<input type="text">

<input> elements of type "text" create basic single-line text fields.

<input type="text">

Value A DOMString representing the text contained in the text field.
Events change and input
Supported Common Attributes autocomplete, list, maxlength, minlengthpatternplaceholderrequired, and size.
IDL attributes value
Methods select(), setRangeText(), and setSelectionRange().

Value

The value attribute is a DOMString that contains the current value of the text entered into the text field. You can retrieve this using the HTMLInputElement.value property in JavaScript.

let theText = myTextInput.value;

If no validation constraints are in place for the input (see Validation for more details), the value may be an empty string ("").

Using text inputs

<input> elements of type text create basic, single-line inputs. You should use them anywhere you want the user to enter a single-line value and there isn't a more specific input type available for collecting that value (for example, if it's a date, URL, email, or search term, you've got better options available).

Basic example

<form>
  <div>
    <label for="uname">Choose a username: </label>
    <input type="text" id="uname" name="name">
  </div>
  <div>
    <button>Submit</button>
  </div>
</form>

This renders like so:

When submitted, the data name/value pair sent to the server will be uname=Chris (if "Chris" was entered as the input value before submission). You must remember to include name attribute on the <input> element, otherwise the text field's value won't be included with the submitted data.

Setting placeholders

You can provide a useful placeholder inside your text input that can provide a hint as to what to enter by including using the placeholder attribute. Look at the following example:

<form>
  <div>
    <label for="uname">Choose a username: </label>
    <input type="text" id="uname" name="name"
           placeholder="Lower case, all one word">
  </div>
  <div>
    <button>Submit</button>
  </div>
</form>

You can see how the placeholder is rendered below:

The placeholder is typically rendered in a lighter color than the element's foreground color, and automatically vanishes when the user begins to enter text into the field (or whenever the field has a value set programmatically by setting its value attribute.

Physical input element size

The physical size of the input box can be controlled using the size attribute. With it, you can specify the number of characters the text input can display at a time. This affects the width of the element, letting you specify the width in terms of characters rather than pixels. In this example, for instance, the input is 30 characters wide:

<form>
  <div>
    <label for="uname">Choose a username: </label>
    <input type="text" id="uname" name="name"
           placeholder="Lower case, all one word"
           size="30">
  </div>
  <div>
    <button>Submit</button>
  </div>
</form>

Validation

<input> elements of type text have no automatic validation applied to them (since a basic text input needs to be capable of accepting any arbitrary string), but there are some client-side validation options available, which we'll discuss below.

Note: HTML form validation is not a substitute for server-scripts that ensure the entered data is in the proper format.  It's far too easy for someone to make adjustments to the HTML that allow them to bypass the validation, or to remove it entirely. It's also possible for someone to simply bypass your HTML entirely and submit the data directly to your server. If your server-side code fails to validate the data it receives, disaster could strike when improperly-formatted data (or data which is too large, is of the wrong type, and so forth) is entered into your database.

A note on styling

There are useful pseudo-classes available for styling form elements to help the user see when their values are valid or invalid. These are :valid and :invalid. In this section, we'll use the following CSS, which will place a check (tick) mark next to inputs containing valid values, and a cross (X) next to inputs containing invalid values.

div {
  margin-bottom: 10px;
  position: relative;
}

input + span {
  padding-right: 30px;
}

input:invalid+span:after {
  position: absolute; content: '✖';
  padding-left: 5px;
}

input:valid+span:after {
  position: absolute;
  content: '✓';
  padding-left: 5px;
}

The technique also requires a <span> element to be placed after the form element, which acts as a holder for the icons. This was necessary because some input types on some browsers don't display icons placed directly after them very well.

Making input required

You can use the required attribute as an easy way of making entering a value required before form submission is allowed:

<form>
  <div>
    <label for="uname">Choose a username: </label>
    <input type="text" id="uname" name="name" required>
    <span class="validity"></span>
  </div>
  <div>
    <button>Submit</button>
  </div>
</form>

This renders like so:

If you try to submit the form with no search term entered into it, the browser will show an error message.

Input value length

You can specify a minimum length (in characters) for the entered value using the minlength attribute; similarly, use maxlength to set the maximum length of the entered value, in characters.

The example below requires that the entered value be 4–8 characters in length.

<form>
  <div>
    <label for="uname">Choose a username: </label>
    <input type="text" id="uname" name="name" required size="10"
           placeholder="Username"
           minlength="4" maxlength="8">
    <span class="validity"></span>
  </div>
  <div>
    <button>Submit</button>
  </div>
</form>

This renders like so:

If you try to submit the form with less than 4 characters, you'll be given an appropriate error message (which differs between browsers). If you try to enter more than 8 characters, the browser won't let you.

Specifying a pattern

You can use the pattern attribute to specify a regular expression that the inputted value must match in order to be considered valid (see Validating against a regular expression for a simple crash course on using regular expressions to validate inputs).

The example below restricts the value to 4-8 characters and requires that it contain only lower-case letters.

<form>
  <div>
    <label for="uname">Choose a username: </label>
    <input type="text" id="uname" name="name" required size="45"
           pattern="[a-z]{4,8}">
    <span class="validity"></span>
    <p>Usernames must be lowercase and 4-8 characters in length.</p>
  </div>
  <div>
    <button>Submit</button>
  </div>
</form>

This renders like so:

Examples

You can see good examples of text inputs used in context in our Your first HTML form and How to structure an HTML form articles.

Specifications

Specification Status Comment
HTML Living Standard
The definition of '<input type="text">' in that specification.
Living Standard Initial definition
HTML 5.1
The definition of '<input type="text">' in that specification.
Recommendation Initial definition

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Edge Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari
Basic support 1.0 (Yes) 1.0 (1.7 or earlier) (Yes) (Yes) 1.0
Feature Android Chrome for Android Edge Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Mobile Opera Mobile iOS WebKit
(Safari/Chrome/Firefox/etc)
Basic support (Yes) (Yes) (Yes) 4.0 (4.0) (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)

See also

Document Tags and Contributors

 Contributors to this page: Sheppy, chrisdavidmills
 Last updated by: Sheppy,