Forms 101: More tags useful in forms

I want to introduce 2 very useful tags used in forms: <label> and <fieldset>.

<label>

<label> is used to build better-looking forms.

For example you have an input field:

<input type="email" name="email" />

Adding a label helps users understand what they should type in that field:

<label for="email">Your email: </label>
<input type="email" name="email" id="email" />

Note that if using a label we need an id parameter, so when the user clicks the label, the input fields automatically focuses.

<fieldset>

This tag is used to create a section in a form.

Imagine you have a long form with lots of fields:

<form method='post'>
  <div>
    <label for="email">Your email: </label>
    <input type="email" name="email" id="email" />
  </div>
  <div>
    <label for="name">Your name: </label>
    <input type="text" name="name" id="name" />
  </div>
  <div>
    <label for="address">Your address: </label>
    <input type="email" name="address" id="address" />
  </div>
  <div>
    <label for="country">Your country: </label>
    <input type="text" name="country" id="country" />
  </div>
</form>

<style>
	form div {
		padding-bottom: 10px;
	}
</style>

You can use <fieldset> and the browser automatically adds a border to the form (visual change), but also we have now separated the form conceptually in 2 parts:

<form method='post'>
  <fieldset>
    <div>
      <label for="email">Your email: </label>
      <input type="email" name="email" id="email" />
    </div>
    <div>
      <label for="name">Your name: </label>
      <input type="text" name="name" id="name" />
    </div>
  </fieldset>
  <fieldset>
    <div>
      <label for="address">Your address: </label>
      <input type="email" name="address" id="address" />
    </div>
    <div>
      <label for="country">Your country: </label>
      <input type="text" name="country" id="country" />
    </div>
  </fieldset>
</form>

Interestingly we can use the <legend> tag to explain what each section is about and the browser does this visually:

<form method='post'>
  <fieldset>
    <legend>Who are you?</legend>
    <div>
      <label for="email">Your email: </label>
      <input type="email" name="email" id="email" />
    </div>
    <div>
      <label for="name">Your name: </label>
      <input type="text" name="name" id="name" />
    </div>
  </fieldset>
  <fieldset>
    <legend>Where do you live?</legend>
    <div>
      <label for="address">Your address: </label>
      <input type="email" name="address" id="address" />
    </div>
    <div>
      <label for="country">Your country: </label>
      <input type="text" name="country" id="country" />
    </div>
  </fieldset>
</form>

<style>
	form div {
		padding-bottom: 10px;
	}
	fieldset {
		margin-bottom: 20px;
	}
</style>

Lessons in this unit:

0: Introduction
1: Creating a form
2: Submitting a form
3: Receiving the form data
4: Form validation
5: ▶︎ More tags useful in forms
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