Skip to main contentCarbon Design System


Carbon’s search component provides the basic input mechanism for conducting a search. No accessibility annotations are needed for the input, but design annotations are needed to make the search messaging and results accessible.

What Carbon provides

Carbon bakes keyboard operation into its components, improving the experience of blind users and others who operate via keyboard. Carbon also incorporates other accessibility considerations, some of which are described below.

Keyboard interaction

The search component is in the tab order, and users can type directly into the search input on focus. Users press Enter to submit their text as a search term, or they can press Esc to clear it. Once users start typing, a Cancel icon (‘x’) will appear, which becomes the next tab stop and provides another way to clear the input field via click, Space or Enter keys.

example of search keyboard navigation

The search input is in the tab order just like any other input.

illustration showing that after a user begins typing in a search field, an X button appears on the right side of the input that can be tabbed to and activated with Space or Enter

The user can clear the input by pressing Esc or activating the X button that appears inside the input.

Variations of the search component use a non-persistent text input that is hidden behind a magnifying glass icon. In one variation, the user activates the icon-only button to reveal and put focus into the search input. In another variation, as the icon receives focus it exposes the input and the focus is immediately placed into the search input. Once in the input, the interaction, described above, is the same for all variations.

illustration showing the search icon being activated via Enter or Space

A variation where the search input is revealed by activating the magnifying glass icon.

putting focus on the magnifying glass causes the search input to be revealed and given focus

A variation where the search input is revealed when the magnifying glass receives focus.

Role and label

Carbon assigns the entire search interaction a role of “search”. It also provides non-visible labels for the search input and icon (“search”), and for the cancel icon (“clear search input”).