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-groupdiv for proper spacing.
.form-controlclass 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
- All inputs must have their type properly declared. (Find out more about HTML5 input types)
aria-describedbyand other aria labels to provide information about form and input state to screen readers. (Find out more about ARIA and form labels)
Individual form controls automatically receive some global styling. All textual
<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.
.form-inline to your
<form> for left-aligned and inline-block 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:
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
Inline checkboxes and radios
.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
Note that many native select menus—namely in Safari and Chrome—have rounded corners that cannot be modified via
<select> controls with the
multiple attribute, multiple options are shown by default.
When you need to place plain text next to a form label within a form, use the
.form-control-static class on a
disabled boolean attribute on an input to prevent user input and trigger a slightly different look.
disabled attribute to a
<fieldset> to disable all the controls within the
<fieldset> at once.
Caveat about link functionality of
By default, browsers will treat all native form controls (
<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
While Bootstrap will apply these styles in all browsers, Internet Explorer 11 and below don't fully support the
disabled attribute on a
readonly boolean attribute on an input to prevent user input and style the input as disabled.
Set heights using classes like
.input-lg, and set widths using grid column classes like
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
Wrap inputs in grid columns, or any custom parent element, to easily enforce desired widths.
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.