Retrieving selections

There are two ways to programmatically access the current selection data: using .select2('data'), or by using a jQuery selector.

Using the data method

Calling select2('data') will return a JavaScript array of objects representing the current selection. Each object will contain all of the properties/values that were in the source data objects passed through processResults and templateResult callbacks.


Using a jQuery selector

Selected items can also be accessed via the :selected jQuery selector:


It is possible to extend the <option> elements representing the current selection(s) with HTML data-* attributes to contain arbitrary data from the source data objects:

  // ...
  templateSelection: function (data, container) {
    // Add custom attributes to the <option> tag for the selected option
    $(data.element).attr('data-custom-attribute', data.customValue);
    return data.text;

// Retrieve custom attribute value of the first selected element

Do not rely on the selected attribute of <option> elements to determine the currently selected item(s). Select2 does not add the selected attribute when an element is created from a remotely-sourced option. See this issue for more information.