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Even if we have an organized dropdown list, if the list has a lot of options, it could be tedious for users to scroll through the entire list to locate one option. That’s where using the <datalist> element comes in handy.

The <datalist> is used with an <input type="text"> element. The <input> creates a text field that users can type into and filter options from the <datalist>. Let’s go over a concrete example:

<form> <label for="city">Ideal city to visit?</label> <input type="text" list="cities" id="city" name="city"> <datalist id="cities"> <option value="New York City"></option> <option value="Tokyo"></option> <option value="Barcelona"></option> <option value="Mexico City"></option> <option value="Melbourne"></option> <option value="Other"></option> </datalist> </form>

Notice, in the code above, we have an <input> that has a list attribute. The <input> is associated to the <datalist> via the <input>‘s list attribute and the id of the <datalist>.

From the code provided, the following form is rendered: input field with a label 'Ideal city to visit?'

And when field is selected: clicking on the input field reveals a dropdown 
list

While <select> and <datalist> share some similarities, there are some major differences. In the associated <input> element, users can type in the input field to search for a particular option. If none of the <option>s match, the user can still use what they typed in. When the form is submitted, the value of the <input>‘s name and the value of the option selected, or what the user typed in, is sent as a pair.

Now it’s time to make a <datalist> of our own!

Instructions

1.

Time to add some sauce! Users might get creative with what sauce they choose to put, so let’s use the <datalist> element.

In <section> element with a class of "sauce-selection", we already have the <label> and <input> set up. Add a <datalist> element with an id of "sauces".

2.

Inside the <datalist> element, add 3 <option>s.

  • The first <option> should have a value of "ketchup".
  • The second <option> should have a value of "mayo".
  • The third <option> can be a value that you choose and display text relevant to the value (make sure it’s not empty!)
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