name (HTML attribute)

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The name attribute is used to reference form data after it’s submitted, and to reference the data using JavaScript on the client side. Unlike the id attribute, which must be given a unique value each time it’s applied to a new form control, a name attribute with a given value may be applied to numerous form controls (although in practice this approach is only ever seen in use with radio input buttons). Note that only form elements which have a name attribute will have their values passed through to the page or script specified in the form’s action attribute.

You may wish to apply the same name to multiple buttons. In the example below, two buttons have the same name value ("dowhat"), but each submits a different "value" ("save" or "publish"):

<button name="dowhat" value="save"
    id="action-save">Save Draft</button>
<button name="dowhat" value="publish"

Using the same name value ensures that only one of the two possible values is submitted, and each button can be uniquely identified (perhaps for the purposes of rendering the different actions with different CSS styles).


The name attribute is used here to specify a name by which to reference form data:
  <button name="btnProceed">I am
      <em>really</em> sure I want to proceed</button>


The name attribute takes as its value any name that the developer chooses, as long as it doesn’t contain spaces or special characters.


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It causes no compatibility issues, and has excellent support across all tested browsers.

User-contributed notes

by asa_carter
Wed, 09 Apr 2008 13:30:05 GMT

The value attribute of a name attribute is not submitted in the form if it is subitted with post using javascript.

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