Writing a script to autocomplete from a list selection


I’m trying to write a script which lets the user select an item from a list of around a hundred items. The search box should autocomplete as the user enters text. The selection should then be passed to the Reminders app.

I don’t really know where to start. Any advice much appreciated!

Many thanks,


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As far as I know there are only two options for text input in Scriptable:

  • An alert
  • On a custom webpage inside a WebView

The alert can not show any autocompletion, because you can’t add any buttons while it is shown (or do you? well then the most recently added button will be at the bottom beneath many others. Also not quite convenient…).

So your only bet is a custom webpage in a WebView…

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For context, using the Web View in Scriptable is as per the original discussion over on the Drafts forum.

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Here’s a basic (i.e. a fairly minimal) Scriptable example based on a w3schools autocomplete field example. Copy and paste it into Scriptable and run it (after you check through to ensure it is all good of course :wink:). When run it will give you an autocomplete field for countries that when you select Close will get captured and written to the Scriptable console.

Expand this section for the Scriptable script

// Example based on an example from W3Schools (https://www.w3schools.com/howto/howto_js_autocomplete.asp)

let strHTML = `<!DOCTYPE html>
<meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
* {
  box-sizing: border-box;

body {
  font: 16px Arial;  

/*the container must be positioned relative:*/
.autocomplete {
  position: relative;
  display: inline-block;

input {
  border: 1px solid transparent;
  background-color: #f1f1f1;
  padding: 10px;
  font-size: 16px;

input[type=text] {
  background-color: #f1f1f1;
  width: 100%;

input[type=submit] {
  background-color: DodgerBlue;
  color: #fff;
  cursor: pointer;

.autocomplete-items {
  position: absolute;
  border: 1px solid #d4d4d4;
  border-bottom: none;
  border-top: none;
  z-index: 99;
  /*position the autocomplete items to be the same width as the container:*/
  top: 100%;
  left: 0;
  right: 0;

.autocomplete-items div {
  padding: 10px;
  cursor: pointer;
  background-color: #fff; 
  border-bottom: 1px solid #d4d4d4; 

/*when hovering an item:*/
.autocomplete-items div:hover {
  background-color: #e9e9e9; 

/*when navigating through the items using the arrow keys:*/
.autocomplete-active {
  background-color: DodgerBlue !important; 
  color: #ffffff; 

<p>Start typing in the field, select a list entry from any that appears (tap or cursor key navigation should work) if necessary, and when you are done, select close. The value will be written to the Scriptable console (log).</p>

<!--Make sure the form has the autocomplete function switched off:-->
<form autocomplete="off" action="/action_page.php">
  <div class="autocomplete" style="width:300px;">
    <input id="inputCountry" type="text" name="myCountry" placeholder="Country">

function autocomplete(inp, arr) {
  /*the autocomplete function takes two arguments,
  the text field element and an array of possible autocompleted values:*/
  var currentFocus;
  /*execute a function when someone writes in the text field:*/
  inp.addEventListener("input", function(e) {
      var a, b, i, val = this.value;
      /*close any already open lists of autocompleted values*/
      if (!val) { return false;}
      currentFocus = -1;
      /*create a DIV element that will contain the items (values):*/
      a = document.createElement("DIV");
      a.setAttribute("id", this.id + "autocomplete-list");
      a.setAttribute("class", "autocomplete-items");
      /*append the DIV element as a child of the autocomplete container:*/
      /*for each item in the array...*/
      for (i = 0; i < arr.length; i++) {
        /*check if the item starts with the same letters as the text field value:*/
        if (arr[i].substr(0, val.length).toUpperCase() == val.toUpperCase()) {
          /*create a DIV element for each matching element:*/
          b = document.createElement("DIV");
          /*make the matching letters bold:*/
          b.innerHTML = "<strong>" + arr[i].substr(0, val.length) + "</strong>";
          b.innerHTML += arr[i].substr(val.length);
          /*insert a input field that will hold the current array item's value:*/
          b.innerHTML += "<input type='hidden' value='" + arr[i] + "'>";
          /*execute a function when someone clicks on the item value (DIV element):*/
          b.addEventListener("click", function(e) {
              /*insert the value for the autocomplete text field:*/
              inp.value = this.getElementsByTagName("input")[0].value;
              /*close the list of autocompleted values,
              (or any other open lists of autocompleted values:*/
  /*execute a function presses a key on the keyboard:*/
  inp.addEventListener("keydown", function(e) {
      var x = document.getElementById(this.id + "autocomplete-list");
      if (x) x = x.getElementsByTagName("div");
      if (e.keyCode == 40) {
        /*If the arrow DOWN key is pressed,
        increase the currentFocus variable:*/
        /*and and make the current item more visible:*/
      } else if (e.keyCode == 38) { //up
        /*If the arrow UP key is pressed,
        decrease the currentFocus variable:*/
        /*and and make the current item more visible:*/
      } else if (e.keyCode == 13) {
        /*If the ENTER key is pressed, prevent the form from being submitted,*/
        if (currentFocus > -1) {
          /*and simulate a click on the "active" item:*/
          if (x) x[currentFocus].click();
  function addActive(x) {
    /*a function to classify an item as "active":*/
    if (!x) return false;
    /*start by removing the "active" class on all items:*/
    if (currentFocus >= x.length) currentFocus = 0;
    if (currentFocus < 0) currentFocus = (x.length - 1);
    /*add class "autocomplete-active":*/
  function removeActive(x) {
    /*a function to remove the "active" class from all autocomplete items:*/
    for (var i = 0; i < x.length; i++) {
  function closeAllLists(elmnt) {
    /*close all autocomplete lists in the document,
    except the one passed as an argument:*/
    var x = document.getElementsByClassName("autocomplete-items");
    for (var i = 0; i < x.length; i++) {
      if (elmnt != x[i] && elmnt != inp) {
  /*execute a function when someone clicks in the document:*/
  document.addEventListener("click", function (e) {

/*An array containing all the country names in the world:*/
var countries = ["Afghanistan","Albania","Algeria","Andorra","Angola","Anguilla","Antigua & Barbuda","Argentina","Armenia","Aruba","Australia","Austria","Azerbaijan","Bahamas","Bahrain","Bangladesh","Barbados","Belarus","Belgium","Belize","Benin","Bermuda","Bhutan","Bolivia","Bosnia & Herzegovina","Botswana","Brazil","British Virgin Islands","Brunei","Bulgaria","Burkina Faso","Burundi","Cambodia","Cameroon","Canada","Cape Verde","Cayman Islands","Central Arfrican Republic","Chad","Chile","China","Colombia","Congo","Cook Islands","Costa Rica","Cote D Ivoire","Croatia","Cuba","Curacao","Cyprus","Czech Republic","Denmark","Djibouti","Dominica","Dominican Republic","Ecuador","Egypt","El Salvador","Equatorial Guinea","Eritrea","Estonia","Ethiopia","Falkland Islands","Faroe Islands","Fiji","Finland","France","French Polynesia","French West Indies","Gabon","Gambia","Georgia","Germany","Ghana","Gibraltar","Greece","Greenland","Grenada","Guam","Guatemala","Guernsey","Guinea","Guinea Bissau","Guyana","Haiti","Honduras","Hong Kong","Hungary","Iceland","India","Indonesia","Iran","Iraq","Ireland","Isle of Man","Israel","Italy","Jamaica","Japan","Jersey","Jordan","Kazakhstan","Kenya","Kiribati","Kosovo","Kuwait","Kyrgyzstan","Laos","Latvia","Lebanon","Lesotho","Liberia","Libya","Liechtenstein","Lithuania","Luxembourg","Macau","Macedonia","Madagascar","Malawi","Malaysia","Maldives","Mali","Malta","Marshall Islands","Mauritania","Mauritius","Mexico","Micronesia","Moldova","Monaco","Mongolia","Montenegro","Montserrat","Morocco","Mozambique","Myanmar","Namibia","Nauro","Nepal","Netherlands","Netherlands Antilles","New Caledonia","New Zealand","Nicaragua","Niger","Nigeria","North Korea","Norway","Oman","Pakistan","Palau","Palestine","Panama","Papua New Guinea","Paraguay","Peru","Philippines","Poland","Portugal","Puerto Rico","Qatar","Reunion","Romania","Russia","Rwanda","Saint Pierre & Miquelon","Samoa","San Marino","Sao Tome and Principe","Saudi Arabia","Senegal","Serbia","Seychelles","Sierra Leone","Singapore","Slovakia","Slovenia","Solomon Islands","Somalia","South Africa","South Korea","South Sudan","Spain","Sri Lanka","St Kitts & Nevis","St Lucia","St Vincent","Sudan","Suriname","Swaziland","Sweden","Switzerland","Syria","Taiwan","Tajikistan","Tanzania","Thailand","Timor L'Este","Togo","Tonga","Trinidad & Tobago","Tunisia","Turkey","Turkmenistan","Turks & Caicos","Tuvalu","Uganda","Ukraine","United Arab Emirates","United Kingdom","United States of America","Uruguay","Uzbekistan","Vanuatu","Vatican City","Venezuela","Vietnam","Virgin Islands (US)","Yemen","Zambia","Zimbabwe"];

/*initiate the autocomplete function on the "inputCountry" element, and pass along the countries array as possible autocomplete values:*/
autocomplete(document.getElementById("inputCountry"), countries);



//Load it into a web view and display it
let viewOne = new WebView();
await viewOne.loadHTML(strHTML);
await viewOne.present();

//Once returned from the web view, grab the country field content
let strResult = await viewOne.evaluateJavaScript(`document.getElementById("inputCountry").value`);

For example, if you type “ca”, you’ll get a list like this.

If “Canada” is then selected.

The result in the console when the web view is closed will also be “Canada”.


If you are working with Scriptable from Drafts, I would suggest taking a look at the x-callback-url (option #3) in the response on this thread. While the examples are all around Shortcuts, you should get the gist of how you can call out to Scriptable and return a value back to the calling app.

Hope that helps.


@sylumer Thanks a lot for this.

I’m able to run the script you’ve provided in Scriptable and then in Drafts; however, I’m struggling with the coding required to execute the steps you outined in your link, specifically:

Would it be possible to outline the coding steps required in the Drafts environment for me to have a go? I’m afraid I’m rather new to all this!


Let’s say your Scriptable script is called “Select Country”. The following example Drafts action will call for the running of that script, wait for a result named result to be returned, and then insert the result into the current draft.


That’s just standard no-scripting Drafts action steps.

But for this to work on the Scriptable side, we need to add something at the end of the earlier script to have Scriptable call back to Drafts. This is what the thread I referenced you to contained an example for.

Since we are just dealing with a string of text rather than a dictionary, we can simplify a little by not having to stringify any JSON, but otherwise it is more or less lifted straight from option 3 in that thread (it really is worth trying to follow the details in that).

let queryParams = URLScheme.allParameters();
let urlSuccess = queryParams["x-success"] + "?result=" + encodeURI(strResult);

That should then give you a full working example that you can tailor to your own needs.

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@schl3ck @sylumer

Thanks for your help!