HTML Form Elements

HTML Form Elements


This chapter describes all the different HTML form elements.


The HTML <form> Elements

The HTML <form> element can contain one or more of the following form elements:

  • <input>
  • <label>
  • <select>
  • <textarea>
  • <button>
  • <fieldset>
  • <legend>
  • <datalist>
  • <output>
  • <option>
  • <optgroup>

The <input> Element

One of the most used form element is the <input> element.

The <input> element can be displayed in several ways, depending on the type attribute.

Example

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All the different values of the type attribute are covered in the next chapter: HTML Input Types.


The <label> Element

The <label> element defines a label for several form elements.

The <label> element is useful for screen-reader users, because the screen-reader will read out loud the label when the user focus on the input element.

The <label> element also help users who have difficulty clicking on very small regions (such as radio buttons or checkboxes) – because when the user clicks the text within the <label> element, it toggles the radio button/checkbox.

The for attribute of the <label> tag should be equal to the id attribute of the <input> element to bind them together.


The <select> Element

The <select> element defines a drop-down list:

Example

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The <option> elements defines an option that can be selected.

By default, the first item in the drop-down list is selected.

To define a pre-selected option, add the selected attribute to the option:

Example

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Visible Values:

Use the size attribute to specify the number of visible values:

Example

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Allow Multiple Selections:

Use the multiple attribute to allow the user to select more than one value:

Example

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The <textarea> Element

The <textarea> element defines a multi-line input field (a text area):

Example

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The rows attribute specifies the visible number of lines in a text area.

The cols attribute specifies the visible width of a text area.

This is how the HTML code above will be displayed in a browser:

You can also define the size of the text area by using CSS:

Example

<textarea name=”message” style=”width:200px; height:600px;”>
The cat was playing in the garden.
</textarea>

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The <button> Element

The <button> element defines a clickable button:

Example

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This is how the HTML code above will be displayed in a browser:

Note: Always specify the type attribute for the button element. Different browsers may use different default types for the button element.


The <fieldset> and <legend> Elements

The <fieldset> element is used to group related data in a form.

The <legend> element defines a caption for the <fieldset> element.

Example

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This is how the HTML code above will be displayed in a browser:

Personalia:

First name:

Last name:


The <datalist> Element

The <datalist> element specifies a list of pre-defined options for an <input> element.

Users will see a drop-down list of the pre-defined options as they input data.

The list attribute of the <input> element, must refer to the id attribute of the <datalist> element.

Example

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The <output> Element

The <output> element represents the result of a calculation (like one performed by a script).

Example

Perform a calculation and show the result in an <output> element:

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HTML Exercises

Test Yourself With Exercises

Exercise:

In the form below, add an empty drop down list with the name “cars”.

 

Start the Exercise


HTML Form Elements

Tag Description
<form> Defines an HTML form for user input
<input> Defines an input control
<textarea> Defines a multiline input control (text area)
<label> Defines a label for an <input> element
<fieldset> Groups related elements in a form
<legend> Defines a caption for a <fieldset> element
<select> Defines a drop-down list
<optgroup> Defines a group of related options in a drop-down list
<option> Defines an option in a drop-down list
<button> Defines a clickable button
<datalist> Specifies a list of pre-defined options for input controls
<output> Defines the result of a calculation

For a complete list of all available HTML tags, visit our HTML Tag Reference.

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