Text inputs are the most basic type of HTML form field. They’re used for giving the website user a blank input where she can enter any value. Here’s an example of the code used to create a text input:
<input name="favoriteColor" type="text">
Here’s what this field looks like in a browser:
Placeholder text appears inside the input field before a user starts typing. It’s useful for telling the user what you expect them to enter.
Here’s an example of using placeholder text in a text input:
<input name="favoriteColor" type="text" placeholder= "Enter your favorite color">
Here’s what this field looks like in a web browser.
When the input field is selected and you can see your cursor inside of it, it “has focus.” If you want a certain field (such as the First Name field) to have “focus” as soon as a web page loads, you can use the autofocus attribute. Here’s what it looks like:
<input type="text" name="firstName" autofocus>
The email input field looks like a text box input and it works just like a text input field in most cases, too. But, sometimes, the web browser treats the email input field differently from a text input field. For example, when an email input field is “in focus” on an iPhone, a special keyboard displays that features shortcuts for entering email addresses.
Here’s an example of using the email input field:
<input type="email" name="yourEmail">
A slider input is an input field that allows the user to select a number within a range of numbers, by using a drag-and-drop control.
Here’s the code for creating a slider:
<input type="range" min="0" max="100">
Here’s what a slider looks like in a web browser.
If you want force your user to enter a value into a field before he’s able to submit the form, HTML5 has an attribute called required.
To make a form field required, you just need to add the new attribute within a form input field, like this:
<form> <input name="phoneNumber" required> <input type="submit" value="Submit Form"> </form>
When a user tries to submit this form without filling in the phoneNumber field, she gets a message asking her to fill it in:
As of this writing, not all web browsers support the required attribute, but it is supported by Chrome, Firefox, Internet Explorer, and Opera.
Finding out more