how to get html select to show selected value with javascript

I have a select dropdownlist with 1 item selected at page load in html.

<select name = "options">
  <option value = "1">Item1</option>
  <option value = "2" selected>Item2</option>
  <option value = "3">Item3</option>
  <option value = "4">Item4</option>

Now I want to capture new select option when user press shift and select another option such as "Item 3".

I have the following code to find all the selections in the list

 var value = "";
 for (var intLoop = 0; intLoop < Form.elements[index].length; intLoop++) {

     if(Form.elements[index][intLoop].selected )
             value = value + Form.elements[index][intLoop].value;

I can see the "Item 2" and "Item 3" are selected but i want to get capture "Item 3" only. Is it possible?


Here's code that will tell you what has been selected and what has been deselected

It uses Array.prototype.indexOf, and it's not the fastest way to do it. But it should get you going in the right direction.


<select id="options" multiple="multiple">
  <option value = "1">Item1</option>
  <option value = "2" selected>Item2</option>
  <option value = "3">Item3</option>
  <option value = "4">Item4</option>


function getSelectedIndexes(select) {
   var selected = [];
   for (var i = 0; i  < select.options.length; i++) {
       if(select.options[i].selected ) {
   return selected;

var select = document.getElementById("options");
var prevSelected = getSelectedIndexes(select);

select.onchange = function(e) {
    var currentlySelected = getSelectedIndexes(this);

    for (var i =0; i < currentlySelected.length; i++) {
        if (prevSelected.indexOf(currentlySelected[i]) == -1) {
            console.log("Added to selection ", this.options[currentlySelected[i]].text);

    for (var i =0; i < prevSelected.length; i++) {
        if (currentlySelected.indexOf(prevSelected[i]) == -1) {
            console.log("Removed from selection  ", this.options[prevSelected[i]].text);
    prevSelected = currentlySelected;

If you really only want to know which item was last clicked, you can use the following code. I'll use jQuery so I can easily set a handler on all the option objects. Remember this won't work if you change the selection with the keyboard

        var parentNode = this.parentNode;
        for (var i=0; i < this.parentNode.options.length; i++) {
            if (parentNode.options[i] == this) {
              console.log('Clicked item with index', i);

You could check the value of the selected options before a change event (e.g. item 1 and 2 are selected) and then again after the event (e.g. item 1, 2 and 3 are selected), and compare the difference.

Here is an example.

Fiddle here:

I modified your select to allow multiple selections since I take it that's the crux of the problem.


<form id="my-form">
    <select name = "options" id="options" multiple>
      <option value = "val1">Item1</option>
      <option value = "val2">Item2</option>
      <option value = "val3">Item3</option>
      <option value = "val4">Item4</option>


var oldValue = "";
document.getElementById('options').onchange = function() {
    var myForm = document.getElementById ('my-form');
    var value = "";
    for (var intLoop = 0; intLoop < myForm.elements[0].length; intLoop++) {
        if(myForm.elements[0][intLoop].selected) {
            value = value + myForm.elements[0][intLoop].value;
    for (var intLoop = 0; intLoop < myForm.elements[0].length; intLoop++) {
        var optionVal = myForm.elements[0][intLoop].value;
        if(myForm.elements[0][intLoop].selected && value.indexOf(optionVal) !== -1  && oldValue.indexOf(optionVal) === -1) {
            console.log('Last clicked was ' + myForm.elements[0][intLoop].value)
    oldValue = value;

EDIT: I just noticed that my example works when the user makes command/ctrl selections, but if they make a shift selection then ALL the new values will be counted as the 'last clicked item'. So my code would need some work to account for this scenario. I'm out of time, but hopefully my code is useful in its current state nevertheless!

It started looking messy so I'm posting it as an answer:

<script type="text/javascript">
var value = '0';

document.getElementById('options').onchange = function() {
    value = parseInt(value) + parseInt(this.value);
    <select name="options" id="options">
    <option value = "1">Item1</option>
      <option value = "2" selected>Item2</option>
      <option value = "4">Item3</option>
      <option value = "8">Item4</option>

Edition for selecting multiple items: well, if you want to accumulate items you can assign binary IDs to each product and then you can extract all the selected products from the total. for example, if the total is: 7 you can easily translate it to a binary string "111" which means they selected items 1,2,4. Sounds a bit crazy, I know, just an idea ;)

Try this :

var e = document.getElementById("ID_of_Select_Element");
var _selectedValue= e.options[e.selectedIndex].value;

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