<input>: The Input (Form Input) element

The HTML <input> element is used to create interactive controls for web-based forms in order to accept data from the user; a wide variety of types of input data and control widgets are available, depending on the device and user agent. The <input> element is one of the most powerful and complex in all of HTML due to the sheer number of combinations of input types and attributes.

<input> types

How an <input> works varies considerably depending on the value of its type attribute, hence the different types are covered in their own separate reference pages. If this attribute is not specified, the default type adopted is text.

The available types are as follows:

type description Basic Examples Spec
button A push button with no default behavior displaying the value of the value attribute, empty by default.
checkbox A check box allowing single values to be selected/deselected.
color A control for specifying a color; opening a color picker when active in supporting browsers. HTML5
date A control for entering a date (year, month, and day, with no time) opening a date picker or numeric  wheels for month, hour, etc.,  when active in supporting browsers..   HTML5
datetime-local A control for entering a date and time, with no time zone; opening a date picker or numeric wheels for month, day, and year,  when active in supporting browsers. HTML5
email A field for editing an e-mail address. Looks like a text input, but has validation parameters and relevant keyboard in supporting browsers and devices with dynamic keyboards. HTML5
file A control that lets the user select a file. Use the accept attribute to define the types of files that the control can select.
hidden A control that is not displayed but whose value is submitted to the server. There is an example in the next column, but it's hidden!
image A graphical submit button -- displaying an image defined with the src attribute. The alt attribute displays if the image src is missing.
month A control for entering a month and year, with no time zone. HTML5
number A control for entering a number; displays a spinner and adds default validation when supported. Displays a numeric keypad in some devices with dynamic keypads. HTML5
password A single-line text field whose value is obscured. Will alert user if site is not secure
radio A radio button, allowing a single value to be selected out of multiple choices with the same name value.
range A control for entering a number whose exact value is not important; displays as a range widget defaulting to the middle value. Used in conjunction min  and max to define the range of acceptable values.   HTML5
reset A button that resets the contents of the form to default values. Not recommended.
search A single-line text field for entering search strings. Line-breaks are automatically removed from the input value. May include a delete icon in supporting browsers that can be used to clear the field. Displays a search icon instead of enter key on some devices with dynamic keypads. HTML5
submit A button that submits the form.
tel A control for entering a telephone number. Displays a telephone keypad in some devices with dynamic keypads. HTML5
text The default value. A single-line text field. Line-breaks are automatically removed from the input value.
time A control for entering a time value with no time zone. HTML5
url A field for entering a URL. Looks like a text input, but has validation parameters and relevant keyboard in supporting browsers and devices with dynamic keyboards. HTML5
week A control for entering a date consisting of a week-year number and a week number with no time zone. HTML5
Obsolete values
datetime A control for entering a date and time (hour, minute, second, and fraction of a second) based on UTC time zone. HTML5

Attributes

The <input> element is so powerful because of its attributes; the type attribute, described with examples above, being the most important. Since every <input> element, regardless of type, is based on the HTMLInputElement interface, they technically share the exact same set of attributes. However, in reality, most attributes have an effect on only a specific subset of input types. In addition, the way a some attributes impact an input depends on the input type, impacting different input types in different ways.

This section provides a table listing all the attributes with a brief description. This table is followed by a list describing each attribute in greater detail, along with which input types they are associated with.Those that are common to most or all input types are defined in greater detail below. Attributes that are unique to particular input types—or attributes which are common to all input types but have special behaviors when used on a given input type—are instead documented on those types' pages. This element includes the global attributes. Those with extra importance as it relates to <input> are hilighted.

Attributes for the <input> element include global HTML attributes and:
Attribute types Description
accept file Hint for expected file type in file upload controls
alt image alt attribute for the image type. Required for accessibiltiy
autocomplete all Hint for form autofill feature
autofocus all Automatically focus the form control when the page is loaded
capture file Media capture input method in file upload controls
checked radio, checkbox Whether the command or control is checked
dirname text, search Name of form field to use for sending the element's directionality in form submission
disabled all Whether the form control is disabled
form all Associates the control with a form element
formaction image, submit URL to use for form submission
formenctype image, submit Form data set encoding type to use for form submission
formmethod image, submit HTTP method to use for form submission
formnovalidate image, submit Bypass form control validation for form submission
formtarget image, submit Browsing context for form submission
height image Same as height attribute for <img>; vertical dimension
id global Global attribute, which must be unique, used to identify the element when linking
inputmode global Hint for selecting an input modality, such as the number keypad on dynamic keyboards.
list almost all Value of the id attribute of the <datalist> of autocomplete options
max numeric types Maximum value
maxlength password, search, tel, text, url Maximum length (number of characters) of value
min numeric types Minimum value
minlength password, search, tel, text, url Minimum length (number of characters) of value
multiple email, file Boolean. Whether to allow multiple values
name all Name of the input form control. Submitted with the form as part of a name/value pair.
pattern password, text, tel Pattern the value must match to be valid
placeholder password, search, tel, text, url content to be appear in the form control when the form control is empty
readonly almost all Boolean. The value is not editable
required almost all Boolean. A value is required or must be check for the form to be submittable
size email, password, tel, text Size of the control
src image Same as src attribute for <img>; address of image resource
step numeric types Incremental values that are valid.
tabindex global Integer. Position of focus order in list of elements that are focusable via tabbing
title global String. Text representing advisory information related to the element it belongs to.
type all Type of input form control
value all Current value of the form control. Submitted with the form as part of a name/value pair.
width image Same as width attribute for <img>

A few additional non-standard attributes are listed following the descriptions of the standard attributes

Individual attributes

accept

Valid for the file input type only, the accept property defines which file types are selectable in a file upload control. See the file input type.

alt

Valid for the image button only, the alt attribute provides alternative text for the image, displaying the value of the attribute if the image src is missing or otherwise fails to load. See the image input type.

autocomplete

Not a Boolean attribute, the autocomplete attribute takes as it's value a space separated string that describes what, if any, type of autocomplete functionality the input should provide. A typical implementation of autocomplete simply recalls previous values entered in the same input field, but more complex forms of autocomplete can exist. For instance, a browser could integrate with a device's contacts list to autocomplete email addresses in an email input field. See Values in The HTML autocomplete attribute for permitted values.

The autocomplete attribute is valid on hidden, text, search, url, tel, email, date, month, week, time, datetime-local, number, range, color and password. This attribute has no effect on input types that do not return numeric or text data, being valid for all input types except checkbox, radio, file, or any of the button types. See The HTML autocomplete attribute for additional information, including information on password security and how autocomplete is slightly different for hidden than for other input types.

autofocus

A Boolean attribute which, if present, indicates that the input should automatically have focus when the page has finished loading (or when the <dialog> containing the element has been displayed).

Note: An element with the autofocus attribute may gain focus before the DOMContentLoaded event is fired.

No more than one element in the document may have the autofocus attribute, and autofocus cannot be used on inputs of type hidden, because hidden inputs can't be focused. If put on more than one element, the first one with the attribute receives focus .

Warning: Automatically focusing a form control can confuse visually-impaired people using screen-reading technology and people with cognitive impairments. When autofocus is assigned, screen-readers "teleport" their user to the form control without warning them beforehand.

For better usability, avoid using autofocus. Automatically focusing on a form control can cause the page to scroll on load. The focus can also cause dynamic keyboards to display on some touch devices. While a screen reader will announce the label of the form control receiving focus, the screen reader  will not announce anything before the label, and the sighted user on a small device will equally miss the context created by the preceding content. 

capture

Introduced in the HTML Media Capture specification and valid for the file input type only, the capture attribute defines which media - microphone, video, or camera - should be used to capture a new file for upload with file upload control in supporting scenarios. See the file input type.

checked

Valid for both radio and checkbox types, checked is a Boolean attribute. If present on a radio type, it indicates that that radio button is the currently selected one in the group of same-named radio buttons. If present on a checkbox type, it indicates that the checkbox is checked by default (when the page loads). It does not indicate whether this checkbox is currently checked: if the checkbox’s state is changed, this content attribute does not reflect the change. (Only the HTMLInputElement’s checked IDL attribute is updated.)

Note: Unlike other input controls, a checkboxes and radio buttons value are only included in the submitted data if they are currently checked. If they are, the name and the value(s) of the checked controls are submitted.

For example, if a checkbox whose name is fruit has a value of cherry, and the checkbox is checked, the form data submitted will include fruit=cherry. If the checkbox isn't active, it isn't listed in the form data at all. The default value for checkboxes and radio buttons is on.

dirname

Valid for text and search input types only, the dirname attribute enables the submission of the directionality of the element. When included, the form control will submit with two name/value pairs: the first being the name and value, the second being the value of the dirname as the name with the value of ltr or rtl being set by the browser.

<form action="page.html" method="post">
  <label>Fruit: <input type="text" name="fruit" dirname="fruit.dir" value="cherry"></label>
  <input type="submit"/>
</form>
<!-- page.html?fruit=cherry&fruit.dir=ltr -->

When the form above is submitted, the input cause both the name / value pair of fruit=cherry and the dirname / direction pair of fruit.dir=ltr to be sent.

disabled

A Boolean attribute which, if present, indicates that the user should not be able to interact with the input. Disabled inputs are typically rendered with a dimmer color or using some other form of indication that the field is not available for use.

Specifically, disabled inputs do not receive the click event, and disabled inputs are not submitted with the form.

Note: Although not required by the specification, Firefox will by default persist the dynamic disabled state of an <input> across page loads. Use the autocomplete attribute to control this feature.

form

A string specifying the <form> element with which the input is associated (that is, its form owner). This string's value, if present, must match the id of a <form> element in the same document. If this attribute isn't specified, the <input> element is associated with the nearest containing form, if any.

The form attribute lets you place an input anywhere in the document but have it included with a form elsewhere in the document.

Note: An input can only be associated with one form.

formaction

Valid for the image and submit input types only. See the submit input type for more information.

formenctype

Valid for the image and submit input types only. See the submit input type for more information.

formmethod

Valid for the image and submit input types only. See the submit input type for more information.

formnovalidate

Valid for the image and submit input types only. See the submit input type for more information.

formtarget

Valid for the image and submit input types only. See the submit input type for more information.

height

Valid for the image input button only, the height is the height of the image file to display to represent the graphical submit button. See the image input type.

id

Global attribute valid for all elements, including all the input types, it defines a unique identifier (ID) which must be unique in the whole document. Its purpose is to identify the element when linking. The value is used as the value of the <label>'s for attribute to link the label with the form control. See the the label element below.

inputmode

Global value valid for all elements, it provides a hint to browsers as to the type of virtual keyboard configuration to use when editing this element or its contents. Values include none
text, tel, url, email, numeric, decimal, and search

list

The values of the list attribute is the id of a <datalist> element located in the same document. The <datalist>  provides a list of predefined values to suggest to the user for this input. Any values in the list that are not compatible with the type are not included in the suggested options.  The values provided are suggestions, not requirements: users can select from this predefined list or provide a different value.

It is valid on text, search, url, tel, email, date, month, week, time, datetime-local, number, range, and color.Per the specifications, the list attribute is not supported by the hidden, password, checkbox, radio, file, or any of the button types.

Depending on the browser, the user may see a custom color palette suggested, tic marks along a range, or even a input that opens like a select but allows for non-listed values. Check out the browser compatibility table for the other input types.

See the <datalist> element.

max

Valid for date, month, week, time, datetime-local, number, and range, it defines the greatest value in the range of permitted values. If the value entered into the element exceeds this, the element fails constraint validation. If the value of the max attribute isn't a number, then the element has no maximum value.

maxlength

Valid for text, search, url, tel, email, and password, it defines the maximum number of characters (as UTF-16 code units) the user can enter into the field. This must be an integer value 0 or higher. If no maxlength is specified, or an invalid value is specified, the field has no maximum length. This value must also be greater than or equal to the value of minlength.

The input will fail constraint validation if the length of the text entered into the field is greater than maxlength UTF-16 code units long. By default, browsers prevent users from entering more characters than allowed by the maxlength attribute. See Client-side validation for more information.

min

Valid for date, month, week, time, datetime-local, number, and range, it defines the most negative value in the range of permitted values. If the value entered into the element is less than this this, the element fails constraint validation. If the value of the min attribute isn't a number, then the element has no minimum value.

This value must be less than or equal to the value of the max attribute. If the min attribute is present by is not specified or is invalid, no min value is applied. If the min attribute is valid and a non-empty value is less than the minimum allowed by the min attribute, constraint validation will prevent form submission. See Client-side validation for more information.

minlength

Valid for text, search, url, tel, email, and password, it defines the minimum number of characters (as UTF-16 code units) the user can enter into the entry field. This must be an non-negative integer value smaller than or equal to the value specified by maxlength. If no minlength is specified, or an invalid value is specified, the input has no minimum length.

The input will fail constraint validation if the length of the text entered into the field is fewer than minlength UTF-16 code units long, preventing form submission. See Client-side validation for more information.

multiple

The Boolean multiple attribute, if set, means the user can enter comma separated email addresses in the email widget or can choose more than one file with the file input. See the email and file input type.

name

A string specifying a name for the input control. This name is submitted along with the control's value when the form data is submitted.

What's in a name

Consider the name a required attribute (even though it's not). If an input has no name  specified, or name is empty, the input's value is not submitted with the form. (Disabled controls, unchecked radio buttons, unchecked checkboxes, and reset buttons are also not sent.)

There are two special cases:

  1.  _charset_ : If used as the name of an <input> element of type hidden, the input's value is automatically set by the user agent to the character encoding being used to submit the form.
  2. isindex: For historical reasons, the name isindex is not allowed.
name and radio buttons

The name attribute creates a unique behavior for radio buttons.

Only one radio button in a same-named group of radio buttons can be checked at a time. Selecting any radio button in that group automatically deselects any currently-selected radio button in the same group. The value of that one checked radio button is sent along with the name if the form is submitted,

When tabbing into a series of same-named group of radio buttons, if one is checked, that one will receive focus. If they aren't grouped together in source order, if one of the group is checked, tabbing into the group starts when the first one in the group is encountered, skipping all those that aren't checked.  In other words, if one is checked, tabbing skips the unchecked radio buttons in the group. If none are checked, the radio button group receives focus when the first button in the same name group is reached.

Once one of the radio buttons in a group has focus, using the arrow keys will navigate thru all the radio buttons of the same name, even if the radio buttons are not grouped together in the source order. 

HTMLFormElement.elements

When an input element is given a name, that name becomes a property of the owning form element's HTMLFormElement.elements property. If you have an input whose name is set to guest and another whose name is hat-size, the following code can be used:

let form = document.querySelector("form");

let guestName = form.elements.guest;
let hatSize = form.elements["hat-size"];

When this code has run, guestName will be the HTMLInputElement for the guest field, and hatSize the object for the hat-size field.

Warning: You should avoid giving form elements a name that corresponds to a built-in property of the form, since you would then override the predefined property or method with this reference to the corresponding input.

pattern

The pattern attribute, when specified, is a regular expression that the input's value must match in order for the value to pass constraint validation. It must be a valid JavaScript regular expression, as used by the RegExp type, and as documented in our guide on regular expressions; the 'u' flag is specified when compiling the regular expression, so that the pattern is treated as a sequence of Unicode code points, instead of as ASCII. No forward slashes should be specified around the pattern text.

If the pattern attribute is present by is not specified or is invalid, no regular expression is applied and this attribute is ignored completely. If the pattern attribute is valid and a non-empty value does not match the pattern, constraint validation will prevent form submission.

Tip: If using the pattern attribute, inform the user about the expected format by including explanatory text nearby. You can also include a title attribute to explain what the requirements are to match the pattern; most browsers will display this title as as a tooltip The visible explanation is required for accessibilty. The tooltip is an enhancement.

See Client-side validation for more information.

placeholder

The placeholder attribute is a string that provides a brief hint to the user as to what kind of information is expected in the field. It should be a word or short phrase that demonstrates the expected type of data, rather than an explanatory message. The text must not include carriage returns or line feeds.

Note: The placeholder attribute is not as semantically useful as other ways to explain your form, and can cause unexpected technical issues with your content. See Labels and placeholders in <input>: The Input (Form Input) element for more information.

readonly

A Boolean attribute which, if present, indicates that the user should not be able to edit the value of the input. The readonly attribute is supported  text, search, url, tel, email, date, month, week, time, datetime-local, number, and password input types.

See the HTML attribute: readonly for more information.

required

required is a Boolean attribute which, if present, indicates that the user must specify a value for the input before the owning form can be submitted. The required attribute is supported  text, search, url, tel, email, date, month, week, time, datetime-local, number, password, checkbox, radio, and file.

See Client-side validation and the HTML attribute: required for more information.

size
Valid for email, password, tel, and text input types only. Specifies how much of the input is shown. Basically creates same result as setting CSS width property with a few specialities. The actual unit if the value is depends on input type. For password and text it's number of characters (or em units) and pixels for others. CSS width takes precedence over size attribute.
src

Valid for the image input button only, the src is string specifying the URL of the image file to display to represent the graphical submit button. See the image input type.

step

Valid for the numeric input types, including number, date/time input types, and range, the step attribute is a number that specifies the granularity that the value must adhere to.

If not explicitly included, step defaults to 1 for number and range, and 1 unit type (second, week, month, day) for the date/time input types. The value can must be a positive number - integer or float -- or the special value any, which means no stepping is implied, and any value is allowed (barring other constraints, such as min and max).

If any is not explicity set, valid values for the number, date/time input types, and range input types are equal to the basis for stepping - the min value and increments of the step value, up to the max value, if specified. For example, if we have <input type="number" min="10" step="2"> any even integer, 10 or great, is valid. If omitted, <input type="number">, any integer is valid, but floats, like 4.2, are not valid, as step defaults to 1. For 4.2 to be valid, step would have had to be set to any, 0.1, 0.2, or any the min value would have had to be a number ending in .2, such as <input type="number" min="-5.2">

Note: When the data entered by the user doesn't adhere to the stepping configuration, the value is considered invalid in contraint validation and will match the :invalid pseudoclass

The default stepping value for number inputs is 1, allowing only integers to be entered, unless the stepping base is not an integer. The default stepping value for time is 1 second, with 900 being equal to 15 minutes.

See Client-side validation for more information.

tabindex

Global attribute valid for all elements, including all the input types, an integer attribute indicating if the element can take input focus (is focusable), if it should participate to sequential keyboard navigation. As all input types except for input of type hidden are  focusable, this attribute should not be used on form controls, because doing so would require the management of the focus order for all elements within the document with the risk of harming usability and accessibility if done incorrectly.

title

Global attribute valid for all elements, including all input types, containing a text representing advisory information related to the element it belongs to. Such information can typically, but not necessarily, be presented to the user as a tooltip. The title should NOT be used as the primary explanation of the purpose of the form control. Instead, use the <label> element with a for attribute set to the form control's id attribute. See Labels below.

type

A string specifying the type of control to render. For example, to create a checkbox, a value of checkbox is used. If omitted (or an unknown value is specified), the input type text is used, creating a plaintext input field.

Permitted values are listed in <input> types above.

value

The input control's value. When specified in the HTML, this is the initial value, and from then on it can be altered or retrieved at any time using JavaScript to access the respective HTMLInputElement object's value property. The value attribute is always optional, though should be considered mandatory for checkbox, radio, and hidden.

width

Valid for the image input button only, the width is the width of the image file to display to represent the graphical submit button. See the image input type.

Non-standard attributes

The following non-standard attributes are also available on some browsers. As a general rule, you should avoid using them unless it can't be helped.

Attribute Description
autocorrect A string indicating whether or not autocorrect is on or off. Safari only.
incremental Whether or not to send repeated search events to allow updating live search results while the user is still editing the value of the field. WebKit and Blink only (Safari, Chrome, Opera, etc.).
mozactionhint A string indicating the type of action that will be taken when the user presses the Enter or Return key while editing the field; this is used to determine an appropriate label for that key on a virtual keyboard. Firefox for Android only.
orient Sets the orientation of the range slider. Firefox only.
results The maximum number of items that should be displayed in the drop-down list of previous search queries. Safari only.
webkitdirectory A Boolean indicating whether or not to only allow the user to choose a directory (or directories, if multiple is also present)
autocorrect

A Safari extension, the autocorrect attribute is a string which indicates whether or not to activate automatic correction while the user is editing this field. Permitted values are:

on
Enable automatic correction of typos, as well as processing of text substitutions if any are configured.
off
Disable automatic correction and text substitutions.
incremental

The Boolean attribute incremental is a WebKit and Blink extension (so supported by Safari, Opera, Chrome, etc.) which, if present, tells the user agent to process the input as a live search. As the user edits the value of the field, the user agent sends search events to the HTMLInputElement object representing the search box. This allows your code to update the search results in real time as the user edits the search.

If incremental is not specified, the search event is only sent when the user explicitly initiates a search (such as by pressing the Enter or Return key while editing the field).

The search event is rate-limited so that it is not sent more more frequently than an implementation-defined interval.

mozactionhint

A Mozilla extension, supported by Firefox for Android, which provides a hint as to what sort of action will be taken if the user presses the Enter or Return key while editing the field. This information is used to decide what kind of label to use on the Enter key on the virtual keyboard.

Note: This has been standardized as the global attribute enterkeyhint, but is not yet widely implemented. To see the status of the change being implemented in Firefox, see bug 1490661.

Permitted values are: go, done, next, search, and send. The browser decides, using this hint, what label to put on the enter key.

orient
results

The results attribute—supported only by Safari—is a numeric value that lets you override the maximum number of entries to be displayed in the <input> element's natively-provided drop-down menu of previous search queries.

The value must be a non-negative decimal number. If not provided, or an invalid value is given, the browser's default maximum number of entries is used.

webkitdirectory

The Boolean webkitdirectory attribute, if present, indicates that only directories should be available to be selected by the user in the file picker interface. See HTMLInputElement.webkitdirectory for additional details and examples.

Note: Though originally implemented only for WebKit-based browsers, webkitdirectory is also usable in Microsoft Edge as well as Firefox 50 and later. However, even though it has relatively broad support, it is still not standard and should not be used unless you have no alternative.

Methods

The following methods are provided by the HTMLInputElement interface which represents <input> elements in the DOM. Also available are those methods specified by the parent interfaces, HTMLElement, Element, Node, and EventTarget.

checkValidity()
Immediately runs the validity check on the element, triggering the document to fire the invalid event at the element if the value isn't valid.
reportValidity()
Returns true if the element's value passes validity checks; otherwise, returns false.
select()
Selects the entire content of the <input> element, if the element's content is selectable. For elements with no selectable text content (such as a visual color picker or calendar date input), this method does nothing.
setCustomValidity()
Sets a custom message to display if the input element's value isn't valid.
setRangeText()
Sets the contents of the specified range of characters in the input element to a given string. A selectMode parameter is available to allow controlling how the existing content is affected.
setSelectionRange()
Selects the specified range of characters within a textual input element. Does nothing for inputs which aren't presented as text input fields.
stepDown()
Decrements the value of a numeric input by one, by default, or by the specified number of units.
stepUp()
Increments the value of a numeric input by one or by the specified number of units.

CSS

Inputs, being replaced elements, have a few features not applicable to non form elements. There are CSS selectors that can specification target form controls based on their UI features, also known as UI pseudo-classes. The input element can also be targeted by type with attribute selectors. There are some properties that are especially useful as well. 

UI pseudo-classes

Captions super relevant to the <input> element:
pseudo-class description
:enabled Any currently enabled element that can be activated (selected, clicked on, typed into, etc.) or accept focus and also has a disabled state, in which it can't be activated or accept focus.
:disabled Any currently disabled element that has an enabled state, meaing it otherwise could be activated (selected, clicked on, typed into, etc.) or accept focus were it not disabled.
:read-only Element not editable by the user
:read-write Element that is editable by the user.
:placeholder-shown Element that is currently displaying placeholder text, including input elements with the placeholder attribute present that has, as of yet, no value.
:default Form elements that are the default in a group of related elements. Matches checkbox and radio input types that were checked on page load or render.
:checked Matches checkbox and radio input types that are currently checked (and the (<option> in a <select> that is currently selected).
:indeterminate checkbox elements whose indeterminate property is set to true by JavaScript, radio elements, when all radio buttons with the same name value in the form are unchecked, and <progress> elements in an indeterminate state
:valid Form controls that can have constraint validation applied and are currently valid.
:invalid Form controls that have constraint validation applied and are currently not valid. Matches a form control whose value doesn't match the constraints set on it by it's attributes, such as requiredpattern , step and max.
:in-range A non-empty input whose current value is within the range limits specified by the min and max attributes and the step .
:out-of-range A non-empty input whose current value is NOT within the range limits specified by the min and max attributes or does not adher to the step constraint.
:placeholder-shown An input or textarea element that is currently displaying placeholder text.
:required <input>, <select>, or <textarea> element that has the required attribute set on it. Only matches elements that can be required. The attribute included on a non-requirable element will not make for a match.
:optional <input>, <select>, or <textarea> element that does NOT have the required attribute set on it. Does not match elements that can't be required.
:blank <input> and <textarea> elements that currently have no value.
:user-invalid Similar to :invalid, but is activated on blur. Matches invalid input but only after the user interaction, such as by focusing on the control, leaving the control, or attempting to submit the form containing the invalid control.

Examples

We can style a checkbox label based on whether the checkbox is checked or not. In this example, we are styling the color and font-weight of the <label> that comes immediately after a checked input. We haven't applied any styles if the input is not checked.

input:checked + label {
  color: red;
  font-weight: bold;
}

Attribute selectors

It is possible to target different types of form controls based on their type using attribute selectors. CSS attribute selectors match elements based on either just the presence of a attribute or the value of a given attribute.

/* matches a password input */
input[type="password"] {} 

/* matches a form control whose valid values are limited to a range of values*/ 
input[min][max] {} 

/* matches a form control with with a pattern attribute */
 input[pattern] {}

::placeholder

By default, the appearance of placeholder text is a translucent or light gray. The ::placeholder pseudo-element is the input's placeholder text. It can be styled with a limited subset of CSS properties.

::placeholder {
  color: blue;
}

Only the subset of CSS properties that apply to the ::first-line pseudo-element can be used in a rule using ::placeholder in its selector.

appearance

The appearance property enables the displaying of (almost) any element as a platform-native style based on the operating system's theme as well as the removal of any platform-native styling with the none value. You could make a <div> look like a radio button with div {appearance: radio;} or a radio look like a checkbox with [type="checkbox] {appearance: checkbox;}, but don't.

Setting appearance: none removes platform native borders, but not functionality.

caret-color

A property specific to text entry-related elements is the CSS caret-color property, which lets you set the color used to draw the text input caret:

HTML

<label for="textInput">Note the red caret:</label>
<input id="textInput" class="custom" size="32">

CSS

input.custom {
  caret-color: red;
  font: 16px "Helvetica", "Arial", "sans-serif"
}

Result

object-position and object-fit

In certain cases (typically involving non-textual inputs and specialized interfaces), the <input> element is a replaced element. When it is, the position and size of the element's size and positioning within its frame can be adjusted using the CSS object-position and object-fit properties

Styling

For more information about adding color to elements in HTML, see Applying color to HTML elements using CSS. Also see styling HTML forms and advanced styling for HTML forms.

Additional Features

Labels

Labels are needed to associate assistive text with an <input>. The <label> element provides explanatory information about a form field that is always appropriate (aside from any layout concerns you have). It's never a bad idea to use a <label> to explain what should be entered into an <input> or <textarea>.

Associated labels

The semantic pairing of <input> and <label> elements is useful for assistive technologies such as screen readers. By pairing them using the <label>'s for attribute, you bond the label to the input in a way that lets screen readers describe inputs to users more precisely.

It does not suffice to have plain text adjacent to the <input> element,. Rather, usability and accessibility requires the inclusion of either implicit or explicit <label>.:

<!-- inaccessible -->
<p>Enter your name: <input id="name" type="text" size="30"></p>

<!-- implicit label -->
<p><label>Enter your name: <input id="name" type="text" size="30"></label></p>

<!-- explicit label -->
<p><label for="name">Enter your name: </label><input id="name" type="text" size="30"></p>

The first example is inaccessible: no relationship exists between the prompt and the <input> element.

In addition to an accessible name, the label provides a larger 'hit' area for mouse and touch screen users to click on or touch. By pairing a <label> with an <input>, clicking on either one will focus the <input>. If you use plaintext to "label" your input, this won't happen. Having the prompt part of the activation area for the input is helpful for people with motor control conditions.

As web developers, it's important that we never assume that people will know all the things that we know. The diversity of people using the web—and by extension your web site—practically guarantees that some of your site's visitors will have some variation in thought processes and/or circumstances that leads them to interpret your forms very differently from you without clear and properly-presented labels.

Placeholders are not accessible

The placeholder attribute lets you specify a text that appears within the <input> element's content area itself when empty. The placeholder should never be required in order to understand your forms. It is not a label, and should not be used as a substitute, because it isn't. The placeholder is used to show an example input, not an explanation or prompt. Not only is the placeholder not accessible to screen readers, but once the user enters any text into the form control, or if the form control already has a value, there is no placeholder. Browsers with automatic page translation features may skip over attributes when translating, meaning the placeholder may not get translated.

Don't use the placeholder attribute if you can avoid it. If you need to label an <input> element, use the <label> element

Client-side validation

In addition to using CSS to style inputs based on the :valid or :invalid UI states based on the current state of each input, as noted in the UI pseudo-classes section above, the browser provides for client-side validation on (attempted) form submission. On form submission, if their is a form control that fails constraint validation, supporting browsers will display an error message on the first invalid form control; displaying a default message based on the error type, or a message set by you.

Some input types and other attributes place limits on what values are valid for a given input. For example, <input type="number" min="2" max="10" step="2"> means only the number 2, 4, 6, 8 or 10 are valid. Several errors could occur, inlcluding a rangeUnderflow error if the value is less than 2, rangeOverflow if greater than 10, stepMismatch if the value is a number between 2 and 10, but not an even integer (does not match the requirements of the step attribute), or typeMismatch if the value is not a number.

Specific attributes and their values can lead to specific error ValidityState

 Validity object errors depend on the <input> attributes and their values:
Attribute Relevent property Description
max validityState.rangeOverflow Occurs when the value is greater than the maximum value as defined by the max attribute
maxlength validityState.tooLong Occurs when the number of characters is greater than the number allowed by the maxlength property
min validityState.rangeUnderflow Occurs when the value is less than the minimum value as defined by the min attribute
minlength validityState.tooShort Occurs when the number of characters is less than the number required by the minlength property
pattern validityState.patternMismatch Occurs when a pattern attribute is included with a valid regular expression and the value does not match it.
required validityState.valueMissing Occurs when the required attribute is present but the value is null or radio or checkbox is not checked.
step validityState.stepMismatch The value doesn't match the step increment. Increment default is 1, so only integers are valid on type="number" is step is not included. step="any" will never throw this error.
type validityState.typeMismatch Occurs when the value is not of the correct type, for example a email does not contain an @ or a url doesn't contain a protocol.

If a form control doesn't have the required attribute, no value, or an empty string, is not invalid. Even if the above attributes are present, with the exception of 'required', and empty string will not lead to an error.

We can set limits on what values we accept, and supporting browsers will natively validate these form values and alert the user if there is a mistake when the form is submitted.

In addition to the errors described in the table above, the validityState interface contains the 'badInput, 'valid' and 'customError' boolean readonly properties. The validity object includes:

For each of these Boolean properties, a value of true indicates that the specified reason validation may have failed is true, with the exception of the valid property, which is true if the element's value obeys all constraints.

If there is an error, supporting browsers will both alert the user and prevent the form from being submitted. A word of caution: if a custom error is set to a truthy value (anything other than the empty string or null), the form will be be prevented from being submitted. If there is no custom error message, and none of the other properties return true, valid will be true, and the form can be submitted.

function validate(input) {
  let validityState_object = input.validity;
  if(validityState_object.valueMissing) {
     input.setCustomValidity('A value is required');
  } else if (input.rangeUnderflow) {
    input.setCustomValidity('Your value is too low');
  } else if (input.rangeOverflow) {
    input.setCustomValidity('Your value is too high');
  } else {
    input.setCustomValidity('');
  }
}

The last line, setting the custom validity message to the error string is vital. If the user makes an error, and the validity is set, it will fail to submit, even if all of the values are valid, until the message is null.

Example

If you want to present a custom error message when a field fails to validate, you need to use the Constraint validation features available on <input> (and related) elements. Take the following form:

<form>
  <label for="name">Enter username (upper and lowercase letters): </label>
  <input type="text" name="name" id="name" required pattern="[A-Za-z]+">
  <button>Submit</button>
</form>

The basic HTML form validation features will cause this to produce a default error message if you try to submit the form with either no valid filled in, or a value that does not match the pattern.

If you wanted to instead display custom error messages, you could use JavaScript like the following:

const nameInput = document.querySelector('input');
const form = document.querySelector('form');

nameInput.addEventListener('input', () => {
  nameInput.setCustomValidity('');
  nameInput.checkValidity();
});

nameInput.addEventListener('invalid', () => {
  if(nameInput.value === '') {
    nameInput.setCustomValidity('Enter your username!');
  } else {
    nameInput.setCustomValidity('Usernames can only contain upper and lowercase letters. Try again!');
  }
});

The example renders like so:

In brief:

  • We check the valid state of the input element every time its value is changed by running the checkValidity() method via the input event handler.
  • If the value is invalid, an invalid event is raised, and the invalid event handler function is run. Inside this function we work out whether the value is invalid because it is empty, or because it doesn't match the pattern, using an if() block, and set a custom validity error message.
  • As a result, if the input value is invalid when the submit button is pressed, one of the custom error messages will be shown.
  • If it is valid, it will submit as you'd expect. For this to happen, the custom validity has to be cancelled, by invoking setCustomValidity() with an empty string value. We therefore do this every time the input event is raised. If you don't do this, and a custom validity was previously set, the input will register as invalid, even if it current contains a valid value on submission.

Note: Always validate input constraints both client side and server side. Constraint validation doesn't remove the need for validation on the server side. Invalid values can still be sent by older browsers or by bad actors.

Note: Firefox supported a proprietary error attribute — x-moz-errormessage — for many versions, which allowed you set custom error messages in a similar way. This has been removed as of version 66 (see bug 1513890).

Localization

The allowed inputs for certain <input> types depend on the locale. In some locales, 1,000.00 is a valid number, while in other locales the valid way to enter this number is 1.000,00.

Firefox uses the following heuristics to determine the locale to validate the user's input (at least for type="number"):

  • Try the language specified by a lang/xml:lang attribute on the element or any of its parents.
  • Try the language specified by any Content-Language HTTP header or
  • If none specified, use the browser's locale.

Technical summary

Content categories Flow content, listed, submittable, resettable, form-associated element, phrasing content. If the type is not hidden, then labelable element, palpable content.
Permitted content None, it is an empty element.
Tag omission Must have a start tag and must not have an end tag.
Permitted parents Any element that accepts phrasing content.
Permitted ARIA roles
DOM interface HTMLInputElement

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
HTML Living Standard
The definition of '<input>' in that specification.
Living Standard
HTML Media Capture
The definition of 'capture attribute' in that specification.
Recommendation Adds the capture attribute
HTML5
The definition of '<input>' in that specification.
Recommendation
HTML 4.01 Specification
The definition of '<form>' in that specification.
Recommendation

Accessibility concerns

Labels

When including inputs, it is an accessibilty requirement to add labels along side. This is needed so those who use assistive technologies can tell what the input is for. Also, clicking or touching a label gives focus to the label's associated form control. This improves the accessibility and usability for sighted users, increases the area a user can click or touch to activate the form control. this is especially useful (and even needed) for radio buttons and checkboxes, which are tiny. For more information about labels in general see Labels .

The following is an example of how to associate the <label> with an <input> element in the above style. You need to give the <input> an id attribute. The <label> then needs a for attribute whose value is the same as the input's id.

<label for="peas">Do you like peas?</label>
<input type="checkbox" name="peas" id="peas">

Size

Interactive elements such as form input should provide an area large enough that it is easy to activate them. This helps a variety of people, including people with motor control issues and people using non-precise forms of input such as a stylus or fingers. A minimum interactive size of 44 by 44 CSS pixels is recommended.

Browser compatibility

Update compatibility data on GitHub
DesktopMobile
ChromeEdgeFirefoxInternet ExplorerOperaSafariAndroid webviewChrome for AndroidFirefox for AndroidOpera for AndroidSafari on iOSSamsung Internet
inputChrome Full support YesEdge Full support YesFirefox Full support 1IE Full support YesOpera Full support YesSafari Full support 1WebView Android Full support 1Chrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support 1Samsung Internet Android Full support Yes
type="button"Chrome Full support 1Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 1IE Full support YesOpera Full support YesSafari Full support 1WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support 18Firefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support 1.0
type="checkbox"Chrome Full support YesEdge Full support YesFirefox Full support YesIE Full support YesOpera Full support YesSafari Full support YesWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
type="color"Chrome Full support 20Edge Full support 14Firefox Full support 29
Notes
Full support 29
Notes
Notes Firefox doesn't yet support inputs of type color on Windows Touch.
IE No support NoOpera Full support 12Safari Full support 12.1WebView Android Full support 4.4Chrome Android Full support 25Firefox Android Full support 27Opera Android Full support 12Safari iOS Full support 12.2Samsung Internet Android Full support 1.5
type="date"Chrome Full support 20Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 57IE No support NoOpera Full support 11Safari No support No
Notes
No support No
Notes
Notes The input type is recognized, but there is no date-specific control. See bug 119175.
WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 57Opera Android Full support 11Safari iOS Full support 5Samsung Internet Android Full support Yes
type="datetime-local"Chrome Full support 20Edge Full support 12Firefox No support No
Notes
No support No
Notes
Notes See bug 888320 and TPE DOM/Date time input types.
IE No support NoOpera Full support 11Safari No support No
Notes
No support No
Notes
Notes The input type is recognized, but there is no date-specific control. See bug 200416.
WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support 11Safari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
type="email"Chrome Full support 5Edge ? Firefox Full support YesIE Full support 10Opera Full support 11Safari Full support YesWebView Android ? Chrome Android ? Firefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support 3.1
Notes
Full support 3.1
Notes
Notes Doesn't do validation, but instead offers a custom 'email' keyboard, which is designed to make entering email addresses easier.
Notes The custom 'email' keyboard does not provide a comma key, so users cannot enter multiple email addresses.
Notes Automatically applies a default style of opacity: 0.4 to disable textual <input> elements, including those of type 'email'. Other major browsers don't currently share this particular default style.
Samsung Internet Android ?
type="file"Chrome Full support 1Edge ? Firefox Full support 1
Notes
Full support 1
Notes
Notes You can set as well as get the value of HTMLInputElement.files in all modern browsers; this was most recently added to Firefox, in version 57 (see bug 1384030).
IE Full support YesOpera Full support 11Safari Full support 1WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support 11Safari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
type="hidden"Chrome Full support 1Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 1IE Full support YesOpera Full support 2Safari Full support 1WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
type="image"Chrome Full support YesEdge ? Firefox Full support YesIE Full support YesOpera Full support YesSafari Full support YesWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android ? Firefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android ?
x-moz-errormessage attribute
ExperimentalDeprecatedNon-standard
Chrome No support NoEdge No support NoFirefox No support ? — 66IE No support NoOpera No support NoSafari No support NoWebView Android No support NoChrome Android No support NoFirefox Android No support ? — 66Opera Android No support NoSafari iOS No support NoSamsung Internet Android No support No
type="month"Chrome Full support 20Edge Full support 12Firefox No support No
Notes
No support No
Notes
Notes See bug 888320.
IE No support NoOpera Full support 11Safari No support No
Notes
No support No
Notes
Notes The input type is recognized, but there is no month-specific control. See bug 200416.
WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android No support NoOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
type="number"Chrome Full support YesEdge Full support 12Firefox Full support YesIE Full support 10Opera Full support YesSafari Full support YesWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
type="password"Chrome Full support 1Edge ? Firefox Full support 1IE Full support 2Opera Full support 2Safari Full support 1WebView Android ? Chrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
type="radio"Chrome Full support YesEdge Full support YesFirefox Full support YesIE Full support YesOpera Full support YesSafari Full support YesWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
type="range"Chrome Full support 4Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 23IE Full support 10Opera Full support 11Safari Full support 3.1WebView Android Full support 4.4
Full support 4.4
No support 2 — 4.4
Notes
Notes Pre-Chromium Android WebView recognizes the range type, but doesn't implement a range-specific control.
Chrome Android Full support 57Firefox Android Full support 52Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support 5.1Samsung Internet Android Full support 7.0
type="reset"Chrome Full support 1Edge ? Firefox Full support 1
Notes
Full support 1
Notes
Notes Unlike other browsers, Firefox by default persists the dynamic disabled state of a &ltbutton&gt across page loads. Use the autocomplete attribute to control this feature.
IE Full support YesOpera Full support YesSafari Full support 1WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4
Notes
Full support 4
Notes
Notes Unlike other browsers, Firefox by default persists the dynamic disabled state of a &ltbutton&gt across page loads. Use the autocomplete attribute to control this feature.
Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
type="search"Chrome Full support 5Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 4IE Full support 10Opera Full support 10.6Safari Full support 5WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
type="submit"Chrome Full support 1Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 1
Notes
Full support 1
Notes
Notes Unlike other browsers, Firefox by default persists the dynamic disabled state of a <button> across page loads. Use the autocomplete attribute to control this feature.</button>
IE Full support YesOpera Full support YesSafari Full support 1WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4
Notes
Full support 4
Notes
Notes Unlike other browsers, Firefox by default persists the dynamic disabled state of a <button> across page loads. Use the autocomplete attribute to control this feature.</button>
Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
type="tel"Chrome Full support YesEdge Full support YesFirefox Full support YesIE Full support 10Opera Full support 11Safari Full support YesWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
type="text"Chrome Full support 1Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support 1IE Full support YesOpera Full support YesSafari Full support 1WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support 4Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
type="time"Chrome Full support 20Edge Full support 12Firefox Full support 57IE No support NoOpera Full support 10Safari No support No
Notes
No support No
Notes
Notes See bug 200416.
WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support 25Firefox Android Full support 57Opera Android Full support YesSafari iOS No support NoSamsung Internet Android Full support 1.5
type="url"Chrome Full support 1Edge Full support YesFirefox Full support YesIE Full support 10Opera Full support 11Safari Full support YesWebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes
type="week"Chrome Full support 20Edge Full support 12Firefox No support No
Notes
No support No
Notes
Notes See bug 888320.
IE No support NoOpera Full support 11Safari No support No
Notes
No support No
Notes
Notes See bug 200416.
WebView Android Full support YesChrome Android Full support YesFirefox Android Full support YesOpera Android Full support YesSafari iOS Full support YesSamsung Internet Android Full support Yes

Legend

Full support  
Full support
No support  
No support
Compatibility unknown  
Compatibility unknown
Experimental. Expect behavior to change in the future.
Experimental. Expect behavior to change in the future.
Non-standard. Expect poor cross-browser support.
Non-standard. Expect poor cross-browser support.
Deprecated. Not for use in new websites.
Deprecated. Not for use in new websites.
See implementation notes.
See implementation notes.

[1] It is recognized but there is no UI.

[2] Missing for type="checkbox" and type="radio".

[3] In Safari autocapitalize="words" capitalizes every word's second character.

[4] datetime has been removed from the spec and browsers in favour of datetime-local.

[5] see bug 1355389

[6] Not yet implemented. For progress, see bug 888320 and TPE DOM/Date time input types.

See also