onsubmit (HTML attribute)

Depr. Version
Browser support (more…)
IE5.5+ FF1+ SA1.3+ OP9.2+
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The onsubmit attribute is used on the form element only. Its purpose is to capture the moment when the form is submitted, following the moment when the user activates the form’s Submit button.


This attribute is used almost exclusively for the purpose of running form validation scripts. In such scenarios, the user fills in the form and clicks submit, at which point the onsubmit attribute triggers the form validation routine, and the form is either submitted, or cancelled because of an error of which the user is alerted:

<form name="frmPersonalDetails" action="/personal.php"
    onsubmit="checkPersonalDetails();"> ⋮ </form>


This attribute has no fixed value. It’s up to the author to decide on the scripting that’s included here, be that a call to one or more defined functions, or a simple alert() statement.


Internet Explorer Firefox Safari Opera
5.5 6.0 7.0 1.0 1.5 2.0 1.3 2.0 3.0 9.2 9.5
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Every browser listed supports this attribute. However, inline event handlers such as this should be avoided. In the same way that inline CSS styles are frowned upon but externally defined CSS styles are considered good practice, inline event handlers should be stripped out and replaced with events attached unobtrusively through the DOM.

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