Apr. 21 2011

Clearing form values (and putting back the defaults) with jQuery

This is probably the oldest trick in the book, but I’m a n00b to jQuery, so I wanted to try and figure this out on my own.

I have a decently simple form where I wanted to put the field name as the default (so it shows up in the field itself). When the user clicks onto the field, the default value disappears giving them a blank field. When the user clicks or tabs, it checks if the field is still blank and repopulates the default.

<script type="text/javascript">
    // put all the defaults into an array for later reference
    var defaults = new Array();
    $("form input:text").each(function() {
      defaults[$(this).attr('name')] = $(this).val();
    // when focused, make the field blank
    $("form input:text").focus(function() {
      if($(this).val()==defaults[$(this).attr('name')]) {
    // if field is empty afterward, add text again
    $("#form").children('input').blur(function() {
      if($(this).val()=="") {

As soon as the page has finished loading, we traverse each text input field with the each() function and put the default value (using val()) into an array where the name of the field (attr('name')) is the key.

When the user clicks or tabs into the field, we have an event set up (with focus()) which checks to see if the current field value is the same as the default value (meaning it’s unchanged). If it is unchanged, the field becomes blank.

When the user clicks or tabs out of the field, we have an event set up (with blur()) which checks to see if the current field is the same as the default value (meaning, again, it’s unchanged). If it is, repopulate the field with the default value from the array.


Remember, for jQuery to work properly, you’ll need to include it into your page. It’ll need to be before any other included jQuery scripts, too. Google has been a big supporter of jQuery and publicly put the on their CDN, you can call it like so:

<script type="text/javascript" src="http://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.4.2/jquery.min.js"></script>

1 comment

  1. January 6, 2015 at 4:22 pm

    Awesome content you post here, i have shared this post on my facebook

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Love you always. (March 23, 1965 - November 12, 2011)

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