Confusion about the use of ng-options.

I have a following confusion with ng-options. I have build a dropdown from array located into my controller. Here is my html code:

<div ng-app>
<div ng-controller="testCtrl">
    <select multiple="multiple" ng-model="first" ng-options=" for c in listObj">
    <select multiple="multiple" ng-model="second">

and this is my JavaScript:

function testCtrl($scope) {
    $scope.listObj = [{name: "x", content: [1,2,3]},
                      {name: "y", content: [4,5,6]}];


And this is working jsFiddle:

When user choose element from left select (with selected CTRL) I want the right select to be filled with corespondign content property. Eg:

When user select x to the left will be 1,2,3. When add y to the left will be 1,2,3,4,5,6. When deselect x - 4,5,6.

Best regards.


If you don't want to rely on a $watch as suggested by @package, you can employ a helper function in your controller to unpack each individual value of content, for each selected item in listObj, into an array for the ng-options of your second <select>.

$scope.contents = function(arr) {
    var values = [];
    if (angular.isDefined(arr)) {
        arr.forEach(function(v) {
            values = values.concat(v.content);
    return values;

And then:

ng-options="c for c in contents(first)"

Here's a demonstration JSFiddle.

You have to $watch first, and when it changes, read content of all selected values into a new array, let's call it firstContent. The second select would show items from firstContent. Here's code from updated fiddle:

<select multiple="multiple" ng-model="first" ng-options=" for c in listObj">
<select multiple="multiple" ng-model="second" ng-options="element for element in firstContent">

$scope.$watch('first', function(value) {
    if (!value) {
    var firstContent = [];
    for (var i = 0; i < value.length; i++) {
        firstContent = firstContent.concat(value[i].content);
    $scope.firstContent = firstContent;

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