller action. After first page the widget collects new page data only when the ‘next’ button is clicked and that target page has not been collected already. In any other case the data is present all the time and browsing through the already loaded pages takes no server time. The idea behind the input text field next to the dropdown button is to give the option to filter the source data before displaying it in the widget but there are no requirements for this so feel free to add any logic here you like.

How to install

Copy the AjaxDropDown folder to your /protected/extensions Yii folder. Then add the following inside your form view:

<?php $this->widget('ext.AjaxDropDown.AjaxDropDown', array(

  'model' => $model,

  'attribute' => 'attribute',

  'source' => $this->createUrl('controller/action'),

)); ?>

Where $model is your CModel object, ‘attribute’ is object’s attribute and data source URL is ‘controller/action’. This is just a basic widget configuration. You can find all the options described in the AjaxDropDown.php.

Full widget structure with possible options

<div id="[WIDGET_ID]" class="ajaxDropDownWidget {mainClass}" {style="{mainStyle}"}>

    <div class="ajaxDropDown {groupClass}" {style="{groupStyle}"}>

        <input type="text" name="ajaxDropDownInput" value="" class="{inputClass}" {style="{inputStyle}"}>

        <div class="{buttonsClass}" {style="{buttonsStyle}"}>

            {<button type="button" {extraButtonHtmlOptions}>{extraButtonLabel}</button>}

            <button data-page="[DATA_PAGE]" data-toggle="dropdown" type="button" class="ajaxDropDownToggle {buttonClass}" {style="{buttonStyle}"}>



            <ul role="menu" class="ajaxDropDownMenu {resultsClass}" {style="{resultsStyle}"}>

                <li class="dropdown-header {headerClass}" {style="{headerStyle}"}>


                        <span class="ajaxDropDownPageNumber">[CURRENT_PAGE_NUMBER]</span>/<span class="ajaxDropDownTotalPages">[TOTAL_PAGES_NUMBER]</span>



                <li class="divider"></li>

                <li class="ajaxDropDownLoading {loadingClass}" {style="{loadingStyle}"}>{progressBar}</li>

                <li class="dropdown-header {errorClass}" {style="{errorStyle}"}>{local.error}</li>

                <li class="dropdown-header {noRecordsClass}" {style="{noRecordsStyle}"}>{local.noRecords}</li>

                <li class="ajaxDropDownPages ajaxDropDownPage[PAGE_NUMBER] ajaxDropDownRecord[RECORD_ID] {recordClass}" {style="{recordStyle}"}>

                    <a data-id="[RECORD_ID]" class="ajaxDropDownResult" href="#">{markBegin}[RECORD_VALUE]{markEnd}</a>


                <li class="divider ajaxDropDownInfo"></li>

                <li class="ajaxDropDownInfo {switchClass}" {style="{switchStyle}"}>

                    <a class="ajaxDropDownPrev {previousClass}" {style="{previousStyle}"} href="#">



                    <a class="ajaxDropDownNext {nextClass}" {style="{nextStyle}"} href="#">







    <ul class="ajaxDropDownResults {selectedClass}" {style="{selectedStyle}"}>

        <li class="ajaxDropDownSelected[SELECTED_ID] {resultClass}" {style="{resultStyle}"}>

            <a class="ajaxDropDownRemove {removeClass}" {style="{removeStyle}"} href="#" data-id="[SELECTED_ID]">


            </a>{markBegin}[SELECTED_VALUE]{markEnd}<input type="hidden" value="[SELECTED_ID]" name="[ATTRIBUTE_NAME]">




Names in curly brackets are options and can be set as widget parameters. Names in square brackets are automatically set widget data.

AJAX data source

Below is the structure required by this widget:


    'data' => array(


            'id' => RECORD_ID,

            'mark' => RECORD_EMPHASIS,

            'value' => RECORD_VALUE




    'page' => CURRENT_PAGE_NUMBER,

    'total' => TOTAL_PAGES_NUMBER



RECORD_ID is the record identificator,

RECORD_EMPHASIS is the 0|1 flag wheter this record value should be surrounded with {markBegin} and {markEnd},

RECORD_VALUE is the record actual value,

CURRENT_PAGE_NUMBER is the actual page number (starting from 1),

TOTAL_PAGES_NUMBER is the number of all available pages.

This should be JSON encoded. You can find the example in the example_data_source.php.

Preselected and post-validate data

In case you want to display some records as already selected or simply just want to keep the selected data after validation you need to prepare the ‘data’ parameter which is the array almost identical to the source one.



        'id' => RECORD_ID,

        'mark' => RECORD_EMPHASIS,

        'value' => RECORD_VALUE




This time the array shouldn’t be encoded. Keep this structure even in case of single result.

You can find the form controller example in example_controller.php.

Links to the widget


AjaxDropDown is released with version 1.1 now with few additional options and fixes.

I appreciate all feedback ;)

I have just released Yii2 version of AjaxDropDown widget B)

You can find all the information at


As always let me know what you think, how can I improve this widget and if everything works fine.

Also Yii 1.1 version is now v1.1.2 release.

v1.2 released

New parameters:

  • delay integer Delay between last key pressed and dropdown list opened in milliseconds, default 300. This option works only for keyTrigger = true

  • keyTrigger boolean Wheter pressing the key in filter field should trigger the dropdown list to open, default true. This option works as intended only for bootstrap parameter set to true.

  • onRemove string JavaScript expression to be called when a result is removed from the list. Available js variables: id ID of the removed result, selection list of all selected results (after removing).

  • onSelect string JavaScript expression to be called when a result is selected from the list. Available js variables: id ID of the selected result, label label of the selected result, selection list of all selected results (after adding).

  • removeSingleClass string CSS class of the button removing the selection on singleMode in addition to ‘ajaxDropDownSingleRemove’. Bootstrap adds ‘btn dropdown-toggle btn-default’.

  • removeSingleLabel string HTML label of the button removing the selection on singleMode, default ‘x’. Bootstrap sets ‘<span class=“glyphicon glyphicon-remove text-danger”></span>’.

  • removeSingleStyle string Additional CSS style of the button removing the selection in singleMode, default ‘display:none;’

  • singleModeBottom boolean Wheter to display singleMode result underneath the widget, default false.

For singleMode without additionalCode default render option now is to replace value of the filter input field with the selected label (in ‘disabled’ mode) and replace the dropdown trigger button with ‘x’ button. It can be switched to previous way by setting singleModeBottom to true.

1.3 released for Yii 1.1 and Yii 2

  • Widget redesigned with new folder structure.

  • Rendered data moved from inline code to views.

  • New boolean parameter $jsEventsCallback for controlling the triggering callbacks in case of JS data manipulating.

  • New events added for JS: ‘add’ to add one or more selected results, ‘removeOne’ to remove one or more selected results and ‘removeAll’ to remove all results from AjaxDropDown field.