Select lists and PHP

Select lists, which are created in HTML code, can be useful when a user needs to select one or more items from a list of different items. This tutorial explains how to add a select list to a form in a web page using some simple HTML code and then how to use PHP code to use the submitted data from the form.

You can watch the video below or scroll down to see the sample code.

Sample PHP code

There are two files used in this tutorial: form.php which creates a select list and collects the user input, and action_handler.php which uses and processes the submitted data.

Here is the code for the form.php file:

  <title>My form</title>

  <form action="action_handler.php" method="POST">
    <p>Which countries would you like to visit?</p>
    <select multiple name="countries[]" style="width:100px;">
      <option value="France">France</option>
      <option value="Brazil">Brazil</option>
      <option value="India">India</option>
      <option value="Japan">Japan</option>
    <p><input type="submit" value="Submit"></p>

Here is the code for the action_handler.php file:

    $countries = $_POST['countries'];
    echo "You selected the following countries:<br/>";
    foreach($countries as $key => $value){
      echo "$value<br/>";
    echo "You must select at least one country.";