I want to filter the options of a large select group based on text input in a textbox. I am currently using this code to filter from a SELECT group based on the text of a input box.

Can you please tell me whether there is a more efficient way of doing this? My SELECT group is very large with around 7000 entries, which is why I am looking for the most optimized way.

var fullcelllist = $();
var lastVal ="";

    $("#celllist option").each(function(){

$("#filtercell").keyup(function() {
    if(lastVal.length < $(this).val().length){
        $("#celllist option:not([value*='"+$(this).val().toUpperCase()+"'])").each(function() {
        stregexp = new RegExp($(this).val(),"i");
        temparr = $.grep(fullcelllist, function (value) {
        if(value.match(stregexp)) return value;
            return null;
        newopt = "";
            newopt += "<option value='"+temparr[i]+"'>"+temparr[i]+"</option>"; 
    lastVal = $(this).val();

<input type="text" id="filtercell">
<select id ="celllist" multiple="multiple">
// HERE all OPTIONS using PHP

2 Answers 2


Your jQuery could be somewhat more efficient if you minimize $(...) element look-ups by storing them as variables or chaining them.

Also, I think you will see some benefit to replacing some jQuery constructs with their pure JS alternatives ($.each -> for, etc..)

Check out this set of jsPerf tests from this StackOverflow answer.

var fullcelllist = $(),
    lastVal ="",
    $celllistOption = $("#celllist option");

// ...

$("#filtercell").keyup(function() {
    var $this = $(this),
        $thisVal = $this.val();

// ...
  • \$\begingroup\$ thanks .. i didn't know that reusing $(...) would hamper my performance! Good to know, I'll change accordingly. \$\endgroup\$
    – abdfahim
    Commented Jan 12, 2013 at 8:29

You can do something like this

var options = $("#celllist option"); // cache all your options right away

$("#filtercell").keyup(function () {
  var stregexp = new RegExp($(this).val(), "i"); // your regex
  $("#celllist").append(options); // append will add all missing options
  var x = $.grep(options, function (value) { // get all the options where value doesn't match
    return !value.value.match(stregexp)
  $(x).detach(); // detach them from dom



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