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Our forms standards are built off of Twitter Bootstrap's styling and recommendations. If have questions about styling, guildlines or governance please contact

Form Accessibility & Standards

Use the following as a checklist when building your forms. They provide guidelines on King County standards and accessibility.

  • Wrap each label and control set in .form-group div for proper spacing.
  • Add .form-control class to text-based inputs.
  • Always declare the label type. Inputs will only be fully styled if their type is properly declared.
  • Always add labels. Screen readers will have trouble with your forms if you don't include a label for every input. You can hide labels by using the .sr-only class.
  • All inputs must have their type properly declared. (Find out more about HTML5 input types)
  • Use aria-describedby and other aria labels to provide information about form and input state to screen readers. (Find out more about ARIA and form labels)

Basic example

Individual form controls automatically receive some global styling. All textual input, <textarea>, and <select> elements with .form-control are set to width: 100%; by default.

This example uses our old form processor. Other options include SurveyMonkey and Socrata.

Don't mix form groups with input groups

Do not mix form groups directly with input groups. Instead, nest the input group inside of the form group.

Inline form-group

Add .form-inline to your <form> for left-aligned and inline-block controls.


Supported controls

Examples of standard form controls supported in an example form layout.


Most common form control, text-based input fields. Includes support for all HTML5 types: text, password, datetime, datetime-local, date, month, time, week, number, email, url, search, tel, and color.

Type declaration required

Inputs will only be fully styled if their type is properly declared.



Form control which supports multiple lines of text. Change rows attribute as necessary.

Checkboxes and radios

Checkboxes are for selecting one or several options in a list, while radios are for selecting one option from many.

A checkbox or radio with the disabled attribute will be styled appropriately. To have the <label> for the checkbox or radio also display a "not-allowed" cursor when the user hovers over the label, add the .disabled class to your .radio, .radio-inline, .checkbox, .checkbox-inline, or <fieldset>.

Default (stacked)

Inline checkboxes and radios

Use the .checkbox-inline or .radio-inline classes on a series of checkboxes or radios for controls that appear on the same line.

Checkboxes and radios without label text

Should you have no text within the , the input is positioned as you'd expect. Currently only works on non-inline checkboxes and radios. Remember to still provide some form of label for assistive technologies (for instance, using aria-label).


Note that many native select menus—namely in Safari and Chrome—have rounded corners that cannot be modified via border-radius properties.

For <select> controls with the multiple attribute, multiple options are shown by default.

Static control

When you need to place plain text next to a form label within a form, use the .form-control-static class on a <p>.

Focus state

Disabled state

Add the disabled boolean attribute on an input to prevent user input and trigger a slightly different look.

Disabled fieldsets

Add the disabled attribute to a <fieldset> to disable all the controls within the <fieldset> at once.

Caveat about link functionality of <a>

By default, browsers will treat all native form controls (<input>, <select> and <button> elements) inside a <fieldset disabled> as disabled, preventing both keyboard and mouse interactions on them. However, if your form also includes <a ... class="btn btn-*"> elements, these will only be given a style of pointer-events: none. This CSS property is not yet standardized and isn't fully supported in Opera 18 and below, or in Internet Explorer 11, and won't prevent keyboard users from being able to focus or activate these links. So to be safe, use custom JavaScript to disable such links.

Cross-browser compatibility

While Bootstrap will apply these styles in all browsers, Internet Explorer 11 and below don't fully support the disabled attribute on a <fieldset>. Use custom JavaScript to disable the fieldset in these browsers.

Readonly state

Add the readonly boolean attribute on an input to prevent user input and style the input as disabled.

Control Sizing

Set heights using classes like .input-lg, and set widths using grid column classes like .col-lg-*.

Height sizing

Create taller or shorter form controls that match button sizes.

Horizontal form group sizes

Quickly size labels and form controls within .form-horizontal by adding .form-group-lg or .form-group-sm.

Column sizing

Wrap inputs in grid columns, or any custom parent element, to easily enforce desired widths.

Help Text

Block level help text for form controls.

Associating help text with form controls

Help text should be explicitly associated with the form control it relates to using the aria-describedby attribute. This will ensure that assistive technologies – such as screen readers – will announce this help text when the user focuses or enters the control.

A block of help text that breaks onto a new line and may extend beyond one line.