isindex (HTML element)

Spec
Depr. Empty Version
Yes Yes HTML 2
Browser support (more…)
IE5.5+ FF1+ SA1.3+ OP9.2+ CH2+
Partial Partial Partial Partial Partial

Syntax

<isindex prompt="string" />

Description

The isindex element is a deprecated and poorly supported method for providing a searchable index related to the current document. There’s not much to say about this element, given the current lack of support for it.

Originally, it was intended (by the W3C) that the isindex element should be placed inside the head of the document, but most browsers were somewhat lax and allowed it to be used anywhere in the document.

There are three attributes that you may see used with this element (but only prompt is defined by W3C and therefore valid):

  • action, which identifies the URL of the script that will process the search
  • href, an older implementation that was used before action was supported by browsers
  • prompt, to provide prompt text that appears next to search input

Example

This example shows an index prompt contained in the head element:

<head>
⋮
<isindex prompt="Search document ..." href="search-index.txt"/>
⋮
</head>

Use This for…

There are better mechanisms, with better browser support, than the isindex element. This entry is included for the sake of completeness, in case you should ever come across the element and require information about it.

Compatibility

Internet Explorer Firefox Safari Opera Chrome
5.5 6.0 7.0 8.0 1.0 1.5 2.0 3.0 3.5 1.3 2.0 3.1 4.0 9.2 9.5 10.0 2.0
Partial Partial Partial Partial Partial Partial Partial Partial Partial Partial Partial Partial Partial Partial Partial Partial Partial

This attribute is poorly supported and has limited practical value.

All browsers are showing as having partial support, but Opera was the only one that did not show the search area when the isindex element was included inside the head; outside of the head element, all browsers showed the search input.

User-contributed notes

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