Drop Down / Not Listed = Enter Manual

Hello there,

I have a drop down list, which holds a massive list of places. If the user can not find their required place, they need to enter it manually. Could anyone suggest a solution to this problem.

Do I create a field ‘Not Listed’ within the drop down and when that is selected a new box appears and they enter it there? I’m guessing php & java for that.

Any suggestions would be great!



Very nice! I’m going to remember that.

Thanks eruna!

Top Google search worked perfectly!

Thank you for all the suggestions!


HTML 5 is finally adding the combo box which is what you need to achieve that (a combination of input field and select list).

The closest you can get for browsers that don’t support that HTML 5 construct is to build it using an input field and a list with JavaScript to control the display of the list and to copy the selected list entry into the input field. See http://javascript.about.com/library/blcombo.htm for a JavaScript version that does it this way.

The HTML 5 equivalent of the example on that page would be coded as:

<input type="text" list="state">
<datalist id="state">
<option value="act">
<option value="nsw">
<option value="nt">
<option value="qld">
<option value="sa">
<option value="tas">
<option value="vic">
<option value="wa">

You could have a field labeled other that people can enter.
To make this a little fancier, the other field could appear only if a “not listed” value is selcted in the drop down. That would be done with Javascript.

Let them start typing, then use Ajax to suggest a match.

If there is no match then they carry on typing.

Look for “autocomplete ajax php”