18 Feb /Angular 1.x Dropdown Menus
(Removing The Blank Option)

Posted by Miguel Lozano

Over the past week I kept running into the issue of iterating over an array or an object in a <select> field with ng-repeat, only to find that I had a blank option as the first item in the dropdown.  After trying several strategies, I finally found one that worked.

Let’s say you want to iterate over the array ctrl.items in your <select> field.


(function() {
  'use strict';

  function SomeController() {

    var ctrl = this;

    // item array for dropdown
    ctrl.items = [
        select: 'data1',
        label: 'Option 1'
      }, {
        select: 'data2',
        label: 'Option 2'
      }, {
        select: 'data3',
        label: 'Option 3'


    .component('someComponent', {
      controller: SomeController,
      templateUrl: '/app/components/some.component.html',

Instead of using ng-repeat, this can be accomplished with ng-options.

ng-options Pattern Usage: select as label for value in array


<select name="selectName"
        ng-options="item.select as item.label for item in $ctrl.items">

  <!-- this option sets the dropdown placeholder -->
  <!-- value must be an empty string for this to work -->
  <option value="" selected="selected">Select an Item</option>

Where: select: value that will be submitted or bound to the model of the parent label: each <option> shown in dropdown list value: local variable for each array item or object property value being iterated over.

You can find more ng-options usage patterns in the AngularJS API Documentation