Using Form Select in Laravel Blade (keep old value)

When creating forms for your Laravel applications, at some point, you’ll probably need to use select pulldowns where your users can pick from some predefined options. This helps the user to quickly fill the desired value and helps you ensure that only valid data will be submitted.

The following example code adds a select input in a form and makes sure it’s populated with predefined values. The Laravel helper function “old()” is used to make sure the previously picked value is remembered and repopulated when the form is shown again with its validation error messages:

<select class="form-select" id="category" name="category">
    <option value="">Select Category</option>
    @foreach($categories as $category)
		<option value="{{ $category }}" {{ old('category') == $category ? 'selected' : '' }}>
        {{ $category }}

In this tutorial, I’ll walk you through the process of creating a simple to-do list example application where users can use the select shown above to add new tasks with a title, description, and category select option. We’ll cover everything from setting up the Laravel project to displaying validation errors and populating select options with dynamic data.

Let’s get started!

Step 1: Set Up Laravel Project

First, ensure you have Laravel installed. If not, you can quickly set up a new Laravel project using Composer:

composer create-project --prefer-dist laravel/laravel todo-category-select-demo

Then change into your project folder by running:

cd posts-demo

Step 2: Setup Database

For simplicity I recommend using an SQLite Database on your local computer. If you’ve installed Laravel 11 or newer it will use SQLite out of the box. Otherwise you can use it by simply editing the .env file in your Laravel root folder to:

# DB_PORT=3306
# DB_DATABASE=laravel

Step 3: Create a Model and Migration

For our example, let’s create a table to store blog posts. To do this create a model “Post” and migration for this model:

php artisan make:model Todo -m

Step 4: Add Model code

Make sure you can mass assign properties of the model Todo by editing app/Models/Todo.php:


namespace App\Models;

use Illuminate\Database\Eloquent\Model;

class Todo extends Model
    protected $fillable = [

Step 5: Add Migration code

Edit the migration in database/migrations/yyyy_mm_dd_tttttt_create_todos_table.php to match:


use Illuminate\Database\Migrations\Migration;
use Illuminate\Database\Schema\Blueprint;
use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Schema;

return new class extends Migration
    public function up(): void
        Schema::create('todos', function (Blueprint $table) {

    public function down(): void

Step 6: Run Migrations

Next, create the table by running the migration by running the following artisan command:

php artisan migrate

Step 7: Create Controller

Next, create a controller named TodoController with store and index methods:

php artisan make:controller TodoController

Step 8: Add Controller code

Open the generated TodoController.php file located in the app/Http/Controllers directory. Update the controller code as follows:


namespace App\Http\Controllers;

use App\Models\Todo;
use Illuminate\Http\RedirectResponse;
use Illuminate\Http\Request;
use Illuminate\Routing\Redirector;
use Illuminate\View\View;

class TodoController extends Controller
     * Display a listing of the todos.
     * @return View
    public function index(): View
        // Fetch all todos
        $todos = Todo::all();

        // Sample categories (replace with your actual categories)
        $categories = ['Work', 'Personal', 'Errands'];

        // Pass todos and categories to the view
        return view('todos', compact('todos', 'categories'));

     * Store a newly created todo in storage.
     * @param Request $request
     * @return RedirectResponse|Redirector
    public function store(Request $request): RedirectResponse|Redirector
        // Validate request data
            'title' => 'required|string|max:255',
            'description' => 'nullable|string',

            // Validate that only supported options will be accepted
            'category' => 'required|string|in:Work,Personal,Errands',

        // Create new To-Do item
        $todo = Todo::create([
            'title' => $request->input('title'),
            'description' => $request->input('description'),
            'category' => $request->input('category'),

        // Redirect back with success message
        return redirect()->back()->with('success', 'Todo created successfully!');

In the index() method, we fetch all todos and define a sample array of categories. This array is then passed to the todos.blade.php view along with the todos using the compact() function.

Ensure to replace the sample categories with your actual categories in your application.

Step 9: Create Blade View

Create a new Blade view named todos.blade.php within the resources/views directory. This view will contain the form to create new todos and display the list of existing todos. Below is the complete code sample for the todos.blade.php file:

<!DOCTYPE html>
<html lang="en">
    <meta charset="UTF-8">
    <meta name="viewport" content="width=device-width, initial-scale=1.0">
    <title>Todo App</title>
    <!-- Bootstrap CSS -->
    <link href="" rel="stylesheet">
<div class="container mt-5">
    <h1 class="mb-4">Todo App</h1>

    <!-- Todo Form -->
    <form action="{{ route('') }}" method="POST">
        <div class="mb-3">
            <label for="title" class="form-label">Title</label>
            <input type="text" class="form-control" id="title" name="title" value="{{ old('title') }}">
            <div class="text-danger">{{ $message }}</div>
        <div class="mb-3">
            <label for="description" class="form-label">Description</label>
            <textarea class="form-control" id="description" name="description" rows="3">{{ old('description') }}</textarea>
            <div class="text-danger">{{ $message }}</div>
        <div class="mb-3">
            <label for="category" class="form-label">Category</label>
            <select class="form-select" id="category" name="category">
                <option value="">Select Category</option>
                @foreach($categories as $category)
                    <option value="{{ $category }}" {{ old('category') == $category ? 'selected' : '' }}>{{ $category }}</option>
            <div class="text-danger">{{ $message }}</div>
        <button type="submit" class="btn btn-primary">Add Todo</button>


    <!-- Todo List -->
    <h2 class="mt-4">Todo List</h2>
    <ul class="list-group-numbered">
        @foreach($todos as $todo)
            <li class="list-group-item">
                <b>{{ $todo->title }}</b><br>
                <i>{{ $todo->description }}</i>


Step 10: Create Routes

Define routes for the TodoController‘s index and store methods in the routes/web.php file:


use App\Http\Controllers\TodoController;
use Illuminate\Support\Facades\Route;

Route::get('/todos', [TodoController::class, 'index'])->name('todos.index');
Route::post('/todos', [TodoController::class, 'store'])->name('');

Step 11: Test the Application

Start the development server by running:

php artisan serve

Then open your browser and navigate to

Test the functionality by adding new to-do items and ensuring validation errors are displayed correctly. It should look somewhat like this

Screenshot: The User Can Pick Predefined Values Using a Select Pulldown on the Form

Note that old values are kept even if there is a validation error. For example our description is not lost when we forgot the fields that are required by our validation rules:

Screenshot: After Submit With Errors the “old” Category Choice is Remembered

Congratulations! You’ve successfully learned how to use a form select in Laravel Blade to create a simple to-do list application.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I validate values picked in the select to exist in a database table instead of comparing with hardcoded values

It is perfectly fine to validate that the values exist in a prefilled table. This is often more flexible then hardcoding them in your PHP code. You can achieve it by using the validation rule exists:

    'title' => 'required|string|max:255',
    'description' => 'nullable|string',

    // Validate that only supported options will be accepted
    'category' => 'required|exists:categories,name',

Note: This requires you have a table called “categories” and fill the column “name” with values you want to allow in the select (For example: “Work”, “Personal”, “Errands”)

Can I validate options from a form select using a FormRequest instead?

While our example used inline validation rules in the controller, the select and other inputs can easily be validated in a FormRequest instead. In fact, in most cases I’d recommend placing all your form validation rules in a FormRequest class.

To do this you’d first create a TodoRequest:

php artisan make:request TodoRequest

Then edit the TodoRequest to make it look like the following code:


namespace App\Http\Requests;

use Illuminate\Foundation\Http\FormRequest;

class TodoRequest extends FormRequest
    public function authorize(): bool
        return true;

    public function rules(): array
        return [
            'title' => 'required|string|max:255',
            'description' => 'nullable|string',
            'category' => 'required|in:Work,Personal,Errands',

Then changing the TodoController method store to receive a TodoRequest and make it call validated() to retrieve the values that should be stored by using:

    public function store(TodoRequest $request): RedirectResponse|Redirector
        // Create new To-Do item
        $todo = Todo::create($request->validated());

        // Redirect back with success message
        return redirect()->back()->with('success', 'Todo created successfully!');


By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you’ve learned setting up a Laravel project, models, controllers, views, and routes, handling form submissions, populating select options and keeping the entered values, even when a previous form submission contained validation errors.

Furthermore, in the FAQ part, we’ve covered how one could validate options against predefined values in a custom table instead of a hardcoded array as well as how one could move the validation rules from the TodoController into a TodoRequest.

Now, you’re equipped to populate, validate and repopulate submitted form select values in your Laravel applications with ease. I hope this will be useful in your future projects. Try it out and let me know in the comments how it went!

Happy coding!


Johan van den Broek

Johan is the creator of As a child, he began tinkering with various programming languages, many of which have been long forgotten today. Currently, he works exclusively with PHP and Laravel, and his passion for programming remains to this day.

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