selected (HTML attribute)

Spec
Depr. Version
No HTML 2
Browser support (more…)
IE5.5+ FF1+ SA1.3+ OP9.2+ CH2+
Full Full Full Full Full

Syntax

selected="selected"

Description

The selected attribute is used to preselect an option in a select list, usually at page-load time (although you could use JavaScript to change the selected option dynamically, after page load).

You might use this attribute when an error is found in a user-submitted form, and you want the user to reenter data into a field in the redisplayed page. It would be irritating for the user to have to reselect selections that had previously been made from lists; the selected attribute takes care of that particular conundrum.

With a simple (one-line) drop-down list, you may only use a single selected attribute, but if the select is used as a list box using the multiple attribute, it is possible to have numerous options set as "selected".

Example

This selected attribute is used to choose the second option:
<form>
  <label for="favoritefood">Favorite food</label>
  <select name="favoritefood" id="favoritefood" disabled="disabled">
    <option>Cheese</option>
    <option selected="selected">Egg</option>
    <option>Cabbage</option>
    ⋮
  </select>
</form>

Value

The only possible value for this attribute is "selected".

Compatibility

Internet Explorer Firefox Safari Opera Chrome
5.5 6.0 7.0 8.0 1.0 1.5 2.0 3.0 3.5 1.3 2.0 3.1 4.0 9.2 9.5 10.0 2.0
Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full Full

It causes no compatibility issues, and has excellent support across all tested browsers.

User-contributed notes

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