1. Technology

Using the Select and Option Tags

HTML Forms Tutorial


The <select> and <option> tags create drop-down menus for your forms.


The select tag, like the checkbox and radio button input tags allows your readers to choose from multiple options. However, because the options are all stored in a drop-down box, they do not take up as much screen real estate as the radio buttons and checkboxes.

The select tag has several attributes, and the closing </select> tag is required.

  • name - names the input information
  • size - how many items in the list are showing on the screen at once
  • multiple - the reader can choose multiple items

The tricky part of the <select> tag is that it needs a second tag to include the elements in the list: the <option> tag.


The option tag has two important attributes:

  • value - if this is not included, the form will send the server whatever text is in the <option> tag as the value
  • selected - if this is not included, the form will display the first element listed as the default choice.

Here are three types of select lists:

Basic Select List

<select name="1" size="1">

Basic Multiple Select List

<select name="2" multiple size="1">

Multiple Select with Multiple Showing

<select name="3" multiple size="2">
  <option value="1">one</option>
  <option value="2">two</option>
  <option value="3">three</option>

This article is part of the HTML Forms Tutorial

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