Home : Technical Terms : Field Definition


A field is a user interface element designed for entering data. Many software applications include text fields that allow you to provide input using your keyboard or touchscreen. Websites often include form fields, which you can use to enter and submit information.

In software programs, the terms "field" and "text box" may be used interchangeably. For example, a world processor may provide several formatting options, such as font size, line spacing, and page margins. Each option includes a text box where you can manually enter custom settings. Many applications also include a search field (or "search box") that allows you to search the contents of one or more documents.

When you visit a website, it may provide a form that allows you to enter data, such as your billing address or registration information. Each single-line text box within a web form is called an "input" field and is defined by <input type="text"> in HTML. Fields with more than one line are called text areas and are created using the <textarea> tag. You may also encounter login forms that include two fields for entering your username and password. Most password fields are defined as <input type="password"> which hides the characters as you type.

NOTE: Databases also include fields. Each row or "record" in a database table may include multiple fields. The table columns define what fields are available in each row. Therefore, a specific column and row combination (such as Row: 101, Column: Name) defines a specific field. Individual fields in a database may be searched and modified using standard SQL queries.

Updated: August 1, 2014

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