Select all, select none, and invert selection with jQuery

A drawing of a cartoon man pointing upwards

Heads up! This post was written in 2007, so it may contain information that is no longer accurate. I keep posts like this around for historical purposes and to prevent link rot, so please keep this in mind as you're reading.

— Cory

A demonstration of selecting checkboxes using jQuery.We start off with a bunch of checkboxes:

<fieldset id="group_1">
  <input type="checkbox" name="numbers[]" value="0" />
  <input type="checkbox" name="numbers[]" value="1" />
  <input type="checkbox" name="numbers[]" value="2" />
  <input type="checkbox" name="numbers[]" value="3" />
  <input type="checkbox" name="numbers[]" value="4" />
  <input type="checkbox" name="numbers[]" value="5" />
  <input type="checkbox" name="numbers[]" value="6" />
  <input type="checkbox" name="numbers[]" value="7" />
  <input type="checkbox" name="numbers[]" value="8" />
  <input type="checkbox" name="numbers[]" value="9" />

Now, we add some links:

<a rel="group_1" href="#select_all">Select All</a>
<a rel="group_1" href="#select_none">Select None</a>
<a rel="group_1" href="#invert_selection">Invert Selection</a>

The rel attribute is equal to the ID of the containing element of the checkbox group. In this example the containing element is a fieldset, but it could be a DIV, P, UL, etc.

Now, we add behaviors using jQuery:

<script type="text/javascript">
  $(document).ready(function() {
    // Select all
    $("a[href='#select_all']").click(function() {
      $("#" + $(this).attr('rel') + " input[type='checkbox']").attr('checked', true);
      return false;

    // Select none
    $("a[href='#select_none']").click(function() {
      $("#" + $(this).attr('rel') + " input[type='checkbox']").attr('checked', false);
      return false;

    // Invert selection
    $("a[href='#invert_selection']").click(function() {
      $("#" + $(this).attr('rel') + " input[type='checkbox']").each(function() {
        $(this).attr('checked', !$(this).attr('checked'));
      return false;

To add the same functionality to another group of checkboxes, create more links and adjust the rel attribute accordingly:

<a rel="group_2" href="#select_all">Select All</a>
<a rel="group_2" href="#select_none">Select None</a>
<a rel="group_2" href="#invert_selection">Invert Selection</a>

<a rel="group_3" href="#select_all">Select All</a>
<a rel="group_3" href="#select_none">Select None</a>
<a rel="group_3" href="#invert_selection">Invert Selection</a>