Select dropdown with first option empty using Laravel Eloquent Collection

 David
Laravel provides amazingly simple way to render the form select dropdown list from an Eloquent collection retrieved from a database table.


  // get all categories to be rendered in a select box (ideally from a controller)
  $categories = Category::orderBy('name')->lists('name, 'id');

  // in a view, render it using the blade
  {{ Form::select('category_id', $categories, Input::old('category_id', $blog->category_id), array('id' => 'category_id', 'style' => 'width: 300px;') }}
Let's take a look at the Form::select() in more depth.
The first argument, category_id, is the value assigned to the name attribute of the <select> html element.
The second argument, $categories, is the array that will populate the <option>s elements within the <select> element.
The third argument is the default selected value from the <select> options, and finally the fourth argument is an array of keys/values that will be attached as <select> element's attributes.

Many times, we want to have an empty value as the first <option> value in the <select> element, such as <option value="">Please pick one</option>.

This can be accomplished from the controller by prefixing the eloquent collection as follows:

  $categories = ['' => 'Please pick one'] + Category::orderBy('name')->lists('name, 'id');

Pretty simple, right?
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