HTML Form Elements

This chapter describes all the different HTML form elements.

What are the elements of a form?

Primary elements of form are the point, the line, the plane and the volume. The Point indicates a position in space. A point extended becomes a Line with (1-D) properties of length, direction, position. A line extended becomes a Plane with (2-D) properties of length and width, shape surface ,orientation, position.

What is the use of form element?

The form element inserts a component designed to contain controls that users can interact with to send information back to the server. This element is commonly used to gather information from the visitors of a website, like preferences, comments, opinions and a lot more.

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.


<label for="fname">First name:</label>
<input type="text" id="fname" name="fname">

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:


<label for="cars">Choose a car:</label>
<select id="cars" name="cars">
  <option value="volvo">Volvo</option>
  <option value="saab">Saab</option>
  <option value="fiat">Fiat</option>
  <option value="audi">Audi</option>

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:


<option value="fiat" selected>Fiat</option>

Visible Values:

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


<label for="cars">Choose a car:</label>
<select id="cars" name="cars" size="3">
  <option value="volvo">Volvo</option>
  <option value="saab">Saab</option>
  <option value="fiat">Fiat</option>
  <option value="audi">Audi</option>

Allow Multiple Selections:

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


<label for="cars">Choose a car:</label>
<select id="cars" name="cars" size="4" multiple>
  <option value="volvo">Volvo</option>
  <option value="saab">Saab</option>
  <option value="fiat">Fiat</option>
  <option value="audi">Audi</option>

The <textarea> Element

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


<textarea name="message" rows="10" cols="30">
The cat was playing in the garden.

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:

The cat was<textarea name="message" rows="10" cols="30">
The cat was playing in the garden.
 playing in the garden.

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

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

The <button> Element

The <button> element defines a clickable button:


<button type="button" onclick="alert('Hello World!')">Click Me!</button>

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.


<form action="/action_page.php">
    <label for="fname">First name:</label><br>
    <input type="text" id="fname" name="fname" value="John"><br>
    <label for="lname">Last name:</label><br>
    <input type="text" id="lname" name="lname" value="Doe"><br><br>
    <input type="submit" value="Submit">

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

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.


<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">

The <output> Element

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


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

<form action="/action_page.php"
  <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>
  <input type="submit">

HTML Form Elements

<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


There are so many HTML form elements available; in this article, we have discussed some of the basic or native form elements. It helps us to create proper and functional HTML forms. The point to be noted is that most of the HTML form elements need a few attributes to be included along with them. Some of the elements depend on each other, which must be coded together. All the browsers may not display the elements which are already deprecated.

HTML Form Elements
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