How to Get Selected Value from Dropdown in Javascript

In this tutorial, you will learn how to get selected value from dropdown in javascript. A dropdown list contains a bunch of options and based on the selected option, we can execute a certain piece of code.  This can only happen efficiently if you know the right way to do it.

A good example can be a dropdown list that contains options like Animals, Books, and Movies.  Based on the user selection, we will display a list of animals, books, or movies.  The first step would be to get the value of the selected option and make a request to the server.  The server will then return the data and we will display it to the user.

In the following example, we have a dropdown list with a bunch of options.  We will select a random option from the list and display its value on the screen.  Please have a look over the code example and the steps given below.

HTML & CSS

  • We have a few elements in the HTML file and that includes div, select, option, h2, and h3.
  • The div element with a style attribute is just a wrapper for the rest of the elements.
  • The select element has 5 options. The first option with text “Select” is default with hidden and disabled attributes.
  • The inner text for the h2 element is “Result”.
  • We have also included our javascript file script.js with a script tag at the bottom.
<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">

<head>
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
    <meta http-equiv="X-UA-Compatible" content="ie=edge">
    <title>Document</title>
</head>

<body>

    <div class="container" style="text-align: center;">
        <h3>Select Programming Language</h3>
        <select>
            <option disabled hidden selected>Select</option>
            <option value="javascript">Javascript</option>
            <option value="angular">Angular</option>
            <option value="xyz">React</option>
            <option value="csharp">C#</option>
        </select>
        <h2>Result</h2>
    </div>

    <script src="script.js"></script>
</body>

</html>

Javascript

  • We have selected select element and h2 element using document.querySelector() and stored them in selection and result variables respectively.
  • We have attached a change event listener to the select element.
  • In the event handler function, we are using selectedIndex property to get the index of the currently selected option.
  • The selection.options returns an array. In an array, we can get an item by using its index. We are using the value returned by selectedIndex here and getting the value of the selected option.
  • The selected option value will be displayed in the h1 element using the innerText property.
let selection = document.querySelector('select');
let result = document.querySelector('h2');

selection.addEventListener('change', () => {
    result.innerText = selection.options[selection.selectedIndex].value;
    console.log(selection.selectedIndex);
});
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