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In a Web form, the HTML <option> element is used to create a control representing an item within a <select>, an <optgroup> or a <datalist> HTML5 element.

  • Content categories None.
  • Permitted content Text with eventually escaped characters (like &eacute;).
  • Tag omission The start tag is mandatory. The end tag is optional if this element is immediately followed by another <option> element or an <optgroup>, or if the parent element has no more content.
  • Permitted parent elements A <select>, an <optgroup> or a <datalist> element.
  • DOM interface HTMLOptionElement


This element includes the global attributes.

If this Boolean attribute is set, this option is not checkable. Often browsers grey out such control and it won't receive any browsing event, like mouse clicks or focus-related ones. If this attribute is not set, the element can still be disabled if one its ancestors is a disabled <optgroup> element.
This attribute is text for the label indicating the meaning of the option. If the label attribute isn't defined, its value is that of the element text content.
Usage note: the label attribute is designed to contain a short label typically used in a hierarchical menu. The value attribute describes a longer label designed to be used near a radio button, for example.
If present, this Boolean attribute indicates that the option is initially selected. If the <option> element is the descendant of a<select> element whose multiple attribute is not set, only one single <option> of this <select> element may have the selected attribute.
The content of this attribute represents the value to be submitted with the form, should this option be selected. If this attribute is omitted, the value is taken from the text content of the option element.


See <select> examples.


Specification Status Comment
WHATWG HTML Living Standard
Living Standard  
HTML 4.01 Specification

Browser compatibility

Feature Chrome Firefox (Gecko) Internet Explorer Opera Safari (WebKit)
Basic support 1.0 1.0 (1.0) [1] (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)
Feature Android Firefox Mobile (Gecko) IE Phone Opera Mobile Safari Mobile
Basic support (Yes) 1.0 (1.0) [1] (Yes) (Yes) (Yes)

Gecko notes

[1] Prior to Gecko 7.0, (Firefox 7.0 / Thunderbird 7.0 / SeaMonkey 2.4), the label attribute incorrectly returned an empty string if not defined, instead of returning the element text content.

See also


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