Forms

Forms gather information from users via inputs, such as text boxes, text areas, selects, checkboxes, and radio buttons. Labels sit atop these inputs.

Variations

Label

Use to describe a form input and indicate whether the input is required or optional.

Default
<label class="mds-form__label"> First Name </label>
Required
<label class="mds-form__label"> First Name
    <abbr class="mds-form__label-required-indicator" title="This field is required." aria-hidden="true">*</abbr>
    <span class="mds-form__label-required-indicator-label">Required Field.</span>
</label>
Optional
<label class="mds-form__label"> First Name
    <span class="mds-form__label-optional"> (Optional) </span>
</label>

Editorial

  • Use title case.
  • Clearly written labels should eliminate the need for placeholder text in text boxes and text areas.

Text Box

Use to solicit a short, single line of text or a number.

Default
Hover
Focus
<input class="mds-form__input" type="text">
Disabled
<input class="mds-form__input" type="text" disabled>
With Placeholder
<input class="mds-form__input" type="text" placeholder="First Name">
  • Use when the user must enter a name, email address, phone number, street address, age, salary, etc.
  • Never use for multiple lines of text. Instead, use a text area.
  • Never use to perform a search. Instead, use a Search Field.
  • Avoid using placeholder text by making sure the label above the text box is clear. If you still need additional instructional context, consider a Tooltip next to the label header or microcopy under the label, so the helper content doesn’t disappear when a user starts typing.
  • Placeholder text disappears when a user types in the input. If a user doesn’t enter a value and moves to another part of a form, the placeholder text should reappear in the former text box.
  • In IE11, placeholder text is cleared on focus. This is default IE11 behavior and a known issue, teams are still encouraged to use text boxes in production.

Editorial

  • Placeholder text should be active. Start the text with a verb.
  • Don’t end placeholder text in text boxes with a period.
  • Use title case for placeholder text.

Text Area

Use when soliciting multiple lines of text.

Default
<textarea class="mds-form__textarea"></textarea>
Disabled
<textarea class="mds-form__textarea" disabled></textarea>
With Placeholder
<textarea class="mds-form__textarea" placeholder="Tell us more here..."></textarea>
  • Never use for short, single lines of text. Instead, use a text box.
  • Include placeholder text to indicate what information belongs in the text area. Placeholder text disappears when the user types in the text area. If the user doesn’t enter a value and moves to another part of a form, the placeholder text should reappear in the former text box.
  • In IE11, placeholder text is cleared on focus. This is default IE11 behavior and a known issue, teams are still encouraged to use text areas in production.

Editorial

  • Placeholder text in text areas should be full sentences with punctuation.
  • Don’t use title case here.

Select (Dropdown)

Use when affording a single selection from a predefined list of options.

Default
<div class="mds-form__select">
    <select class="mds-form__select-input">
        <option class="mds-form__select-option" value="">Select an Expense Type</option>
        <option class="mds-form__select-option" value="vacation">Vacation</option>
        <option class="mds-form__select-option" value="public_college">Public College</option>
        <option class="mds-form__select-option" value="private_college">Private College</option>
        <option class="mds-form__select-option" value="medical">Medical</option>
    </select>
    <div class="mds-form__select-visual-wrap"></div>
    <span class="mds-form__select-open-indicator">
        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__select-open-icon" aria-hidden="true">
            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#caret-down--s"> </use>
        </svg>
    </span>
</div>
Disabled
<div class="mds-form__select">
    <select class="mds-form__select-input" disabled>
        <option class="mds-form__select-option" value="">Select an Expense Type</option>
        <option class="mds-form__select-option" value="vacation">Vacation</option>
        <option class="mds-form__select-option" value="public_college">Public College</option>
        <option class="mds-form__select-option" value="private_college">Private College</option>
        <option class="mds-form__select-option" value="medical">Medical</option>
    </select>
    <div class="mds-form__select-visual-wrap"></div>
    <span class="mds-form__select-open-indicator">
        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__select-open-icon" aria-hidden="true">
            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#caret-down--s"> </use>
        </svg>
    </span>
</div>
  • Always display a user’s selected option after a choice is made.
  • Never use for a list of options exceeding 10 items. Instead, use a Combo Box.
  • Never use for a list of only two options. Instead, use a radio group or a Switch.

Editorial

  • Display either “Select an Option” or no text at all as the default selected option.
  • Start the text with a verb.
  • Don’t end text in a select with a period.
  • Keep option names as brief as possible - aim for under 5 words.
  • Use title case.

Checkbox

Use when affording a binary selection.

Unchecked, Default
Unchecked, Hover
Unchecked, Focus
<label class="mds-form__checkbox" for="i-accept-the-terms-and-conditions.--93015">
    <input id="i-accept-the-terms-and-conditions.--93015" type="checkbox" class="mds-form__checkbox-input" />
    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visible-wrap">
        <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visual">
            <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-checked-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#check--s"> </use>
            </svg>
            <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-indeterminate-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#minus--s"> </use>
            </svg>
        </span>
        <span class="mds-form__checkbox-text"> I accept the terms and conditions. </span>
    </span>
</label>
Unchecked, Disabled
<label class="mds-form__checkbox mds-form__checkbox--disabled" for="i-accept-the-terms-and-conditions.--99068">
    <input id="i-accept-the-terms-and-conditions.--99068" type="checkbox" class="mds-form__checkbox-input" disabled />
    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visible-wrap">
        <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visual">
            <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-checked-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#check--s"> </use>
            </svg>
            <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-indeterminate-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#minus--s"> </use>
            </svg>
        </span>
        <span class="mds-form__checkbox-text"> I accept the terms and conditions. </span>
    </span>
</label>
Checked, Default
Checked, Hover
Checked, Active
Checked, Focus
<label class="mds-form__checkbox" for="i-accept-the-terms-and-conditions.--93809">
    <input id="i-accept-the-terms-and-conditions.--93809" type="checkbox" class="mds-form__checkbox-input" checked />
    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visible-wrap">
        <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visual">
            <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-checked-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#check--s"> </use>
            </svg>
            <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-indeterminate-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#minus--s"> </use>
            </svg>
        </span>
        <span class="mds-form__checkbox-text"> I accept the terms and conditions. </span>
    </span>
</label>
Checked, Disabled
<label class="mds-form__checkbox mds-form__checkbox--disabled" for="i-accept-the-terms-and-conditions.--51728">
    <input id="i-accept-the-terms-and-conditions.--51728" type="checkbox" class="mds-form__checkbox-input" checked disabled />
    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visible-wrap">
        <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visual">
            <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-checked-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#check--s"> </use>
            </svg>
            <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-indeterminate-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#minus--s"> </use>
            </svg>
        </span>
        <span class="mds-form__checkbox-text"> I accept the terms and conditions. </span>
    </span>
</label>
  • Reflects the affirmative (“yes” or “true”) of its label when checked.
  • Choices made via checkbox should always be submitted or saved using a Button.
  • Follows the same :hover and :active conventions as the primary Button when checked.
  • Include the label in the checkbox's clickable target area.

Don't Use When

  • Turning a feature, mode, or functionality on and off. Instead, use a Switch.
  • Checking or unchecking elicits an immediate change in the UI or functionality, such as enabling a disabled field or revealing more controls. Instead, use a Switch.
  • Checking or unchecking elicits a change in background functionality without affecting the UI, like disabling an email notification. Instead, use a Switch.

Editorial

  • Use full sentences with punctuation.
  • If user is consenting to something, start the sentence with “I”, and also run the phrasing you choose by compliance.

Checkbox Without Label

Use when enabling selection of an object such as a card.

Unchecked, Default
Unchecked, Hover
Unchecked, Focus
Unchecked, Active
Checked
<label class="mds-form__checkbox mds-form__checkbox--hide-label" for="i-accept-the-terms-and-conditions--7833">
    <input id="i-accept-the-terms-and-conditions--7833" type="checkbox" class="mds-form__checkbox-input" />
    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visible-wrap">
        <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visual">
            <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-checked-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#check--s"> </use>
            </svg>
            <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-indeterminate-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#minus--s"> </use>
            </svg>
        </span>
        <span class="mds-form__checkbox-text"> I accept the terms and conditions </span>
    </span>
</label>
  • Always include an associated <label> element, even if it is hidden from the screen.
  • Position the checkbox without label in the upper left corner of an object.
  • Distinguish the selected state of the overall object (such as a card) by changing the object's visual style, such as altering the background or border color.
  • Omit margins from the checkbox element to prevent focused and active states from appearing as larger than the checkbox itself.
Do include a checkbox without label to enable selection of a larger object, such as a strategy, security or fund.
Do include a checkbox without label to enable selection of a larger object, such as a strategy, security or fund.

Checkbox Group

Stacked
Select statistics to view.
<form class="mds-form mds-form--medium-layout" method="post" action="form/processor">
    <div class="mds-form__field-group">
        <fieldset class="mds-form__checkbox-group" role="group">
            <legend class="mds-form__checkbox-group-label"> Select statistics to view. </legend>
            <label class="mds-form__checkbox" for="average--99493">
                <input id="average--99493" type="checkbox" class="mds-form__checkbox-input" />
                <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visible-wrap">
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visual">
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-checked-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#check--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-indeterminate-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#minus--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                    </span>
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-text"> Average </span>
                </span>
            </label>
            <label class="mds-form__checkbox" for="minimum--10442">
                <input id="minimum--10442" type="checkbox" class="mds-form__checkbox-input" />
                <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visible-wrap">
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visual">
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-checked-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#check--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-indeterminate-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#minus--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                    </span>
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-text"> Minimum </span>
                </span>
            </label>
            <label class="mds-form__checkbox" for="maximum--38359">
                <input id="maximum--38359" type="checkbox" class="mds-form__checkbox-input" />
                <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visible-wrap">
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visual">
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-checked-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#check--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-indeterminate-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#minus--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                    </span>
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-text"> Maximum </span>
                </span>
            </label>
            <label class="mds-form__checkbox" for="medium--8565">
                <input id="medium--8565" type="checkbox" class="mds-form__checkbox-input" />
                <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visible-wrap">
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visual">
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-checked-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#check--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-indeterminate-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#minus--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                    </span>
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-text"> Medium </span>
                </span>
            </label>
        </fieldset>
    </div>
</form>
Horizontal
Select statistics to view.
<form class="mds-form mds-form--medium-layout" method="post" action="form/processor">
    <div class="mds-form__field-group mds-form__field-group--horizontal">
        <fieldset class="mds-form__checkbox-group" role="group">
            <legend class="mds-form__checkbox-group-label"> Select statistics to view. </legend>
            <label class="mds-form__checkbox" for="average--5546">
                <input id="average--5546" type="checkbox" class="mds-form__checkbox-input" />
                <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visible-wrap">
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visual">
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-checked-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#check--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-indeterminate-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#minus--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                    </span>
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-text"> Average </span>
                </span>
            </label>
            <label class="mds-form__checkbox" for="minimum--61901">
                <input id="minimum--61901" type="checkbox" class="mds-form__checkbox-input" />
                <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visible-wrap">
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visual">
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-checked-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#check--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-indeterminate-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#minus--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                    </span>
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-text"> Minimum </span>
                </span>
            </label>
            <label class="mds-form__checkbox" for="maximum--85738">
                <input id="maximum--85738" type="checkbox" class="mds-form__checkbox-input" />
                <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visible-wrap">
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visual">
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-checked-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#check--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-indeterminate-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#minus--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                    </span>
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-text"> Maximum </span>
                </span>
            </label>
            <label class="mds-form__checkbox" for="medium--75355">
                <input id="medium--75355" type="checkbox" class="mds-form__checkbox-input" />
                <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visible-wrap">
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visual">
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-checked-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#check--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-indeterminate-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#minus--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                    </span>
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-text"> Medium </span>
                </span>
            </label>
        </fieldset>
    </div>
</form>
  • Include a label to describe the options within the group.
  • Options can be selected independently.
Do use when affording a user multiple choices from a set of options.
Do use when affording a user multiple choices from a set of options.
Don‘t use a <a class="mds-link" href="/components/switches.html#switch-group">Switch Group</a>
Don‘t use a Switch Group
Indeterminate
<label class="mds-form__checkbox" for="indeterminate-checkbox--17517">
    <input id="indeterminate-checkbox--17517" type="checkbox" class="mds-form__checkbox-input" checked />
    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visible-wrap">
        <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visual">
            <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-checked-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#check--s"> </use>
            </svg>
            <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-indeterminate-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#minus--s"> </use>
            </svg>
        </span>
        <span class="mds-form__checkbox-text"> Indeterminate checkbox </span>
    </span>
</label>
<!-- Something like the following Javascript would be required to set an indeterminate state on a checkbox -->
<script>
    document.getElementById("indeterminate-checkbox--17517").indeterminate = true;
</script>
  • Use the indeterminate variation when affording a “Select All” option. After selecting all items, the indeterminate state is triggered once an option is deselected.

Editorial

  • Use full sentences with punctuation for the checkbox group label.
  • Try to keep checkbox labels brief and start them with verbs.

Radio Button

Use to afford a single selection from two or more options.

Unselected, Default
Unselected, Hover
Unselected, Focus
<label class="mds-form__radio-button" for="peer-group--45284">
    <input id="peer-group--45284" name="undefined-basic-example" value="blue" type="radio" class="mds-form__radio-button-input" />
    <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visible-wrap">
        <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visual"></span>
        <span class="mds-form__radio-button-text "> Peer Group </span>
    </span>
</label>
Unselected, Disabled
<label class="mds-form__radio-button mds-form__radio-button--disabled" for="peer-group--89157">
    <input id="peer-group--89157" name="undefined-basic-example" value="blue" type="radio" class="mds-form__radio-button-input" disabled />
    <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visible-wrap">
        <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visual"></span>
        <span class="mds-form__radio-button-text "> Peer Group </span>
    </span>
</label>
Selected, Default
Selected, Hover
Selected, Active
Selected, Focus
<label class="mds-form__radio-button" for="choose-this-one--90515">
    <input id="choose-this-one--90515" name="radio-example-1" value="blue" type="radio" class="mds-form__radio-button-input" checked />
    <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visible-wrap">
        <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visual"></span>
        <span class="mds-form__radio-button-text "> Choose this one </span>
    </span>
</label>
Selected, Disabled
<label class="mds-form__radio-button mds-form__radio-button--disabled" for="peer-group--21378">
    <input id="peer-group--21378" name="undefined-basic-example-checked" value="blue" type="radio" class="mds-form__radio-button-input" checked disabled />
    <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visible-wrap">
        <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visual"></span>
        <span class="mds-form__radio-button-text "> Peer Group </span>
    </span>
</label>

Radio Group

Stacked
Rank Within
<form class="mds-form mds-form--medium-layout" method="post" action="form/processor">
    <div class="mds-form__field-group">
        <fieldset class="mds-form__radio-button-group" role="radiogroup">
            <legend class="mds-form__radio-button-group-label"> Rank Within </legend>
            <label class="mds-form__radio-button" for="id-98358-basic-example-checked">
                <input id="id-98358-basic-example-checked" name="id-98358" value="blue" type="radio" class="mds-form__radio-button-input" checked />
                <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visible-wrap">
                    <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visual"></span>
                    <span class="mds-form__radio-button-text "> Your List </span>
                </span>
            </label>
            <label class="mds-form__radio-button" for="id-98358-basic-example">
                <input id="id-98358-basic-example" name="id-98358" value="blue" type="radio" class="mds-form__radio-button-input" />
                <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visible-wrap">
                    <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visual"></span>
                    <span class="mds-form__radio-button-text "> Peer Group </span>
                </span>
            </label>
        </fieldset>
    </div>
</form>
Horizontal
Rank Within
<form class="mds-form mds-form--medium-layout" method="post" action="form/processor">
    <div class="mds-form__field-group mds-form__field-group--horizontal">
        <fieldset class="mds-form__radio-button-group" role="radiogroup">
            <legend class="mds-form__radio-button-group-label"> Rank Within </legend>
            <label class="mds-form__radio-button" for="id-30242-basic-example-checked">
                <input id="id-30242-basic-example-checked" name="id-30242" value="blue" type="radio" class="mds-form__radio-button-input" checked />
                <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visible-wrap">
                    <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visual"></span>
                    <span class="mds-form__radio-button-text "> Your List </span>
                </span>
            </label>
            <label class="mds-form__radio-button" for="id-30242-basic-example">
                <input id="id-30242-basic-example" name="id-30242" value="blue" type="radio" class="mds-form__radio-button-input" />
                <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visible-wrap">
                    <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visual"></span>
                    <span class="mds-form__radio-button-text "> Peer Group </span>
                </span>
            </label>
        </fieldset>
    </div>
</form>
  • Use when seeing all available options is critical. If the options are secondary in importance, consider using the select form element.
  • When possible, use the stacked variation. Options are harder to differentiate within the horizontal group.
  • If selecting no option is a viable choice, include a radio button within the group with an appropriate label, i.e. “None”.
  • A selected radio button follows the same :hover and :active conventions as the primary Button.
  • A radio button’s label is part of the clickable area of the control.
  • Add name attribute for Radio Group to group radio buttons together and ensures that a single selection is achieved.
  • Generally, the first option in the radio group should be selected by default. If preselection of an option can result in incorrect assumptions, i.e., “Male” or “Female”, then no option should be selected by default.

Editorial

  • For the radio group label, use full sentences with punctuation.
  • Try to keep radio button labels brief and start them with verbs.

Required-Fields Key

Use to describe the required-field indicator symbol.

Default
Required fields
<form class="mds-form" method="post" action="form/processor">
    <span class="mds-form__required-fields-key">Required fields</span>
    <div class="mds-form__field-group"> </div>
</form>

Errors

Use to indicate form elements with invalid or missing entries, including a description of the error.

Text Box
This is placeholder error messaging.
<form class="mds-form mds-form--medium-layout" method="post" action="form/processor">
    <div class="mds-form__field-group mds-form--error">
        <label class="mds-form__label" for="error-first-name"> First Name
            <abbr class="mds-form__label-required-indicator" title="This field is required." aria-hidden="true">*</abbr>
            <span class="mds-form__label-required-indicator-label">Required Field.</span>
        </label>
        <input class="mds-form__input" type="text" id="error-first-name" aria-describedby="first-name-error" aria-invalid="true">
        <span class="mds-form__field-error" id="first-name-error" role="alert">
            <span class="mds-form__field-error-text"> This is placeholder error messaging. </span>
        </span>
    </div>
</form>
Text Area
This is placeholder error messaging.
<form class="mds-form mds-form--medium-layout" method="post" action="form/processor">
    <div class="mds-form__field-group mds-form--error">
        <label class="mds-form__label" for="error-textarea"> Comments
            <abbr class="mds-form__label-required-indicator" title="This field is required." aria-hidden="true">*</abbr>
            <span class="mds-form__label-required-indicator-label">Required Field.</span>
        </label>
        <textarea class="mds-form__textarea" id="error-textarea" aria-describedby="textarea-error" aria-invalid="true"></textarea>
        <span class="mds-form__field-error" id="textarea-error" role="alert">
            <span class="mds-form__field-error-text"> This is placeholder error messaging. </span>
        </span>
    </div>
</form>
Select (Dropdown)
This field is required
<form class="mds-form mds-form--medium-layout" method="post" action="form/processor">
    <div class="mds-form__field-group mds-form--error">
        <label class="mds-form__label" for="error-select"> Expense Type
            <abbr class="mds-form__label-required-indicator" title="This field is required." aria-hidden="true">*</abbr>
            <span class="mds-form__label-required-indicator-label">Required Field.</span>
        </label>
        <div class="mds-form__select">
            <select class="mds-form__select-input" id="error-select" aria-invalid="true">
                <option class="mds-form__select-option" value="">Select an Expense Type</option>
                <option class="mds-form__select-option" value="vacation">Vacation</option>
                <option class="mds-form__select-option" value="public_college">Public College</option>
                <option class="mds-form__select-option" value="private_college">Private College</option>
                <option class="mds-form__select-option" value="medical">Medical</option>
            </select>
            <div class="mds-form__select-visual-wrap"></div>
            <span class="mds-form__select-open-indicator">
                <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__select-open-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                    <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#caret-down--s"> </use>
                </svg>
            </span>
        </div>
        <span class="mds-form__field-error" role="alert">
            <span class="mds-form__field-error-text"> This field is required </span>
        </span>
    </div>
</form>
Checkbox
Select one or more statistics to view. Required Field. You must select at least one statistic.
<form class="mds-form mds-form--medium-layout" method="post" action="form/processor">
    <div class="mds-form__field-group mds-form--error">
        <fieldset class="mds-form__checkbox-group" role="group">
            <legend class="mds-form__checkbox-group-label"> Select one or more statistics to view.
                <abbr class="mds-form__label-required-indicator" title="Please select at least one option." aria-hidden="true">*</abbr>
                <span class="mds-form__label-required-indicator-label">Required Field.</span>
            </legend>
            <label class="mds-form__checkbox" for="average--42048">
                <input id="average--42048" type="checkbox" class="mds-form__checkbox-input" aria-describedby="checkbox-error" aria-invalid="true" />
                <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visible-wrap">
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visual">
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-checked-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#check--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-indeterminate-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#minus--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                    </span>
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-text"> Average </span>
                </span>
            </label>
            <label class="mds-form__checkbox" for="minimum--50272">
                <input id="minimum--50272" type="checkbox" class="mds-form__checkbox-input" aria-describedby="checkbox-error" aria-invalid="true" />
                <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visible-wrap">
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visual">
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-checked-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#check--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-indeterminate-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#minus--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                    </span>
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-text"> Minimum </span>
                </span>
            </label>
            <label class="mds-form__checkbox" for="maxiumum--1097">
                <input id="maxiumum--1097" type="checkbox" class="mds-form__checkbox-input" aria-describedby="checkbox-error" aria-invalid="true" />
                <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visible-wrap">
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visual">
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-checked-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#check--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-indeterminate-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#minus--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                    </span>
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-text"> Maxiumum </span>
                </span>
            </label>
            <label class="mds-form__checkbox" for="medium--38347">
                <input id="medium--38347" type="checkbox" class="mds-form__checkbox-input" aria-describedby="checkbox-error" aria-invalid="true" />
                <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visible-wrap">
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visual">
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-checked-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#check--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-indeterminate-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#minus--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                    </span>
                    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-text"> Medium </span>
                </span>
            </label>
            <span class="mds-form__field-error" id="checkbox-error" role="alert">
                <span class="mds-form__field-error-text"> You must select at least one statistic. </span>
            </span>
        </fieldset>
    </div>
</form>
Radio Button
Select what you would like to rank within. Required Field. You must choose an option.
<form class="mds-form mds-form--medium-layout" method="post" action="form/processor">
    <div class="mds-form__field-group mds-form--error">
        <fieldset class="mds-form__radio-button-group" role="radiogroup">
            <legend class="mds-form__radio-button-group-label"> Select what you would like to rank within.
                <abbr class="mds-form__label-required-indicator" title="Please select an option." aria-hidden="true">*</abbr>
                <span class="mds-form__label-required-indicator-label">Required Field.</span>
            </legend>
            <label class="mds-form__radio-button" for="your-list--34912">
                <input id="your-list--34912" name="group-name" value="blue" type="radio" class="mds-form__radio-button-input" aria-describedby="radio-button-error-message" aria-invalid="true" />
                <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visible-wrap">
                    <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visual"></span>
                    <span class="mds-form__radio-button-text "> Your List </span>
                </span>
            </label>
            <label class="mds-form__radio-button" for="peer-group--80805">
                <input id="peer-group--80805" name="group-name" value="blue" type="radio" class="mds-form__radio-button-input" aria-describedby="radio-button-error-message, invalid=true" />
                <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visible-wrap">
                    <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visual"></span>
                    <span class="mds-form__radio-button-text "> Peer Group </span>
                </span>
            </label>
            <span class="mds-form__field-error" id="radio-button-error-message" role="alert">
                <span class="mds-form__field-error-text"> You must choose an option. </span>
            </span>
        </fieldset>
    </div>
</form>
  • Never account for the space an error message may occupy in your layout. Instead, the error message should push the elements below down to make room.

Editorial

  • Use full sentences with punctuation for error description.
  • Acknowledge what is keeping a user from proceeding, but don’t make them feel like they did something wrong.
  • If we are the reason they can’t proceed, apologize.
  • Provide a user at least one way to resolve the problem.
  • If an error has the potential to repeat, tell a user what they should do, i.e., “If the site continues to not recognize your account, email us at support@morningstar.com.”

Microcopy

Augment a label to describe a form element in greater detail.

Default
Your password must contain a letter and a number.
<div class="mds-form__field-group">
    <span class="mds-form__microcopy" id="password-help-text"> Your password must contain a letter and a number. </span>
</div>

Editorial

  • Use full sentences with punctuation.
  • Aim for no more than two sentences.

Sizing

Sizing affects element size, text size and internal spacing. The default size is medium, and you can use a modifier class to make each form element smaller (mds-form__[element name]--small) or larger (mds-form__[element name]--large).

Small
Required fields










This is example error text.
This is example microcopy text.
Medium (Default)
Required fields










This is example error text.
This is example microcopy text.
Large
Required fields










This is example error text.
This is example microcopy text.
<span class="mds-form__required-fields-key mds-form__required-fields-key--small">Required fields</span>
<br>
<br>
<label class="mds-form__label mds-form__label--small"> Label
    <abbr class="mds-form__label-required-indicator" title="This field is required." aria-hidden="true">*</abbr>
    <span class="mds-form__label-required-indicator-label">Required Field.</span>
</label>
<br>
<input class="mds-form__input mds-form__input--small" type="text" id="small-text-box" placeholder="Text Box">
<br>
<br>
<textarea class="mds-form__textarea mds-form__textarea--small" id="small-textarea" placeholder="Text Area"></textarea>
<br>
<br>
<div class="mds-form__select mds-form__select--small">
    <select class="mds-form__select-input" id="small-select">
        <option class="mds-form__select-option" value="">Select an option</option>
        <option class="mds-form__select-option" value="option_1">Option 1</option>
        <option class="mds-form__select-option" value="option_2">Option 2</option>
    </select>
    <div class="mds-form__select-visual-wrap"></div>
    <span class="mds-form__select-open-indicator">
        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__select-open-icon" aria-hidden="true">
            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#caret-down--s"> </use>
        </svg>
    </span>
</div>
<br>
<br>
<label class="mds-form__checkbox mds-form__checkbox--small" for="small-checkbox">
    <input id="small-checkbox" type="checkbox" class="mds-form__checkbox-input" />
    <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visible-wrap">
        <span class="mds-form__checkbox-visual">
            <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-checked-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#check--s"> </use>
            </svg>
            <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__checkbox-indeterminate-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#minus--s"> </use>
            </svg>
        </span>
        <span class="mds-form__checkbox-text"> Checkbox Label </span>
    </span>
</label>
<br>
<label class="mds-form__radio-button mds-form__radio-button--small" for="small-radio-button">
    <input id="small-radio-button" name="group-name" value="blue" type="radio" class="mds-form__radio-button-input" />
    <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visible-wrap">
        <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visual"></span>
        <span class="mds-form__radio-button-text "> Radio Button Label </span>
    </span>
</label>
<br>
<span class="mds-form__field-error mds-form__field-error--small" role="alert">
    <span class="mds-form__field-error-text"> This is example error text. </span>
</span>
<br>
<span class="mds-form__microcopy mds-form__microcopy--small"> This is example microcopy text. </span>
  • Use the mds-form__checkbox-without-label class in conjunction with checkbox sizing modifier classes to render different sizes of the checkbox without label.

Examples

Address Form

This example combines many form elements wrapped with a mds-form--medium-layout modifier class to apply margin-based spacing. It uses a required fields key, labels (default and required), text boxes, select, text area, and a Button.

MDS Features

  • Uses the mds-form--medium-layout modifier class to apply medium form margins to all contained elements. See the spacing elements guidelines in the composition section for more information.
  • Uses the mds-form__field-group--horizontal modifier class to create a horizontal group of three inputs. See the grouping elements guidelines in the composition section for more information.

Customizations

Some custom styles are required to ensure the proper display of elements within a mds-form__field-group using the mds-form__field-group--horizontal modifier class:

  • A flex-grow: 1; property is required for each contained element—e.g. mds-form__label, mds-form__input—to ensure they expand to fill their available space.
  • mds-form__select need a width: 100%; property applied to ensure they expand to fill their available space.
Address Form
Address Required fields
<form class="mds-form mds-form--medium-layout" method="post" action="form/processor">
    <fieldset class="mds-form__fieldset">
        <legend class="mds-form__legend">Address</legend>
        <span class="mds-form__required-fields-key">Required fields</span>
        <div class="mds-form__field-group">
            <label class="mds-form__label" for="full-form-first-name"> First Name
                <abbr class="mds-form__label-required-indicator" title="This field is required." aria-hidden="true">*</abbr>
                <span class="mds-form__label-required-indicator-label">Required Field.</span>
            </label>
            <input class="mds-form__input" type="text" id="full-form-first-name"> </div>
        <div class="mds-form__field-group">
            <label class="mds-form__label" for="full-form-last-name"> Last Name
                <abbr class="mds-form__label-required-indicator" title="This field is required." aria-hidden="true">*</abbr>
                <span class="mds-form__label-required-indicator-label">Required Field.</span>
            </label>
            <input class="mds-form__input" type="text" id="full-form-last-name"> </div>
        <div class="mds-form__field-group">
            <label class="mds-form__label" for="full-form-address"> Address </label>
            <input class="mds-form__input" type="text" id="full-form-adress"> </div>
        <div class="mds-form__field-group mds-form__field-group--horizontal">
            <div class="mds-form__field-group demo-flex-grow-1">
                <label class="mds-form__label" for="full-form-city"> City </label>
                <input class="mds-form__input" type="text" id="full-form-city"> </div>
            <div class="mds-form__field-group demo-flex-grow-1">
                <label class="mds-form__label" for="full-form-state"> State </label>
                <div class="mds-form__select demo-width-100">
                    <select class="mds-form__select-input" id="full-form-state">
                        <option class="mds-form__select-option" value="default">Select your state</option>
                        <option class="mds-form__select-option" value="just">Just</option>
                        <option class="mds-form__select-option" value="kidding">Kidding</option>
                    </select>
                    <div class="mds-form__select-visual-wrap"></div>
                    <span class="mds-form__select-open-indicator">
                        <svg class="mds-icon mds-form__select-open-icon" aria-hidden="true">
                            <use xlink:href="/icons/mds.svg#caret-down--s"> </use>
                        </svg>
                    </span>
                </div>
            </div>
            <div class="mds-form__field-group demo-flex-grow-1">
                <label class="mds-form__label" for="full-form-zip"> Zip </label>
                <input class="mds-form__input" type="text" id="full-form-zip"> </div>
        </div>
        <div class="mds-form__field-group">
            <label class="mds-form__label" for="full-form-comments"> Comments </label>
            <textarea class="mds-form__textarea" id="full-form-comments"></textarea>
        </div>
    </fieldset>
    <div class="demo-button-container">
        <button class="mds-button mds-button--primary" type="button" disabled> Submit </button>
    </div>
</form>

Sign Up Form

This example uses large form elements wrapped with a mds-form--large-layout modifier class to apply margin-based spacing. It uses a required fields key, labels (default, optional, and required), text boxes, microcopy, radio group, and a Button.

MDS Features

  • Uses the mds-form--large-layout modifier class to apply large form margins to all contained elements. See the spacing elements guidelines in the composition section for more information.
  • Uses --large modifier classes on all form elements to render their large sizes. See the sizing section for more information.
  • Radio group sizing modifier classes must apply to the mds-form__radio-button-group element.
Sign Up Form
Sign Up Required fields
Please provide your last name.
We’ll never share your email with third parties.
Would you like to sign up for our newsletter? We won’t send you more than one email a week.
<form class="mds-form mds-form--large-layout" method="post" action="form/processor">
    <fieldset class="mds-form__fieldset">
        <legend class="mds-form__legend">Sign Up</legend>
        <span class="mds-form__required-fields-key mds-form__required-fields-key--large">Required fields</span>
        <div class="mds-form__field-group">
            <label class="mds-form__label mds-form__label--large" for="full-form-first-name"> First Name
                <abbr class="mds-form__label-required-indicator" title="This field is required." aria-hidden="true">*</abbr>
                <span class="mds-form__label-required-indicator-label">Required Field.</span>
            </label>
            <input class="mds-form__input mds-form__input--large" type="text" id="full-form-first-name"> </div>
        <div class="mds-form__field-group mds-form--error">
            <label class="mds-form__label mds-form__label--large" for="full-form-last-name"> Last Name
                <abbr class="mds-form__label-required-indicator" title="This field is required." aria-hidden="true">*</abbr>
                <span class="mds-form__label-required-indicator-label">Required Field.</span>
            </label>
            <input class="mds-form__input mds-form__input--large" type="text" id="full-form-last-name" aria-describedby="full-form-last-name__error">
            <span class="mds-form__field-error mds-form__field-error--large" id="full-form-last-name__error" role="alert">
                <span class="mds-form__field-error-text"> Please provide your last name. </span>
            </span>
        </div>
        <div class="mds-form__field-group">
            <label class="mds-form__label mds-form__label--large" for="full-form-email__input"> Email
                <span class="mds-form__label-optional"> (Optional) </span>
            </label>
            <span class="mds-form__microcopy mds-form__microcopy--large" id="full-form-email__microcopy"> We’ll never share your email with third parties. </span>
            <input class="mds-form__input mds-form__input--large" type="text" id="full-form-email__input" aria-describedby="full-form-email__microcopy"> </div>
        <div class="mds-form__field-group">
            <fieldset class="mds-form__radio-button-group mds-form__radio-button-group--large" role="radiogroup">
                <legend class="mds-form__radio-button-group-label"> Would you like to sign up for our newsletter? </legend>
                <span class="mds-form__microcopy mds-form__microcopy--large" id="full-form-newsletter__microcopy"> We won’t send you more than one email a week. </span>
                <label class="mds-form__radio-button mds-form__radio-button--large" for="yes,-please.--69481">
                    <input id="yes,-please.--69481" name="undefined-newsletter" value="blue" type="radio" class="mds-form__radio-button-input" checked aria-describedby="full-form-newsletter__microcopy" />
                    <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visible-wrap">
                        <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visual"></span>
                        <span class="mds-form__radio-button-text "> Yes, please. </span>
                    </span>
                </label>
                <label class="mds-form__radio-button mds-form__radio-button--large" for="no,-thanks.--4750">
                    <input id="no,-thanks.--4750" name="undefined-newsletter" value="blue" type="radio" class="mds-form__radio-button-input" aria-describedby="full-form-newsletter__microcopy" />
                    <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visible-wrap">
                        <span class="mds-form__radio-button-visual"></span>
                        <span class="mds-form__radio-button-text "> No, thanks. </span>
                    </span>
                </label>
            </fieldset>
        </div>
    </fieldset>
    <div class="demo-button-container">
        <button class="mds-button mds-button--primary mds-button--large" type="button" disabled> Sign Up </button>
    </div>
</form>

Guidelines

Composition

Form Structure

  • Always wrap form elements within a <form> using the mds-form class.
  • Use semantic HTML form elements, e.g., <fieldset>, <legend>, <label>, and <input>.

Grouping Elements

When constructing forms it is critical to utilize a container with the mds-form__field-group class to group related elements. For example, when pairing a label with an input:

<form class="mds-form">
    <div class="mds-form__field-group">
        <label class="mds-form__label" for="input-01">[Label text]</label>
        <input class="mds-form__input" id="input-01"> </div>
</form>

If a form field includes microcopy and/or an error, always place these elements within the mds-form__field-group container wrapping the relevant field. For example:

<form class="mds-form">
    <div class="mds-form__field-group">
        <label class="mds-form__label" for="input-01">[Label text]</label>
        <span class="mds-form__microcopy" id="input-01-microcopy">[Microcopy text]</span>
        <input class="mds-form__input" id="input-01" aria-describedby="input-01-microcopy input-01-error">
        <span class="mds-form__field-error" id="input-01-error" role="alert">[Error text]</span>
    </div>
</form>
  • Multiple pieces of descriptive text, like microcopy and an error, can be linked to a single element by placing multiple id in an element's aria-describedby attribute. See accessibility guidelines for more information.

To create a horizontal group of form elements, wrap multiple mds-form__field-group containers within a parent mds-form__field-group container and apply the mds-form__field-group--horizontal modifier class. For example:

<form class="mds-form">
    <div class="mds-form__field-group mds-form__field-group--horizontal">
        <div class="mds-form__field-group">[Label, input and other elements.]</div>
        <div class="mds-form__field-group">[Label, input and other elements.]</div>
        <div class="mds-form__field-group">[Label, input and other elements.]</div>
    </div>
</form>

If multiple elements within a form are deeply related, like fields for entering an address, always wrap them in a container with the mds-form__fieldset class and include a descriptive legend using mds-form__legend. For example:

<form class="mds-form">
    <fieldset class="mds-form__fieldset">
        <legend class="mds-form__legend">[Description of fieldset content for screen readers.]</legend>
        <div class="mds-form__field-group">[Address]</div>
        <div class="mds-form__field-group">[City]</div>
        <div class="mds-form__field-group">[State]</div>
        <div class="mds-form__field-group">[Zip Code]</div>
    </fieldset>
</form>
  • mds-form__fieldset and mds-form__legend are non-visible elements that play a critical role in making forms accessible for those using assistive technologies, like screen readers. See accessibility guidelines for more information.
  • <fieldset> elements may be nested with another <fieldset>, for example, if using the radio group or checkbox group.

Spacing Elements

By default, form elements do not include any margins. To assist with the composition of many individual form elements in a complete form, MDS provides layout modifier classes which automatically apply margin-based spacing to all elements contained within a form.

Form layout modifier classes are available for all three sizes of form elements, mds-form--small-layout, mds-form--medium-layout, and mds-form--large-layout. Always apply these modifier classes to the block level of a <form> element, for example:

<form class="mds-form mds-form--medium-layout"> [Insert medium form element markup here.] </form>

Layout modifier classes only apply spacing to elements, you must still apply sizing modifier classes to each individual element within the form. For example, to use the mds-form--large-layout modifier class:

<form class="mds-form mds-form--large-layout">
    <div class="mds-form__field-group">
        <label class="mds-form__label mds-form__label--large" for="first-name">First Name</label>
        <input class="mds-form__input mds-form__input--large" id="first-name"> </div>
    <div class="mds-form__field-group">
        <label class="mds-form__label mds-form__label--large" for="last-name">Last Name</label>
        <input class="mds-form__input mds-form__input--large" id="last-name"> </div>
    <div class="mds-form__field-group">
        <label class="mds-form__label mds-form__label--large" for="email">Email</label>
        <span class="mds-form__microcopy mds-form__microcopy--large" id="email-microcopy">[Microcopy text]</span>
        <input class="mds-form__input mds-form__input--large" id="email" aria-describedby="email-microcopy"> </div>
</form>
  • Layout modifier classes apply margin-right to elements contained within an .mds-form__field-group--horizontal container.
  • Always use form elements of the same size as the layout modifier class used to avoid undesirable spacing.

Accessibility

  • Always include a label with each form element.
  • Include a for attribute on each label with a value matching the id attribute on the corresponding input, textarea or select.
  • Use placeholder text to provide an example of the type of input you need from the user. For example, if you need a phone number in a certain format, include xxx-xxx-xxxx as placeholder text.
  • Never use placeholder text in place of a label.
  • Include an aria-describedby attribute on each input, textarea, or select that has an .mds-form__microcopy or an .mds-form__field-error component providing additional information. The value of the aria-describedby attribute must match the id attribute on the .mds-form__microcopy or .mds-form__field-error component.
  • Always include role=alert on .mds-form__field-error components.
  • Form labels must always be visible.
  • Add aria-invalid="true" to an element where a validation error has occurred.
  • Ensure all form elements are keyboard accessible.
  • Use fieldset and legend for grouped form elements, such as radio buttons and checkboxes.

Code Reference

  • Always wrap grouped form elements in a mds-form__field-group container.
<div class="mds-form__field-group">
    <label class="mds-form__label" id="first-name">First Name</label>
    <input class="mds-form__input" type="text" id="first-name" placeholder="First Name" /> </div>

CSS Class References

Class
Applies to
Outcome

mds-form--small-layout

mds-form

Applies margin-based spacing to all contained form elements.

mds-form--medium-layout

mds-form

Applies margin-based spacing to all contained form elements.

mds-form--large-layout

mds-form

Applies margin-based spacing to all contained form elements.

mds-form__field-group--horizontal

mds-form__field-group

Changes the layout of form fields from vertical to horizontal.

mds-form--error

mds-form__field-group

Applies error styles to form elements.

mds-form__input--small

mds-form__input

Adjusts styling to render a small text box (input).

mds-form__input--large

mds-form__input

Adjusts styling to render a large text box (input).

mds-form__textarea--small

mds-form__textarea

Adjusts styling to render a small text area.

mds-form__textarea--large

mds-form__textarea

Adjusts styling to render a large text area.

mds-form__select--small

mds-form__select

Adjusts styling to render a small select.

mds-form__select--large

mds-form__select

Adjusts styling to render a large select.

mds-form__checkbox--small

mds-form__checkbox

Adjusts styling to render a small checkbox.

mds-form__checkbox--large

mds-form__checkbox

Adjusts styling to render a large checkbox.

mds-form__radio-button--small

mds-form__radio-button

Adjusts styling to render a small radio button.

mds-form__radio-button--large

mds-form__radio-button

Adjusts styling to render a large radio button.

mds-form__checkbox--hide-label

mds-form__checkbox

Hides label text, although screen readers can still access it.

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