The miscellaneous ramblings and thoughts of Dan G. Switzer, II

My jQuery Autocomplete Mod

On a recent project I was working on, I needed an "autocomplete" form field that could do both local data array and AJAX lookups. After doing some searching, I came across Dylan Verheul's jQuery Autcomplete plug-in.

This plug-in did a lot of what I needed, but was still missing some of the functionality I required. So, I just modified the library so it worked the way I needed it to. Here's a list of the changes/enhancements I made:

  • Supports local data array (can now use w/out AJAX).
  • Limit dropdown to XX number of results (good for limiting the results to users)
  • Autofill pre-populates text box as you type
  • New findValue() method can be used to programmatically determine if the value in the box is a valid option. (Useful for verifying the text entered is an existing value option.)
  • Dropdown options now correctly re-position themselves on each display (which means they adjust for changing to the DOM)
  • Dropdown box defaults to the width of the input field its attached to (you can manually specify a larger width as well)
  • Better emulates Windows autocomplete boxes (for example: hitting delete and retyping the same box will now bring back the dropdown menu)
  • Miscellaneous bug fixes