Usage Recommendation
Use <FORM ...> instead.

  • PROMPT: prompt string to show before the text entry area

<ISINDEX ...> is the old way to make an online form. The purpose of <ISINDEX ...> has been entirely fulfilled and greatly expanded by regular forms, so use regular forms instead. For the sake of completion, we'll explain a little about <ISINDEX ...> here anyway.

The easiest way to think of <ISINDEX ...> is that it is a form which takes only one input, there is only one input on the page, and it can only return the results to the CGI that created the page in the first place. The value entered in the input field is URL encoded and added with a "?" to the end of the current URL, and the query is resubmitted to the current URL. The format for the tag is easy: just put <ISINDEX ...> in the <BODY ...> section of the document, generally at the top:

This Code
<TITLE>Idocs: ISINDEX Example Using Congresspeople</TITLE>
<H1>Example of &lt;ISINDEX&gt;</H1>

This page uses the &lt;ISINDEX&gt; tag. Type in the name 
of your state for a listing of your congresspeople.

Different browsers render the input field in different ways. Some put the input field in non-scrolling panel at the bottom of the screen (a nice touch, it's the one thing about <ISINDEX ...> I miss). Others put the field in the page where the tag appears.

In an inspired act of futility, Netscape actually added extension attributes to <ISINDEX ...>. See the following pages.