How to make a select with a lot of options?

When there are a lot of possible options it can be tricky to design a user friendly selection field.

Step 1 - Select Auto complete field

There several type of fields for selecting among a list of options:

  • Single/Multiple choice

  • Dropdown

  • Auto complete

The Auto complete is the most appropriate because there is not the problem of rendering a long list of proposed options. The field works as a filter: user enters at least two letters to trigger the display of the ten first items matching the entered text.

Step 2 - Prepare the options

The options will be defined in file. The file format is CSV (comma separated values, with file suffix .csv or .txt) or TSV (tab separated values, with file suffix .tsv). No header is expected. The first value if the option value (the data collected), the second one is the option label (can be a translation key for a multilanguage form).

Example of options file (CSV):

J0Y,Abitibi-Témiscamingue-Est (Radisson)
J0Z,Abitibi-Témiscamingue-Ouest (Guigues)
H2C,Ahuntsic Central
H2M,Ahuntsic East
H2B,Ahuntsic North
H2N,Ahuntsic Southeast
H3L,Ahuntsic Southwest
H0M,Akwesasne Region (Akwesasne)
G8E,Alma North
G8B,Alma Southeast
G8C,Alma Southwest
H1K,Anjou East
H1J,Anjou West
G0R,Appalaches (La Pocatière)

When the value and the label are the same, it is possible to provide a simple list:

Hôpital chinois de Montréal
Hôpital géneral juif
Hôpital Santa Cabrini
Hôpital Mont-Sinaï - Montréal
Hôpital de Lachine
Hôpital Richardson
Hôpital Marie-Clarac
Institut de réadaptation Gingras-Lindsay de Montréal
Hôpital neurologique de Montréal
Centre gériatrique Maimonides Donald Berman
Hôpital Sainte-Anne

Step 3 - Upload options

The Options setting proposes to Upload options: select the options file and the options values and labels will be automatically added.