HTML〈output〉Tag - Representing Output of a Performed Calculation or User Action

Published on December 25, 2019

Use-Cases of this tutorial

  • Know how to semantically show the output or result of some calculation performed in a HTML page.
  • Know about the <output> HTML tag.

If <input> tag in a HTML form represents input data, then <output> tag represents the output data of the form.

The <output> tag is the standard HTML element in which the result of any user action or calculation performed can be shown. The result can be inserted inside <output> using Javascript.

Just like the <input> tag is the standard way of accepting input from the user, <output> tag is the standard way to show a result (using the input) to the user.

<form id="sample-form">
    <input type="text" name="first_name" id="f_name" />
    <input type="text" name="last_name" id="l_name" />
    <!-- result from the input can be shown here using Javascript -->
    <output name="result" id="combined" for="f_name l_name"></output>
document.querySelector("#sample-form").addEventListener('submit', function(e) {
    document.querySelector("#combined").value = document.querySelector("#f_name").value + ' ' + document.querySelector("#l_name").value;

Why <output> Tag ?

Obviously the result of any calculation can be inserted inside any HTML element, for example a <div> or a <span>.

However <output> is the semantic way of representing this. Automated machines & scripts can read this tag, and understand that this represents an output of some sort. They may use this information in some way.

Special Attributes of the <output> Tag

The <output> tag can have some special attributes :

  • for : Represents the elements which were involved in the output shown. It needs to be a space separated list of IDs of the elements involved.
  • form : Represents the ID of the form whose output will be shown.
  • name : Represents the name of the tag.
  • value : Represents the value of the output. This value is typically generated using Javascript.
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