HTML and CSS Reference
9.10. Labeling and Grouping Form Elements
The common text and other content you may use to label and otherwise
explain a form are static. Other than by their visual relationship to the
form's input areas, these labels and instructions are unassociated with
the form controls that they serve. Because of this, forms are not eas-
ily understood and navigable, particularly by people with impaired vision.
Try it. Get a simple personal-information form onscreen, close your eyes,
and find the place to enter your name.
The HTML 4.0 standard introduced three tags that make navigation of
forms easier for users, particularly those with disabilities. They include a
way to group and caption regions of the form and a way to individually
label form controls. All are supposed to get special treatment by the
browser, such as being rendered by a speech synthesizer as well as spe-
cially displayed, and can be easily accessed from the user keyboardthat
is, when browsers become fully HTML 4/XHTML compliant.
9.10.1. The <label> Tag
Use the <label> tag to define relationships between a form control, such
as a text-input field, and one or more text labels. According to the latest
standards, the text in a label is to receive special treatment by the
browser. Browsers may choose a special display style for the label (you
can, too, with stylesheets). And when selected by the user, the browser
automatically transfers focus to a label's associated form control.