.serialize()

.serialize() Returns: String

Description: Encode a set of form elements as a string for submission.

  • version added: 1.0.serialize()

The .serialize() method creates a text string in standard URL-encoded notation. It operates on a jQuery object representing a set of form elements. The form elements can be of several types:

<form>
  <div><input type="text" name="a" value="1" id="a" /></div>
  <div><input type="text" name="b" value="2" id="b" /></div>
  <div><input type="hidden" name="c" value="3" id="c" /></div>
  <div>
    <textarea name="d" rows="8" cols="40">4</textarea>
  </div>
  <div><select name="e">
    <option value="5" selected="selected">5</option>
    <option value="6">6</option>
    <option value="7">7</option>
  </select></div>
  <div>
    <input type="checkbox" name="f" value="8" id="f" />
  </div>
  <div>
    <input type="submit" name="g" value="Submit" id="g" />
  </div>
</form>

The .serialize() method can act on a jQuery object that has selected individual form elements, such as <input>, <textarea>, and <select>. However, it is typically easier to select the <form> tag itself for serialization:

$('form').submit(function() {
  alert($(this).serialize());
  return false;
});

This produces a standard-looking query string:

a=1&b=2&c=3&d=4&e=5

Note: Only "successful controls" are serialized to the string. No submit button value is serialized since the form was not submitted using a button. For a form element's value to be included in the serialized string, the element must have a name attribute. Data from file select elements is not serialized.

Example:

Serialize a form to a query string, that could be sent to a server in an Ajax request.

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html>
<head>
  <style>
  body, select { font-size:12px; }
  form { margin:5px; }
  p { color:red; margin:5px; font-size:14px; }
  b { color:blue; }
  </style>
  <script src="http://code.jquery.com/jquery-latest.js"></script>
</head>
<body>
	

<form>
    <select name="single">
      <option>Single</option>
      <option>Single2</option>
    </select>

<br />
    <select name="multiple" multiple="multiple">
      <option selected="selected">Multiple</option>
      <option>Multiple2</option>

      <option selected="selected">Multiple3</option>
    </select>
<br/>
    <input type="checkbox" name="check" value="check1" id="ch1"/>

    <label for="ch1">check1</label>

    <input type="checkbox" name="check" value="check2" checked="checked" id="ch2"/>

    <label for="ch2">check2</label>
<br />
    <input type="radio" name="radio" value="radio1" checked="checked" id="r1"/>

    <label for="r1">radio1</label>
    <input type="radio" name="radio" value="radio2" id="r2"/>

    <label for="r2">radio2</label>
  </form>
  <p><tt id="results"></tt></p>
<script>
    function showValues() {
      var str = $("form").serialize();
      $("#results").text(str);
    }
    $(":checkbox, :radio").click(showValues);
    $("select").change(showValues);
    showValues();
</script>
</body>
</html>

Demo: