4.10.8 The button element

Flow content.
Phrasing content.
Interactive content.
Listed, labelable, and submittable form-associated element.
Palpable content.
Contexts in which this element can be used:
Where phrasing content is expected.
Content model:
Phrasing content, but there must be no interactive content descendant.
Content attributes:
Global attributes
DOM interface:
interface HTMLButtonElement : HTMLElement {
           attribute boolean autofocus;
           attribute boolean disabled;
  readonly attribute HTMLFormElement? form;
           attribute DOMString formAction;
           attribute DOMString formEnctype;
           attribute DOMString formMethod;
           attribute boolean formNoValidate;
           attribute DOMString formTarget;
           attribute DOMString name;
           attribute DOMString type;
           attribute DOMString value;

  readonly attribute boolean willValidate;
  readonly attribute ValidityState validity;
  readonly attribute DOMString validationMessage;
  boolean checkValidity();
  void setCustomValidity(DOMString error);

  readonly attribute NodeList labels;

The button element represents a button.

The element is a button.

The type attribute controls the behavior of the button when it is activated. It is an enumerated attribute. The following table lists the keywords and states for the attribute — the keywords in the left column map to the states in the cell in the second column on the same row as the keyword.

Keyword State Brief description
submit Submit Button Submits the form.
reset Reset Button Resets the form.
button Button Does nothing.

The missing value default is the Submit Button state.

If the type attribute is in the Submit Button state, the element is specifically a submit button.

Constraint validation: If the type attribute is in the Reset Button state or the Button state, the element is barred from constraint validation.

When a button element is not disabled, its activation behavior element is to run the steps defined in the following list for the current state of the element's type attribute:

Submit Button

If the element has a form owner, the element must submit the form owner from the button element.

Reset Button

If the element has a form owner, the element must reset the form owner.


Do nothing.

The form attribute is used to explicitly associate the button element with its form owner. The name attribute represents the element's name. The disabled attribute is used to make the control non-interactive and to prevent its value from being submitted. The autofocus attribute controls focus. The formaction, formenctype, formmethod, formnovalidate, and formtarget attributes are attributes for form submission.

The formnovalidate attribute can be used to make submit buttons that do not trigger the constraint validation.

The formaction, formenctype, formmethod, formnovalidate, and formtarget must not be specified if the element's type attribute is not in the Submit Button state.

The value attribute gives the element's value for the purposes of form submission. The element's value is the value of the element's value attribute, if there is one, or the empty string otherwise.

A button (and its value) is only included in the form submission if the button itself was used to initiate the form submission.

The value IDL attribute must reflect the content attribute of the same name.

The type IDL attribute must reflect the content attribute of the same name, limited to only known values.

The willValidate, validity, and validationMessage IDL attributes, and the checkValidity() and setCustomValidity() methods, are part of the constraint validation API. The labels IDL attribute provides a list of the element's labels. The autofocus, disabled, form, and name IDL attributes are part of the element's forms API.

The following button is labeled "Show hint" and pops up a dialog box when activated:

<button type=button
        onclick="alert('This 15-20 minute piece was composed by George Gershwin.')">
 Show hint