HTML Forms

The HTML form element represents a section of interactive controls for submitting information.

There are many different types of information you may want to collect from users, text-based answers, numbers, files, checkboxes, date, email, etc. It is important to specify the type of information you are collecting to make it easier for the computer to parse or translate the information and determine next actions. To collect all of this information, we use the input element and specify the type of information by using the type attribute.

Let’s take a look at a few examples of how the input element is used for a variety of types of information.

  • <input type=”text”>: The type text is used to take in a single-line text field. The placeholder attribute allows us to provide default text to display in the text field when empty.
  • <input type=”button”>: The type button is used to create a clickable rectangular button. Alternatively, most developers use the <button> element instead.
  • <input type=”checkbox”>: The type checkbox creates default boxes that are checked (ticked) when selected.
  • <input type=”number”>: The type number takes in a number input. By default the number type allows only integers unless otherwise specified by the use of the step attribute.
  • <input type=”radio”>: The type radio creates a clickable circular button, or a radio button. They act similarly to the checkbox type.

Check out MDN’s docs on the HTML input element to learn more about other types of input and associated values, attributes, and events.

Note: The form element itself sets up an area to collect user input but does nothing with the information. This is where JavaScript steps in to process the data and make appropriate actions. This is why it is important to give each element an id, name, and/or class.

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