Always add "name” to type="radio"

Otherwise, you’ll think your tab keys hate you

Published Apr 6, 2022

A while ago, I was building a form in React. It wasn’t big or complicated, so I decided not to use a form library. I just listened for onChange and have a useState for each input. At first, this seemed to work file. I was building my form, and my state was updating as expected.

Then I added an <input type=”radio”/> and the tab order started getting ugly.  For example, I could only focus the first and last radios when using tab and shift+tab. And using the arrow keys, I could select all of the radios at the same time.

Animated image showing an input with type text, 5 radios and another input type text. The tab order is working not working as expected. Only the first and the last radios are selectable.

So this turns out to be because the “name” attribute was missing on my input. As soon as I added that, it started working again. I had no need or use for it in my JavasSript, so that’s why I didn’t add it, but it turned out to be needed for other reasons.

Animated image showing an input with type text, 5 radios and another input type text. The tab order is working as expected.


Hope this little article will save you from the bafflement I felt when I encountered this.