Im trying to display checkboxes that are multiple selectable. These checkboxes get their value from multi-picklist values from a custom object.

This works and Im able to save the values.

Is there any way to autogenerate checkboxes based on PickList values?

  • did any of these answers solve the question? Aug 20, 2013 at 18:58

2 Answers 2


Try apex:selectCheckboxes:

In your controller have:

public list<string> checkboxSelections {get;set;}  //holds the values of the selected checkboxes

public list<selectOption> getMyCheckboxes(){
    //create list of checkboxes
    list<selectOption> myOptions = new list<selectOption>();
    for(integer i=0;i<5;i++)
        myOptions.add(new selectOption(string.valueof(i),string.valueof(i));  // selectOption = (value,label)
    return myOptions;

And in your Visualforce page:

<apex:selectCheckboxes value="{!checkboxSelections}">
    <apex:selectOptions value="{!MyCheckboxes}"></apex:selectOptions>

See the following documentation:

To get a list that contains every picklist value of a field, see here:

Copied from the other post:

global static list<SelectOption> getPicklistValues(SObject obj, String fld){
    list<SelectOption> options = new list<SelectOption>();
    // Get the object type of the SObject.
    Schema.sObjectType objType = obj.getSObjectType(); 
    // Describe the SObject using its object type.
    Schema.DescribeSObjectResult objDescribe = objType.getDescribe();       
    // Get a map of fields for the SObject
    map<String, Schema.SObjectField> fieldMap = objDescribe.fields.getMap(); 
    // Get the list of picklist values for this field.
    list<Schema.PicklistEntry> values = fieldMap.get(fld).getDescribe().getPickListValues();
    // Add these values to the selectoption list.
    for (Schema.PicklistEntry a : values){ 
        options.add(new SelectOption(a.getLabel(), a.getValue())); 
    return options;

Another version but simplifed for a VF controller and a little easier to work with (note the difference in inputs):

public list<SelectOption> getPicklistValues(string myObjectName, String myField){
    list<SelectOption> options = new list<SelectOption>();

    sObjectType objectType = Schema.getGlobalDescribe().get(objectName);
        return options; 

    Schema.DescribeSObjectResult objDescribe = objectType.getDescribe();  

    Schema.SObjectField theField = objDescribe.fields.getMap().get(myField);

        return options;

    for (Schema.PicklistEntry a :theField.getDescribe().getPickListValues())
        options.add(new SelectOption(a.getLabel(), a.getValue())); 

    return options;

If you need to do this often, try making a "Utility" Apex class and add this method as a static method. Write code once and forever.


As an alternative to building it using purely VisualForce and Apex markup, if you are using the jQuery library (or can) you could use the toChecklist plugin from Scott Horlbeck. The plugin takes a standard multi-select picklist and creates a nice list of checkboxes in its place.

The two specified options, submitDataAsArray = false and preferIdOverName = false are required for proper operation of the plugin in a VisualForce page. This plugin may also work for <apex:inputField /> tags bound to multi-select picklist field types, but I have not tested using it in that context yet.

Note: As written in the 1.5.0 source, the syntax for ID selectors is not compatible with VisualForce IDs because of the colons being interpreted as pseudo-selectors. I have modified both the standard and minified JavaScript source files to use compatible ID selector syntax and placed the files in a Gist which can be found here.

VF Markup:

<apex:selectList id="checkboxPicklist" value="{!selectedValues}" multiselect="true">
    <apex:selectOptions value="{!SelectOptions}" />

    jQuery('[id="{!$Component.checkboxPicklist}"]').toChecklist({ submitDataAsArray: false, preferIdOverName: false });

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