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action (HTML attribute)

By Adam Roberts
HTML & CSS
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Description

A form is useless unless some kind of processing takes place after the form is submitted. The action attribute is used to inform the browser what page (or script) to call once the "submit" button is pressed.

Example

Here, the action attribute tells the browser to send the form data to a form-handling PHP page (which will presumably convert the form data to something more email-friendly):

<form action="form-to-email.php" method="post"
    accept-charset="windows-1252">
  <div>
    <label for="txtname">Name:</label>
    <input type="text" name="txtname" id="txtname"/>
  </div>
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</form>

Value

This element takes as its value a URL to a document that may be on the same server (for example, a shared CGI folder that has various form-processing scripts), or even a page or script on an entirely separate server (perhaps a free form-handling service).

Adam is SitePoint's head of newsletters, who mainly writes Versioning, a daily newsletter covering everything new and interesting in the world of web development. He has a beard and will talk to you about beer and Star Wars, if you let him.

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