Richard Howells' Blog

Hierarchical Check Boxes

The whole concept is based on hierarchic data in the first place.  I started with Fritz Onion's sample from here. I added a couple of spans with classes so that the jQuery script can target:

  • an entire hierarchical group (colorGroup) - one higher level box and all its lower level ones
  • just the higher level box (colorGroupHeader)
  • just the lower level boxes (color)

Like this:

        <asp:DataList ID="DataList1" runat="server" DataSourceID="ObjectDataSource1">
                <span class="colorGroup">
                    <span class="colorGroupHeader">
                        <asp:CheckBox ID="CheckBox1" runat="server"
                        Text='<%# DataBinder.Eval(Container.DataItem, "GroupName") %>' />
                    <span class="color">
                        <asp:CheckBoxList ID="SyndicateDropDownList2" runat="server"
                            DataSource='<%# DataBinder.Eval(Container.DataItem, "ColorNames") %>'
                            DataTextField="Name" DataValueField="Color">

and finally I added this jQuery script (assumes you already have a link to the jQuery library in the page)

    $(document).ready(function() {
        // When the user clicks on the colorGroupHeader input box cascade that to the
        // Scheme input boxes lower down
        $(".colorGroupHeader").find("input").click(function() {
            var isChecked = $(this).attr("checked") == "checked";
                .attr("checked", isChecked);

        // When the user clicks a color input box push that UP to the colorGroup above.
        // The colorGroup reflects if all the lower boxes are checked, else it is unchecked
        $(".color").find("input").click(function() {
            var siblingInputElements = $(this).parents(".color").find("input");

            var uncheckedSiblings = siblingInputElements.filter(function() {
                var state = !($(this).attr("checked") == "checked");
                return !($(this).attr("checked") == "checked");
            var allSiblingsAreChecked = uncheckedSiblings.length == 0;
                .attr("checked", allSiblingsAreChecked);

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