Toggle non-consecutive checkboxes with jQuery UI

You’re all probably familiar with the UI convention of allowing users to select ALL or NONE for a list of checkboxes (like in Gmail). Recently I was working on a project that had a large table full of checkboxes (imagine a 10×10 grid) where the user would need to toggle some but not all of the checkboxes in a given row. And to make matters more complex, they would need to toggle groups of non-consecutive checkboxes (say 15, skip 10, 5, etc.). I threw on the thinking cap but couldn’t think of any similar interactions I’d seen and couldn’t think of a particularly good way to achieve this.

Enter jQuery UI. I happened to stumble across the jQuery UI Selectable documentation and realized it would provide a good UI experience to toggle some but not all of the checkboxes. The code to implement this is surprisingly simple:

Note: You don’t actually need the div container – that was just for JSFiddle.

And then the Javascript (jQuery + jQuery UI):

You can check out a live demo at

As always, questions and comments are welcome!