How to use Javascript to add options to the select menu


While learn the basics of HTML, we typically place all options for a select like this.

<label for="select-drink">Pick your favourite drink</label>
  <select class="form-control" id="input-menu">
       <option selected value="0">Choose...</option>
       <option selected value="1">Coca-Cola</option>
       <option selected value="2">Ice Tea</option>
       <option selected value="3">Sprite</option>
       <option selected value="4">Ginger Ale</option>

But in real life, we’ll probably want to have the select menu fed through Javascript. So how do we do that?

For simplicity’s sake, we have no external data coming in through a database, and we’ll simply retrieve the data from JS.

  1. We set up an array of data that can be displayed later.

const drinks = [{value: 1, name: "Coca-Cola"}, {value: 2, name: "Ice Tea"}, {value: 3, name: "Sprite"}, {value: 4, name: Ginger Ale}];

  1. We iterate through the array, and find a way to attach the array values to an appropriate DOM element.
drinks.forEach (function(drink) {
  1. We need to create a DOM element to hold each one of the array values. const option = document.createElement('option')

  2. For each element created, we can assign it the array object’s key-value pairs.

option.textContent = gives each option a name, and option.value = drink.value would pass the order of the options to the selected value = attribute field.

  1. We need to get the select DOM to a variable: const select = document.querySelector('#input-menu')

  2. This parent element needs to append the newly created element called option, one by one, to its menu of choices: select.appendChild(option).

In summary, in order to provide the HTML with a more dynamically determined list of data (in this case the select menu), the JS can do the following: create an array to hold the data. Then iterate through the data, create a new element object to display the data, assign the appropriate data properties (in this case, textContent and value fields for a select menu) to the array object key-value pairs. Then, we collect the parent element (in this case select), and append each child element to it.

drinks.forEach (function(drink) {
  const option = document.createElement('option');
  option.textContent =;
  option.value = drink.value;
  const select = document.querySelector('#input-menu');