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<isindex> (Index Prompt)

This element indicates that a document has an associated searchable keyword index. When a browser encounters this element, it inserts a query entry field at that point in the document. The viewer can enter query terms to perform a search. This element is deprecated under the strict HTML 4 specification and should not be used.

Standard Syntax (Transitional Only)

class="class name(s)"
dir="ltr | rtl"
href="url" (nonstandard but common)
id="unique alphanumeric identifier"
lang="language code"
style="style information"
title="advisory text"

Attributes Defined by Internet Explorer 4

accesskey="key" (5.5)
action="URL to send query" (3)
contenteditable=" false | true | inherit" (5.5)
disabled="false | true" (5.5)
hidefocus="true | false" (5.5)
language="javascript | jscript | vbs | vbscript" (4)
tabindex="number" (5.5)
unselectable="on| off" (5.5)

Events Defined by Internet Explorer

onactivate, onbeforedeactivate, onbeforeeditfocus, onblur, oncontrolselect, ondeactivate, onfocus, onmove, onmoveend, onmovestart, onreadystatechange, onresize, onresizeend, onresizestart

Element Specific Attributes

This attribute specifies the URL of the query action to be executed when the viewer presses the ENTER key. Although this attribute is not defined under any HTML specification, it is common to many browsers, particularly Internet Explorer 3, which defined it.

This attribute allows a custom query prompt to be defined. The default prompt is "This is a searchable index. Enter search keywords."


<!-- very old HTML style syntax below -->
<isindex action="cgi-bin/search" prompt="Enter search terms">

<isindex href="cgi-bin/search" prompt="Keywords:">

<base href="cgi-bin/search">
<isindex prompt="Enter search terms">


HTML 2, 3.2, and 4, 4.01 (transitional), XHTML 1.0 (transitional)
Internet Explorer 2, 3, 4, 5, 5.5, 6
Netscape 1, 2, 3, 4, 4.5-4.8, 6, 7
Opera 4-7


Originally, the W3C intended this element to be used in a document's head. Browser vendors have relaxed this usage to allow the element in a document's body. Early implementations did not support the action attribute and used a <base> tag or an href attribute to specify a search function's URL.

As an empty element, <isindex> requires no closing tag under HTML specifications. However, under the XHTML specification, a trailing slash <isindex /> is required.

The HTML 3.2 specification only allows the prompt attribute, whereas HTML 2 expected a text description to accompany the search field.

Netscape 1.1 originated the use of the prompt attribute.

(X)HTML Elements
CSS Properties
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