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HTML Form Elements


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This chapter describes all HTML form elements.

The <input> Element

The most important form element is the <input> element.


The <input> element can vary in many ways, depending on the type attribute.
All HTML input types are covered in the next chapter.

The <select> Element (Drop-Down List)


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

Example
<select name="cars">
<option value="volvo">Volvo</option>
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<option value="saab">Saab</option>
<option value="fiat">Fiat</option>
<option value="audi">Audi</option>
</select>
Try it Yourself
The <option> elements defines the options to select.
The list will normally show the first item as selected.
You can add a selected attribute to define a predefined option.

Example
<option value="fiat" selected>Fiat</option>
Try it Yourself

The <textarea> Element

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

Example
<textarea name="message" rows="10" cols="30">
The cat was playing in the garden.
</textarea>
Try it Yourself
This is how the HTML code above will be displayed in a browser:

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The cat was playing in the


garden.

The <button> Element

The <button> element defines a clickable button:

Example
<button type="button" onclick="alert('Hello World!')">Click Me!
</button>
Try it Yourself
This is how the HTML code above will be displayed in a browser:
Click Me!

HTML5 Form Elements

HTML5 added the following form elements:


<datalist>
<keygen>
<output>
By default, browsers do not display unknown elements. New elements will not
destroy your page.

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HTML5 <datalist> Element

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


element.
Users will see a drop-down list of 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

An <input> element with pre-defined values in a <datalist>:

<form action="action_page.php">
<input list="browsers">
<datalist id="browsers">
<option value="Internet Explorer">
<option value="Firefox">
<option value="Chrome">
<option value="Opera">
<option value="Safari">
</datalist>
</form>
Try it Yourself

HTML5 <keygen> Element

The purpose of the <keygen> element is to provide a secure way to authenticate


users.
The <keygen> element specifies a key-pair generator field in a form.
When the form is submitted, two keys are generated, one private and one public.

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The private key is stored locally, and the public key is sent to the server.
The public key could be used to generate a client certificate to authenticate the user
in the future.

Example

A form with a keygen field:

<form action="action_page.php">
Username: <input type="text" name="user">
Encryption: <keygen name="security">
<input type="submit">
</form>
Try it Yourself

HTML5 <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:

<form action="action_page.asp"
oninput="x.value=parseInt(a.value)+parseInt(b.value)">
0
<input type="range" id="a" name="a" value="50">
100 +
<input type="number" id="b" name="b" value="50">
=
<output name="x" for="a b"></output>
<br><br>

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<input type="submit">
</form>
Try it Yourself

Test Yourself with Exercises!


Exercise 1

Exercise 2

Exercise 3

HTML Form Elements


= new in HTML5.

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

<keygen>

Defines a key-pair generator field (for forms)

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<output>

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Defines the result of a calculation

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