Help using jquery change event for drop down list

Posted on 2008-10-16
Last Modified: 2011-10-03

I am trying to use a drop down box on my page. When a user selects a category from the list, I want to perform a function (filtering a table). I know the code for my table and the function to filter it is correct - it's selecting an option and running the function that I can't get to work.

I'm currently using this exact same script on another page, only instead of using the .change event, I am using .click because the categories are displayed as links.  In this case, there are so many categories that I want them to be displayed as a drop down box instead, so I was pretty sure that I just needed to change the script to use the .change event, correct? I'm sure its something very simple, but I'm still new to javascript and jquery. Thanks for your help!

drop down box html:

<select id="categories">

	<option>Select a Category</option>

	<option id="showAccomodations">Accommodations/Lodging/Travel</option>

	<option id="showAccounting">Accounting/Bookkeeping/Tax Services</option>

	<option id="showAdvertising">Advertising/Promotions</option>

	<option id="showAgricultural">Agricultural Equipment/Sales/Repair</option>

	<option id="showAuto_Truck_Sales">Auto/Truck Sales</option>



<script type="text/javascript" src="">


<script type="text/javascript" charset="utf-8">

var filterCategory;

$(document).ready(function() {

filterCategory = $('#listings').dataTable( {

"iDefaultSortIndex": 0,

"sDefaultSortDirection": "asc",

"bPaginate": false,

"bLengthChange": false,

"bFilter": true,

"bInfo": false,

"bAutoWidth": false,

"aoData": [{ "sType": "html" },null,null]

} );



$('#showAccomodations').change(function () {

	filterCategory.fnFilter( 'Accomodations/Lodging/Travel' );


	} );

$('#showAccounting').change(function () {

	filterCategory.fnFilter( 'Accounting/Bookkeeping/Tax Services' );


	} );

$('#showAdvertising').change(function () {

	filterCategory.fnFilter( 'Advertising/Promotions' );


	} );

$('#showAgricultural').change(function () {

	filterCategory.fnFilter( 'Agricultural Equipment/Sales/Repair' );


	} );

$('#showAuto_Truck_Sales').change(function () {

	filterCategory.fnFilter( 'Auto/Truck Sales' );


	} );

} );


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Question by:holly_mbd
LVL 19

Accepted Solution

Albert Van Halen earned 400 total points
ID: 22734611
Rather than bind a change function to each of the options in selectbox, you better bind the change event to the selectbox itself.
You can use the val() method to check what the selected value is and thus filter your dataset and display the results accordingly.

Loose the id attribute for each option.
Specify an empty string to the first option in order to determine if the value is equal to ''.
Bind the change event to the selectbox.
<select id="categories">

        <option value="">Select a Category</option>


        <option>Accounting/Bookkeeping/Tax Services</option>


        <option>Agricultural Equipment/Sales/Repair</option>

        <option>Auto/Truck Sales</option>



$('#categories').change(function () {

        if($(this).val() != '') {



        } else


        } );

} );


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Author Closing Comment

ID: 31506771
Perfect! That's exactly what I needed and this is much simpler. I just wasn't quite understanding how the .change event worked...thanks for enlightening me!

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