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    Create Dynamic Select Boxes with Angular’s Reactive Forms

    Juri StrumpflohnerJuri Strumpflohner

    Select boxes (aka dropdown lists) are a bit different than normal text input boxes. We’re not just rendering a single value, but rather we have a list of values and according text representations which are presented to the user.

    In this lesson we extend our API object to also cope for such scenarios before we implement the dynamic rendering and databinding of our select box.



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    Instructor: So far, we have dynamically rendered different input fields. As you can see here, a number input type, and a normal text input type, but what about drop-down lists?

    Let's jump to our app component here where we have basically defined our API object that renders our form, and let's add another one. Let's call it city. Again, here we have to label city. Then, we have some value, which could be some predefined one. Let's say New York, so the short code for New York, and here let's define this as a select box.

    A select box basically consists of one value that finally gets stored in the final output or in the data model, but it usually has a series of fields where a user can choose from. We also have to account for that one, so we will add here an options property, which is an array, which in turn has different select possibilities for a user.

    Again, here we will have a label. Let's define here an empty one which will initially be displayed, if no value is actually chosen, and now, let's copy it for some values here. Great.

    We now have everything we need for rendering our select box. Let's jump into our component here in our dynamic form. Let's scroll down where we basically push the properties onto our template. Here we will need to pass along as well the options part, so let's call this options, and we read the options here.

    Let's scroll now up to our template, because here we have to do some more work. While the input type text and the input type number are only different by their type attribute here, the select box is quite different.

    It is rendered as a select, and inside there, we have a series of options. Let's have a look. For this purpose, we can use here an ngSwitch statement, and we will use the prop.type to distinguish between the different types.

    For each input field, we now define an ngSwitch case statement, and we distinguish by the type that enters here. For the text type as well as for the number type, we can simply copy the control, as the rendering is totally identical.

    Now, comes the interesting part where we basically use our select box here and we bind it to select. We also have to use the form control name and bind it to property.key.

    Now, we have to render our options field here. We use the NG4 and iterate over the option properties which you have just bound before, so prop.options. We can use the value binding here to automatically select a current value that might have been chosen already by the user on our data model. Finally, we need to render that proper label of our option.

    As you can see now, the select box, the drop-down list gets rendered directly. It also binds already the pre-selected value which we had in our data model, as you can see here.

    If I change this to LA, it will automatically bind to Los Angeles. Also, if I change inside here to Salt Lake City, it will correctly update the form value.