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All You Need to Know About the HTML Select Option

As someone who has been trying to score every programming language under their belt, one intricate concept at a time, I can tell you that there is no time better to start learning a coding script than now. That being said, the coding industry in itself is a vast world that may be very difficult, frustrating, and tedious for a beginner to navigate, but rest assured, that is exactly what we are here to help you with. In this article, we will be learning about yet another concept, which is, the HTML select option. 

Just like any other concept within HTML, this one will also be easy to understand and versatile in its uses. There are many different things that the HTML select tag aids programmers and coders with and we will be going over them in more detail in this article. Without further ado, let us begin.

What is the HTML select tag?

No matter where or who we are, we have at least once, come across dropdown menus with different selectable options. If this rings a bell, in all websites that have such dropdown menus which are built with HTML, the coders and developers have made use of the select tag. The select <select> tag essentially helps coders and programmers offer the viewer a list of options to choose from to answer a particular query or question. You can tell by how many times you may have encountered such dropdown menus that this tab is extensively used for the amount of utility that it provides. The <select> tags are mostly used in forms to collect input from viewers and users.

Now that we have a clear picture of what the <select> tag has to offer, let us learn how to use this select tag in HTML with a few examples.

Select Tag example:

Select HTML tutorial
<!—The main feature of the select tag is that it contains multiple options that users can navigate and choose from. The different options are simply represented by the tag named ‘option’ itself. You need to put the value of the option between the starting ‘<option>’ and the closing ‘</option>’ tags. —>
<p>What is your favorite color? </p>
<!— Note: The value that you add for your first option tag within any select tag will be the HTML select default - value that is visible on the screen before the dropdown menu is invoked. We recommend keeping the first option as a call-to-action for the viewer or user so that they know that the options lie within that HTML select option. —>
<option> Select color </option>
<option> Blue </option>
<option> Red </option>
<option> Purple </option>
<option> Yellow </option>
<option> Green </option>



html select


html select

The aforementioned example right here is the most basic form of the select tag. If anything, this example just goes to show how easy the tag is to use within HTML.

HTML Select option tips:

To prepare you for backend HTML development, there are a few things you need to keep in mind. When you will be working with backend technologies like PHP and collecting data to store in databases, you will need to use the ‘name’ attribute to the select tag. The value of this name attribute will be the name with which you would want this tag to be stored within the database. For example,

<select name= “Colors”>

Along with this, we also need to add the ‘value’ attribute to every opening <option> tag within our HTML code. For instance,

<option value= “Blue”> Blue </option>
<option value= “Red”> Red </option>

These tips come in handy if and when you will be working with backend processes. For any programming language, the backend work requires precise data collection for storage within databases, attributes like ‘value’ and ‘name’ make the process much easier and significantly quicker.

In the earlier example, we mentioned how the value for the first <option> tag within any <select> tag is usually the HTML select default option that will appear when the page loads. However, there is a method in which you can make it so that none of the options will show as the default pick. To do this, you will need to create an HTML select placeholder. To do this, you will need to use both the ‘selected’ and ‘disabled’ attributes of an option that you have assigned no value to. For instance,

<option value= “” disabled selected> Select color</option>

HTML select tag attributes:

Since we have already looked at the ‘name’ attribute for the select tag, let us take a look at the other attributes that can be used with this tag.

  1. <select autocomplete= “on/off”> = the ‘autocomplete’ attribute specifies if the browser can fill field values automatically.
  2. <select autofocus> = the ‘autofocus’ attribute automatically focuses the dropdown menu as soon as the HTML page loads. In a single HTML page, only one element of the form can have autofocus.
  3. <select multiple> = the ‘multiple’ attribute allows the user to select multiple options at the same time. If you enable this attribute, most browsers will automatically replace the dropdown list with a scrolling list box.
  4. <select required> = the ‘required’ attribute makes it compulsory for the user to choose an option from the menu before submitting the form.
  5. <select size= “x”> = the ‘size’ attribute defines the number of options that will be displayed if the dropdown menu is presented as a scrolling list by any browser.
  6. <select disable> = the ‘disable’ attribute simply deactivates the dropdown menu.
  7. <select form= “xyz”> = the ‘form’ attribute link one or more forms to the selected element. For instance,
<form action= “process.php” id= “xyz”>
Favorite color: <input type= “text” name= “color”>
<input type= “submit”>
<select name= “colors” form= “xyz”>


With that, we come to an end of learning about the HTML select tag, its uses, and functions. Just like any other concept, you will get well-versed with it as you keep on using it over and over again. This is one of the foundation concepts of HTML, thus, there is still more to learn. Happy learning!

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