Free cookie consent management tool by TermsFeed Dropdown Component (a!dropdownField)
Dropdown Component


a!dropdownField( label, labelPosition, instructions, required, disabled, choiceLabels, choiceValues, placeholder, value, validations, saveInto, validationGroup, requiredMessage, helpTooltip, accessibilityText, showWhen, searchDisplay, data, sort )

Displays a list of choices for the user to select one item and saves a value based on the selected choice.

If the user may select none, one, or many of the choices, use either the checkbox component or a multiple dropdown component.

If there aren't many choices and users would benefit from easily seeing them all at once, consider using radio buttons.


Name Keyword Types Description




Text to display as the field label.

Label Position



Determines where the label appears. Valid values:

  • "ABOVE" (default) Displays the label above the component.
  • "ADJACENT" Displays the label to the left of the component.
  • "JUSTIFIED" Aligns the label alongside the component starting at the edge of the page.
  • "COLLAPSED" Hides the label. The label will still be read by screen readers; see accessibility considerations for more information.




Supplemental text about this field.




Determines if a value is required to submit the form. Default: false.




Determines if the field should display as potentially editable but grayed out. Default: false.

Choice Labels


List of Variant

Array of options for the user to select. When the data source is a record type, this is a record field or related record field.

Choice Values


List of Variant

Array of values associated with the corresponding choices. When the data source is a record type, this is a record field (usually the primary key field).




Text to display when nothing is selected and the value is null.

Selected Value


Any Type

Value of the choice to display as selected.



List of Text String

Validation errors to display below the field when the value is not null.

Save Selection To


List of Save

One or more variables that are updated with the choice value when the user changes the selection. Use a!save() to save a modified or alternative value to a variable.

Validation Group



When present, the requiredness of the field is only evaluated when a button in the same validation group is pressed. The value for this parameter cannot contain spaces. For example, “validation group” is not a valid value. You need to add an underscore between words: “validation_group”. See the following recipes for more information:

Required Message



Custom message to display when the field's value is required and not provided.

Help Tooltip



Displays a help icon with the specified text as a tooltip. The tooltip displays a maximum of 500 characters. The help icon does not show when the label position is "COLLAPSED".

Accessibility Text



Additional text to be announced by screen readers. Used only for accessibility; produces no visible change.




Determines whether the component is displayed on the interface. When set to false, the component is hidden and is not evaluated. Default: true.

Search Display



Determines when a search box displays above the options. Valid values: "AUTO" (default), "ON", "OFF". When set to "AUTO", the search box displays if there are more than 11 options.




The record type used as the source of the component's choices. This can be specified with a record type reference or a!recordData().



List of SortInfo

Array of Sort Info configurations created with a!sortInfo().

Usage considerations

Using the placeholder parameter

  • To allow users on web to clear the selected value, text must be specified for the placeholder parameter. Users can always clear the value on the Appian for Mobile application.
  • Passing a null value to the dropdown's Selected Value parameter causes the placeholder text to appear selected. The Placeholder and Selected Value parameter cannot both be null.

Using the choiceLabels and choiceValues parameters

When you select a record type in design mode, the Choice Labels and Choice Values are automatically populated with record field references. By default, the labels will be the first text field from the record type, and the values will be the primary key field.

If you select the Other option, you need to configure these parameters manually. As you configure them, keep the following points in mind:

  • Choices display in the order defined in the Choice Labels.
  • The Choice Labels cannot be null.
  • Choice Values cannot contain nulls or duplicate values.
  • The Choice Labels list and Choice Values list must be the same length.

These rules also apply when using data from a record type, except that choice order is determined by any sorting applied in the Sort section. If no sorting rules are configured, the choices are displayed in ascending order of the Choice Values field.

  • If you are trying to decide whether to use a dropdown with search or a picker component, keep in mind that the dropdown search runs client-side and the performance cost of loading options happens on initial load whereas the picker search runs server-side and the performance cost of loading options happens while the user is searching. For small sets of options, we recommend using the dropdown component.


To experiment with examples, copy and paste the expression into an interface object.

Since the searchDisplay parameter is set to AUTO and the number of choiceValues is less than 12, no search box will be displayed.

Use the interactive editor below to test out your code:

Since the searchDisplay parameter is set to AUTO and the number of choiceValues is more than 11, a search box will be displayed.

Use the interactive editor below to test out your code:

Since the searchDisplay parameter is set to ON, even though the number of choiceValues is less than 12, a search box will be displayed.

Use the interactive editor below to test out your code:

In this example, the component's choices are retrieved from a reference record type that contains the full names and abbreviations of US states. choiceLabels uses the name field and the corresponding choiceValues are set using the record type's primary key field, id.

  data: recordType!AT State,
  choiceLabels: recordType!AT,
  choiceValues: recordType!AT,
  label: "State",
  placeholder: "Select a state",
  value: ri!record[recordType!AT Customer.relationships.address.fields.stateId],
  saveInto: ri!record[recordType!AT Customer.relationships.address.fields.stateId],

Feature compatibility

The table below lists this SAIL component's compatibility with various features in Appian.
Feature Compatibility Note
Portals Compatible
Offline Mobile Compatible
Sync-Time Custom Record Fields Incompatible
Real-Time Custom Record Fields Incompatible

Custom record fields that evaluate in real time must be configured using one or more Custom Field functions.

Process Reports Incompatible

Cannot be used to configure a process report.

Process Events Incompatible

Cannot be used to configure a process event node, such as a start event or timer event.

Old versions

There are older versions of this interface component. You can identify older versions by looking at the name to see if there is a version suffix. If you are using an old version, be sure to refer to the corresponding documentation from the list below.

Old Versions Reason for Update

Added an optional search box and renamed the placeholderLabel parameter to placeholder.'

To learn more about how Appian handles this kind of versioning, see the Function and Component Versions page.

The following patterns include usage of the Dropdown Component.

Dropdown Component