Form elements - Text input

Use text input to let users enter a single line of text.

Open this input example in new window
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<div class="nhsuk-form-group">
  <label class="nhsuk-label" for="example">
    What is your name?
  </label>
  <input class="nhsuk-input" id="example" name="example" type="text">
</div>
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{% from 'input/macro.njk' import input %}

{{ input({
  "label": {
    "text": "What is your name?"
  },
  "id": "example",
  "name": "example"
}) }}
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When to use text input

Use text input when you need users to enter text that’s no longer than a single line, such as their name or phone number.

When not to use text input

Do not use text input if you need users to enter longer answers that might span several lines. In this case, use textarea.

How to use text input

Label text inputs

Give text input a visible label.

Do not use placeholder text for a label as it vanishes when users click on the text input.

Align labels above the text inputs they refer to. Labels should be short, direct and written in sentence case. Do not use colons at the end of labels.

If you are asking just 1 question per page as we recommend, you can set the contents of the <label> as the page heading. This is good practice as it means that screen reader users will only hear the contents once.

Open this input heading example in new window
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<div class="nhsuk-form-group">
  <h1 class="nhsuk-label-wrapper">
    <label class="nhsuk-label nhsuk-label--l" for="example-heading">
      What is your name?
    </label>
  </h1>
  <input class="nhsuk-input" id="example-heading" name="example-heading" type="text">
</div>
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{% from 'input/macro.njk' import input %}

{{ input({
  "label": {
    "text": "What is your name?",
    "classes": "nhsuk-label--l",
    "isPageHeading": true
  },
  "id": "example-heading",
  "name": "example-heading"
}) }}
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Make text inputs the right size

Help users understand what they should enter by making text inputs the right size for the information you want them to give you.

By default, the width of text inputs is fluid and will fit the full width of the container they are placed into.

If you want to make the input smaller, you can either use a fixed width input, or use the width override classes to create a smaller, fluid width input.

Fixed width inputs

Use fixed width inputs for content that has a specific, known length. For example, postcode inputs should be postcode-sized and phone number inputs should be phone number-sized.

On fixed width inputs, the width will remain fixed on all screens unless it is wider than the viewport, in which case it will shrink to fit.

Open this input fixed width example in new window
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<div class="nhsuk-form-group">
  <label class="nhsuk-label" for="input-width-20">
    20 character width
  </label>
  <input class="nhsuk-input nhsuk-input--width-20" id="input-width-20" name="test-width-20" type="text">
</div>

<div class="nhsuk-form-group">
  <label class="nhsuk-label" for="input-width-10">
    10 character width
  </label>
  <input class="nhsuk-input nhsuk-input--width-10" id="input-width-10" name="test-width-10" type="text">
</div>

<div class="nhsuk-form-group">
  <label class="nhsuk-label" for="input-width-5">
    5 character width
  </label>
  <input class="nhsuk-input nhsuk-input--width-5" id="input-width-5" name="test-width-5" type="text">
</div>

<div class="nhsuk-form-group">
  <label class="nhsuk-label" for="input-width-4">
    4 character width
  </label>
  <input class="nhsuk-input nhsuk-input--width-4" id="input-width-4" name="test-width-4" type="text">
</div>

<div class="nhsuk-form-group">
  <label class="nhsuk-label" for="input-width-3">
    3 character width
  </label>
  <input class="nhsuk-input nhsuk-input--width-3" id="input-width-3" name="test-width-3" type="text">
</div>

<div class="nhsuk-form-group">
  <label class="nhsuk-label" for="input-width-2">
    2 character width
  </label>
  <input class="nhsuk-input nhsuk-input--width-2" id="input-width-2" name="test-width-2" type="text">
</div>
Close
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{% from 'input/macro.njk' import input %}

{{ input({
  "label": {
  "text": "20 character width"
  },
  "id": "input-width-20",
  "name": "test-width-20",
  "classes": "nhsuk-input--width-20"
}) }}
{{ input({
  "label": {
  "text": "10 character width"
  },
  "id": "input-width-10",
  "name": "test-width-10",
  "classes": "nhsuk-input--width-10"
}) }}
{{ input({
  "label": {
  "text": "5 character width"
  },
  "id": "input-width-5",
  "name": "test-width-5",
  "classes": "nhsuk-input--width-5"
}) }}
{{ input({
  "label": {
  "text": "4 character width"
  },
  "id": "input-width-4",
  "name": "test-width-4",
  "classes": "nhsuk-input--width-4"
}) }}
{{ input({
  "label": {
  "text": "3 character width"
  },
  "id": "input-width-3",
  "name": "test-width-3",
  "classes": "nhsuk-input--width-3"
}) }}
{{ input({
  "label": {
  "text": "2 character width"
  },
  "id": "input-width-2",
  "name": "test-width-2",
  "classes": "nhsuk-input--width-2"
}) }}
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Fluid width inputs

Use the width override classes to reduce the width of an input in relation to its parent container, for example, to two-thirds.

Fluid width inputs will resize with the viewport.

Open this input fluid width example in new window
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<div class="nhsuk-form-group">
  <label class="nhsuk-label" for="full">
    Full width
  </label>
  <input class="nhsuk-input nhsuk-u-width-full" id="full" name="full" type="text">
</div>

<div class="nhsuk-form-group">
  <label class="nhsuk-label" for="three-quarters">
    Three-quarters width
  </label>
  <input class="nhsuk-input nhsuk-u-width-three-quarters" id="three-quarters" name="three-quarters" type="text">
</div>

<div class="nhsuk-form-group">
  <label class="nhsuk-label" for="two-thirds">
    Two-thirds width
  </label>
  <input class="nhsuk-input nhsuk-u-width-two-thirds" id="two-thirds" name="two-thirds" type="text">
</div>

<div class="nhsuk-form-group">
  <label class="nhsuk-label" for="one-half">
    One-half width
  </label>
  <input class="nhsuk-input nhsuk-u-width-one-half" id="one-half" name="one-half" type="text">
</div>

<div class="nhsuk-form-group">
  <label class="nhsuk-label" for="one-third">
    One-third width
  </label>
  <input class="nhsuk-input nhsuk-u-width-one-third" id="one-third" name="one-third" type="text">
</div>

<div class="nhsuk-form-group">
  <label class="nhsuk-label" for="one-quarter">
    One-quarter width
  </label>
  <input class="nhsuk-input nhsuk-u-width-one-quarter" id="one-quarter" name="one-quarter" type="text">
</div>
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{% from 'input/macro.njk' import input %}

{{ input({
  label: {
    text: "Full width"
  },
  classes: "nhsuk-u-width-full",
  id: "full",
  name: "full"
}) }}

{{ input({
  label: {
    text: "Three-quarters width"
  },
  classes: "nhsuk-u-width-three-quarters",
  id: "three-quarters",
  name: "three-quarters"
}) }}

{{ input({
  label: {
    text: "Two-thirds width"
  },
  classes: "nhsuk-u-width-two-thirds",
  id: "two-thirds",
  name: "two-thirds"
}) }}

{{ input({
  label: {
    text: "One-half width"
  },
  classes: "nhsuk-u-width-one-half",
  id: "one-half",
  name: "one-half"
}) }}

{{ input({
  label: {
    text: "One-third width"
  },
  classes: "nhsuk-u-width-one-third",
  id: "one-third",
  name: "one-third"
}) }}

{{ input({
  label: {
    text: "One-quarter width"
  },
  classes: "nhsuk-u-width-one-quarter",
  id: "one-quarter",
  name: "one-quarter"
}) }}
Close

Using hint text

Use hint text to give users help in context, for example, tell users where to find information or how you will use their data.

Open this input hint text example in new window
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<div class="nhsuk-form-group">
  <label class="nhsuk-label" for="example-with-hint-text">
    What is your NHS number?
  </label>
  <div class="nhsuk-hint" id="example-with-hint-text-hint">
    Your NHS number is a 10 digit number that you find on any letter the NHS has sent you. For example, 485 777 3456.
  </div>
  <input class="nhsuk-input nhsuk-input--width-10" id="example-with-hint-text" name="example-with-hint-text" type="text" aria-describedby="example-with-hint-text-hint" inputmode="numeric">
</div>
Close
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{% from 'input/macro.njk' import input %}

{{ input({
  "label": {
    "text": "What is your NHS number?"
  },
    "hint": {
    "text": "Your NHS number is a 10 digit number that you find on any letter the NHS has sent you. For example, 485 777 3456."
  },
  id: "example-with-hint-text",
  name: "example-with-hint-text",
  classes: "nhsuk-input--width-10",
  inputmode: "numeric"
}) }}
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Asking for numbers

Whole numbers

If you’re asking the user to enter a whole number and you want to bring up the numeric keypad on a mobile device, set the inputmode attribute to numeric and the pattern attribute to [0-9]*. See how to do this in the HTML and Nunjucks tabs in the following example.

Open this input number example in new window
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<div class="nhsuk-form-group">
  <label class="nhsuk-label" for="example-with-hint-text">
    What is your NHS number?
  </label>
  <input class="nhsuk-input nhsuk-input--width-10" id="example-with-hint-text" name="example-with-hint-text" type="text" inputmode="numeric">
</div>
Close
Copy
{% from 'input/macro.njk' import input %}

{{ input({
  "label": {
    "text": "What is your NHS number?"
  },
  id: "example-with-hint-text",
  name: "example-with-hint-text",
  classes: "nhsuk-input--width-10",
  inputmode: "numeric"
}) }}
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You should also follow the GOV.UK Design System guidance and turn off HTML5 validation to prevent browsers from validating the pattern attribute.

The GOV.UK Design System has specific guidance on how to ask for:

Decimal numbers

The GOV.UK Design System has guidance on asking for decimal numbers.

Error messages

Style error messages like this.

Open this input error example in new window
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<div class="nhsuk-form-group nhsuk-form-group--error">
  <label class="nhsuk-label" for="example">
    Full name
  </label>
  <span class="nhsuk-error-message" id="example-error">
    <span class="nhsuk-u-visually-hidden">Error:</span> Enter your full name
  </span>
  <input class="nhsuk-input nhsuk-input--error" id="example" name="example" type="text" aria-describedby="example-error">
</div>
Close
Copy
{% from 'input/macro.njk' import input %}

{{ input({
  "label": {
    "text": "Full name"
  },
  "id": "example",
  "name": "example",
  "errorMessage": {
    "text": "Enter your full name"
  }
}) }}
Close

Follow:

Do not disable copy and paste

Users often need to copy and paste information into a text input, so do not stop them doing this.

Research

If you’ve used text input, please share your user research findings.

Have you tested this component?

If so, please share your research findings and let us know how it has worked for you. This will help us improve it for everyone.

Before you start, you will need a GitHub account. It's an open forum where we collect feedback.

If you have any questions, you can message us on Slack. You will need a Slack account if you do not have one. Or you can contact us by email.

Updated: January 2020