<label>

The <label> HTML element represents a caption for an item in a user interface.

Associating a <label> with an <input> element offers some major advantages:

  • The label text is not only visually associated with its corresponding text input; it is programmatically associated with it too. This means that, for example, a screen reader will read out the label when the user is focused on the form input, making it easier for an assistive technology user to understand what data should be entered.
  • When a user clicks or touches/taps a label, the browser passes the focus to its associated input (the resulting event is also raised for the input). That increased hit area for focusing the input provides an advantage to anyone trying to activate it — including those using a touch-screen device.

To associate the <label> with an <input> element, you need to give the <input> an id attribute. The <label> then needs a for attribute whose value is the same as the input's id.

Alternatively, you can nest the <input> directly inside the <label>, in which case the for and id attributes are not needed because the association is implicit:

<label>Do you like peas?
  <input type="checkbox" name="peas">
</label>

The form control that a label is labeling is called the labeled control of the label element. Multiple labels can be associated with the same form control:

<label for="username">Enter your username:</label>
<input id="username">
<label for="username"><a href="/username-forgot">Forgot your username?</a></label>

Attributes

This element includes the global attributes.

for

The value of the for attribute must be a single id for a labelable form-related element in the same document as the <label> element. So, any given label element can be associated with only one form control.

The first element in the document with an id attribute matching the value of the for attribute is the labeled control for this label element — if the element with that id is actually a labelable element. If it is not a labelable element, then the for attribute has no effect. If there are other elements that also match the id value, later in the document, they are not considered.

Multiple label elements can be given the same value for their for attribute; doing so causes the associated form control (the form control that for value references) to have multiple labels.

Note: A <label> element can have both a for attribute and a contained control element, as long as the for attribute points to the contained control element.

Styling with CSS

There are no special styling considerations for <label> elements — structurally they are simple inline elements, and so can be styled in much the same way as a <span> or <a> element. You can apply styling to them in any way you want, as long as you don't cause the text to become difficult to read.

Examples

Simple label example

<label>Click me <input type="text"></label>

Using the "for" attribute

<label for="username">Click me</label>
<input type="text" id="username">

Accessibility concerns

Interactive content

Don't place interactive elements such as anchors or buttons inside a label. Doing so makes it difficult for people to activate the form input associated with the label.

Don't

<label for="tac">
  <input id="tac" type="checkbox" name="terms-and-conditions">
  I agree to the <a href="terms-and-conditions.html">Terms and Conditions</a>
</label>

Do

<label for="tac">
  <input id="tac" type="checkbox" name="terms-and-conditions">
  I agree to the Terms and Conditions
</label>
<p>
  <a href="terms-and-conditions.html">Read our Terms and Conditions</a>
</p>

Headings

Placing heading elements within a <label> interferes with many kinds of assistive technology, because headings are commonly used as a navigation aid. If the label's text needs to be adjusted visually, use CSS classes applied to the <label> element instead.

If a form, or a section of a form needs a title, use the <legend> element placed within a <fieldset>.

Don't

<label for="your-name">
  <h3>Your name</h3>
  <input id="your-name" name="your-name" type="text">
</label>

Do

<label class="large-label" for="your-name">
  Your name
  <input id="your-name" name="your-name" type="text">
</label> 

Buttons

An <input> element with a type="button" declaration and a valid value attribute does not need a label associated with it. Doing so may actually interfere with how assistive technology parses the button input. The same applies for the <button> element.

Technical summary

Content categories Flow content, phrasing content, interactive content, form-associated element, palpable content.
Permitted content Phrasing content, but no descendant label elements. No labelable elements other than the labeled control are allowed.
Tag omission None, both the starting and ending tag are mandatory.
Permitted parents Any element that accepts phrasing content.
Implicit ARIA role No corresponding role
Permitted ARIA roles No role permitted
DOM interface HTMLLabelElement

Specifications

Specification
HTML Standard (HTML)
# the-label-element

Browser compatibility

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