I'm using Matrix and one of my fields needs to be a Select Dropdown, but since it apparently isn't an option in Matrix I had to install P&T Dropdown. Is there a way to let users enter their own value if they would rather not select an item from the list? I'd like to know how to do this P&T Dropdown and Select Dropdown, if possible. If not, are there any other options?

Also, I suppose not all field types are "Matrix compatible" and that's why I don't see Select Dropdown as an option for cell type. Is that right? What makes a field type Matrix compatible?

2 Answers 2


The way I'd set this up is with an additional textarea field for the "other" content. Then you can write a conditional in the template to display that field data if it's not empty. To guide your editor, add instructions to the field column. If you want to get really detailed, you can write custom JS to hide the "other" field column until they select "other" in the dropdown.

Custom fields need to have code adjusted to be Matrix Compatible. Here are the docs for making those changes: http://pixelandtonic.com/matrix/docs/ee2-functions. It doesn't seem like EllisLab has made these changes to their default fields. Not sure why that is exactly since everyone uses Matrix on one project or another.

  • The problem with using a different field for the "other" content is that the content won't be stored in the same column in the database. I'm concerned that might raise some problems ... Commented Dec 14, 2012 at 23:30
  • Correct. The "other" data will be in its own Matrix column in the DB. What problems are you anticipating with this method? devot-ee.com is the place to search for addons that might do what you'd wanting... I don't know of one offhand.
    – Anna_MediaGirl
    Commented Dec 14, 2012 at 23:41
  • I'm not sure what problems might arise. Perhaps some sort of search function might not be as straightforward? Commented Dec 15, 2012 at 1:34
  • A keyword search will find the "other" content as long as the column is set to be searchable.
    – Anna_MediaGirl
    Commented Dec 15, 2012 at 1:38

I wonder if this add-on could be of use:


This add-on makes long, unwieldy select boxes much more user-friendly with Chosen plugin. It is also opens the option for the user to add new items into the list "on the fly". You can setup to save new options on field level (to be available for choosing in all entrees) or just once. Support Matrix-like fields, Low Variables, SafeCracker. And you can also populate list with custom SQL queries.

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