HTML Form Elements

This chapter describes all HTML form elements.

The <input> Element

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

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


If the type attribute is omitted, the input field gets the default type: “text”.

All the different input types are covered in the next chapter.

The <select> Element

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


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:



Visible Values:

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


Allow Multiple Selections:

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


The <textarea> Element

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


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 playing in the garden.

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


The <button> Element

The <button> element defines a clickable button:


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

HTML5 Form Elements

HTML5 added the following form elements:

  • <datalist>
  • <output>

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 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.


HTML5 <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:

0 100 + =