jQuery Bootstrap-style Dropdowns


A really awesome framework called Bootstrap was recently released by a couple of guys at Twitter. You probably already heard of it by now. And you probably already fell in love with it.

One of my favorite Boostrap plugins is dropdowns, but I had a bit of difficulty getting started with them. The docs say you can apply a dropdown to nearly any element, but they really seem to work best with Bootstrap’s navbar, tab, and pill components. Since I was retrofitting an app that was around long before Bootstrap, this wasn’t going to work for me. That and I was hoping to get a scrollable dropdown (with tips!) and a few other features out of the deal. Thus, this plugin was born.

While the appearance of these dropdowns is almost identical to those of Bootstrap’s, it’s important to note that JavaScript for this plugin was developed entirely from scratch. Some CSS was borrowed, however, especially for generating those gorgeous tips.

Wanna see what they look like? Try it! Wanna contribute to this project? It’s on GitHub


1. Start by including the necessary files into your app:

<link type="text/css" rel="stylesheet" href="jquery.dropdown.css" />
<script type="text/javascript" src="jquery.dropdown.js"></script>

2. Create a dropdown by placing a div with a unique id and the dropdown class immediately before your closing body tag.

For dropdown menus, the div should contain a ul with the dropdown-menu class:

<div id="dropdown-1" class="dropdown dropdown-tip">
    <ul class="dropdown-menu">
        <li><a href="#1">Item 1</a></li>
        <li><a href="#2">Item 2</a></li>
        <li><a href="#3">Item 3</a></li>
        <li class="dropdown-divider"></li>
        <li><a href="#4">Item 4</a></li>
        <li><a href="#5">Item 5</a></li>
        <li><a href="#5">Item 6</a></li>

For dropdown panels, the div should contain a div with the dropdown-panel class:

<div id="dropdown-1" class="dropdown dropdown-tip">
    <div class="dropdown-panel">
    	You can put whatever HTML you want in a panel!

3. Add the data-dropdown attribute to any HTML element, using the id of the dropdown as the value. That’s all you have to do–you don’t even have to initialize it! The plugin also works on dynamically generated triggers.

<a href="#" data-dropdown="#dropdown-1">dropdown</a>


Dropdowns can be attached to any element that you want:

Here’s a link and here’s a button and here’s a span


Now let’s see a really long dropdown that will scroll: Example

Form Controls

You can add form controls to your dropdowns: Example

With Icons

You can use CSS to add icons to your dropdowns: Example


Dropdowns can have regular HTML, too. Example

Special Classes


You probably won’t need these, but they’re there just in case:

Example usage: $('#trigger').dropdown('method', [value]);


You can attach events to each dropdown:

Example usage:

$('#dropdown-id').on('show', function(event, dropdownData) {
}).on('hide', function(event, dropdownData) {