Better Time Drop Downs for Ranges: J Query Time Autocomplete

Jordan Boesch

By Jordan Boesch

What is this?

It’s a time picker similar to how Google Calendar’s time picker works for events. It’s meant to be smart, sexy and intuitive.

Some things that make is super duper fantastic:

  • Start time defaults to users current time (within your set increment).
  • Tabbing out of the field without selecting a time will cause it to make an educated guess. Try typing a badly formatted time like 115 or 1 or 1pm or 28 then tabbing out.
  • If the end time is less than the start time, evaluate it to the opposite am/pm of the start time. Example: 7:00AM – 5… 5 will default to PM.
  • Fetch time in H:i:s format (13:30:00) for comparing/validating. Done so by calling $(input).data(‘timeAutocomplete’).getTime()
  • Uses placeholder attribute if detected, if not, it uses our own placeholder text.
  • Oh, and it’s tested ? – see tests/index.html to run tests

Basic usage

<code class="language-javascript">$('#basic-example').timeAutocomplete();

Advanced usage #1

Injecting an existing value and using 24hr as the formatter.

<code class="language-javascript">$('#from-24hr').timeAutocomplete({
    formatter: '24hr',
    value: '07:00:00'

    formatter: '24hr',
    value: '09:30:00'

From To

Advanced usage #2

Using a ‘from’ and ‘to’ input. We use a ‘from_selector’ argument in the set of options on the ‘to’ field. This makes the time autocomplete aware of the time in the other
field. If the ‘from’ field is ‘8:00 AM’ and we start typing into the ‘to’ field with ‘4’, it will show us a list of 4 ‘PM’ instead of 4 ‘AM’ options.

<code class="language-javascript">$('#from-ampm').timeAutocomplete({
    increment: 5,
    value: '08:00:00'

    increment: 5,
    from_selector: '#from-ampm',
    value: '17:30:00' // likely populated from your database.

From To

Advanced usage #3

<code class="language-javascript">$('#from-french').timeAutocomplete({
    formatter: 'french'

    formatter: 'french',
    value: '17:00:00'

From To

Initialization options

Below is a set of options you can pass when you call $(‘#my-input’).timeAutocomplete(options);

<code class="language-javascript">options = {

Option keyDefault valuePossible valuesDescription
[]()auto_complete{ delay: 0, autoFocus: true, minLength: 0 } (object)[View here]( options to over-ride jQuery UI autocomplete plugin.
[]()formatterampm (string)ampm | 24hr | frenchThe formatter we want to use
[]()value” (string)’13:30:00′Allows you to pass in a 24hr (H:i:s) time to be formatted and displayed in the field. It’s the same as calling $(‘#from’).data(‘timeAutocomplete’).setTime(’13:30:00′);
[]()from_selector” (string)#fromYou’ll want to use this option on the #to element if you’re using the ‘ampm’ formatter. It applies a level of “smartness” when dealing with both from/to inputs. If your #from input is 8:00 AM then the user types in “5” into the #to input, it will give them possible increments in PM.
[]()increment15 (int)5, 10, 15, 30, 60 The increment you want the time dropdown to appear in. A 15 minute increment would produce: [‘7:15 AM’, ‘7:30 AM’, ‘7:45 AM’].
[]()start_hour0 (int)Any number on or between 0 and 24What hour you want start the selectable time list to start at.
[]()end_hour24 (int)Any number on or between 0 and 24What hour you want the end of the selectable time list to end at.
[]()auto_valuetruetrue | falseIf false, it will not inject the current time as a value. Your input will be empty.
[]()blur_empty_populatetruetrue | falseIf we blur from the input field and it’s empty, populate it with our empty default value (see next line).
[]()empty{ h: ’12’, m: ’00’, sep: ‘:’, postfix: ‘ PM’ } (object)The default empty value

<code class="language-javascript">}


Once you initialize timeAutocomplete() on an element, you have access to methods via data(‘timeAutocomplete’).

Method Args Description
destroy() NoneCompletely removes timeAutocomplete plugin from the input
getTime() NoneGets the time in H:i:s (13:30:00) format.
setTime(time) time: ’13:30:00′Sets the time by passing in a 24hr format. This will be formatted appropriately before being displayed. NOTE: This should be used instead of .val()
setFormatter(formatter) formatter: ‘ampm’ or ’24hr’ or ‘french’Changes the formatter type on the fly.


  • jQuery (only tested with 1.10)
  • jQuery UI w/ Autocomplete plugin (only tested with 1.10.3)

Browser Support

  • IE 7+
  • All other good browsers (Firefox, Chrome, Safari)



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Jordan Boesch
Jordan Boesch

Jordan is the CEO @ 7shifts. Jordan grew up working in his dad’s restaurant and fell in love with the industry–the rest is history.