The Definitive Guide to Form Label Positioning

When it comes to the design and development of forms, one of the most popular topics is the positioning of labels. There are a range of different options, but many articles on the subject touch on only some of the advantages and disadvantages of some of these options.

How do you put all that disparate information together to make a good decision, especially if you’re in a hurry?

It was clearly time to bring everything together in one place. Read on for the different options for form label positioning, and the complete list of advantages and disadvantages for each.

If you haven’t got time for that, the main thing you need to know is: the most usable and accessible option is to have labels always visible, and located above or beside the field. There’s also a handy guide to choosing between these three options.

Options for positioning form labels

For English-based forms, the main options1 are:

  • label on top of the field:
  • label to the left of the field, and flush left:
  • label to the left of the field, and flush right:
  • label inside the field:
  • label as a tool tip:

Some of these choices are much better than others. Here’s the complete list of advantages and disadvantages for each approach.

Label on top of the field

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