Displaying a select option as selected coming from a database.

I was creating an edit page last week where I needed a select element option to be displayed based on the value saved in the database. I struggled with this problem, but eventually created a solution, and learned a lot from it! My solution was to use a Template.registerHelper.

Templates have helpers that are template specific naturally. I decided to create a global template helper using Template.registerHelper that would add the attribute selected to an option if it’s value matched the value in the database.

Template.registerHelper('selectOption', function(option, value){
  if (option == value) {
    return "selected";

<div class="controls">
  <select class="form-control" name="type" id="type" value="{{marker.type}}">
    <option value=""></option>
    {{#each types}}
      <option {{selectOption marker.type this._id}} value="{{_id}}">{{type}}</option>

My template helper selectOption takes two parameters to compare. If the parameters match, then selected is returned. In my template I use this helper just like any other helper with {{selectOption}}. I am passing in the value in the database (marker.type) and the ID of the type I’m iterating over in my {{each}} block helper. Because I’m storing the ID of the marker.type in my database, I simple compare it to the ID of the type I’m iterating over. This works perfectly.

Hope this helps!