The Wufoo Blog

Quick Tip: How to Remove the Default Choice from a Multiple Choice Field

By Chris Coyier · January 30th, 2012

When you add a multiple choice field to a form, by default, the first choice is selected. You may or may not want that for your field on your form. You can select a different default option by clicking the radio button next to a different choice, or turn off the default choice entirely by clicking the active radio button.

Default Choice of Multiple Choice Fields

Note that without a default choice, no answer is still a valid choice by the user unless you specifically mark the field as required. Also note turning on and off defaults works the same way with checkbox fields.

Here’s a quick video demo:

Thanks to Eric Hansen for the idea on this quick tip!

This entry was posted 2 years ago and was filed under News & Updates. Comments are currently closed.


  1. Cool, Chris, thanks a lot!

    Posted 2 years ago by Kathleen.
  2. Cool but this feature is broken. If you have a Multiple Choice Field required and have one of the options as default than that option is not recognized as a response and the user is asked to complete the question. I have this problem all the time

    Posted 2 years ago by Bertil Snel.
  3. Hey Bertil, If you mark a multiple choice field as required, we make the default choice not able to be selected on purpose. That’s typically because you should make that default choice something like “Please select an answer” or something like that.

    If you have a multiple choice field with a default selected, it’s AUTOMATICALLY required, because it’s impossible to turn radio button off (on the public form). The checkbox to make the field requires goes beyond that by requiring a choice that isn’t the default.

    Posted 2 years ago by Chris Coyier.
  4. EITHER …

    1. Remove ‘required’ or
    2. Remove pre-selected default option (see above)

    If an option is pre-selected AND ‘required’ is ‘set’ then the user ‘must’ and can ‘only’ select a ‘different’ option to the one you have pre-selected for them … makes sense!

    Posted 2 years ago by Michelle.
  5. It’d be super cool to have such comment boards as this one available to create for Wufoo subscribers. This very Add a Reply functionality would be neat as punch. I could create page after page of content using Wufoo as a CMS and people could comment on it etc. I think I can’t easily integrate Facebook Comments into a form, so to do this right now I have to deploy Wufoo in a container site I build in Dreamweaver. Would be neat to build my content exclusively in Wufoo as you have such great WYSIWYG tools !!!!

    BTW: can a user DESELECT a checked radio button by ctrl-clicking it ? That doesn’t work on my form - if you click the “GOT A STICKER FILE?” radio button, you can’t deselect it, which means you’d have to refresh the page to start over and see all the start fields again (which get hidden by a Rule on the selection of that radio button). Thanks

    Posted 2 years ago by Srini.
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    The Wufoo Blog is the official online publication written by the developers of Wufoo about their online form builder, form-related technologies, and whatever else may fit their fancy—like robots.

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