Can HTML checkboxes be set to readonly?


I thought they could be, but as I'm not putting my money where my mouth was (so to speak) setting the readonly attribute doesn't actually seem to do anything.

I'd rather not use Disabled, since I want the checked check boxes to be submitted with the rest of the form, I just don't want the client to be able to change them under certain circumstances.

9/30/2008 9:58:58 PM

READONLY doesn't work on checkboxes as it prevents you from editing a field's value, but with a checkbox you're actually editing the field's state (on || off)


It's important to understand that READONLY merely prevents the user from changing the value of the field, not from interacting with the field. In checkboxes, for example, you can check them on or off (thus setting the CHECKED state) but you don't change the value of the field.

If you don't want to use disabled but still want to submit the value, how about submitting the value as a hidden field and just printing its contents to the user when they don't meet the edit criteria? e.g.

// user allowed change
    echo '<input type="checkbox" name="my_check"> Check value';
    // Not allowed change - submit value..
    echo '<input type="hidden" name="my_check" value="1" />';
    // .. and show user the value being submitted
    echo '<input type="checkbox" disabled readonly> Check value';

This is a checkbox you can't change:

<input type="checkbox" disabled="disabled" checked="checked">

Just add disabled="disabled" as an attribute.

Edit to address the comments:

If you want the data to be posted back, than a simple solutions is to apply the same name to a hidden input:

<input name="myvalue" type="checkbox" disabled="disabled" checked="checked"/>
<input name="myvalue" type="hidden" value="true"/>

This way, when the checkbox is set to 'disabled', it only serves the purpose of a visual representation of the data, instead of actually being 'linked' to the data. In the post back, the value of the hidden input is being sent when the checkbox is disabled.


<input type="checkbox" onclick="this.checked=!this.checked;">

But you absolutely MUST validate the data on the server to ensure it hasn't been changed.


another "simple solution":

<!-- field that holds the data -->
<input type="hidden" name="my_name" value="1" /> 
<!-- visual dummy for the user -->
<input type="checkbox" name="my_name_visual_dummy" value="1" checked="checked" disabled="disabled" />

disabled="disabled" / disabled=true


This presents a bit of a usability issue.

If you want to display a checkbox, but not let it be interacted with, why even a checkbox then?

However, my approach would be to use disabled (The user expects a disabled checkbox to not be editable, instead of using JS to make an enabled one not work), and add a form submit handler using javascript that enables checkboxes right before the form is submitted. This way you you do get your values posted.

ie something like this:

var form = document.getElementById('yourform');
form.onSubmit = function () 
    var formElems = document.getElementsByTagName('INPUT');
    for (var i = 0; i , formElems.length; i++)
       if (formElems[i].type == 'checkbox')
          formElems[i].disabled = false;