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Accessing form elements by name with jQuery

There are a variety of ways to access elements with jQuery including by the name property of form elements (the name="" part of <input name="foo">). This can be useful so you don’t have to assign an id to each and every form element as well as a name which is needed to pass the form value to the next page.

Example form

Here’s a snippet of a form for the following examples with first_name and last_name fields in a form.

<form ... >
    <input type="text" name="first_name" value="" />
    <input type="text" name="last_name" value="" />

Selecting by name

To select the "first_name" text input form element do this:


For example to display the value in an alert window do this:

alert( $("input[name=first_name]").val() );

To speed up the process so your jQuery code doesn’t have to traverse the entire DOM looking for the element you could define the <form> itself with an ID (e.g. <form id="myform">) and do this:

alert( $("#myform input[name=first_name]").val() );

Deprecated @

Prior to jQuery 1.3 you could do this:


However the @ syntax was deprecated in jQuery 1.2 and removed in jQuery 1.3, so don’t use it when using jQuery 1.2 and up.