HTML – Forms

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Text Fields

Before we teach you how to make a complete form, let’s start out with the basics of forms. Input fields are going to be the meat of your form’s sandwich. The <input> has a few attributes that you should be aware of.

  • type – Determines what kind of input field it will be. Possible choices are text, submit, and password.
  • name – Assigns a name to the given field so that you may reference it later.
  • size – Sets the horizontal width of the field. The unit of measurement is in blank spaces.
  • maxlength – Dictates the maximum number of characters that can be entered.

HTML Code:

<form method="post" action="mailto:youremail@email.com">
Name: <input type="text" size="10" maxlength="40" name="name"> <br />
Password: <input type="password" size="10" maxlength="10" name="password">

</form>

Input Forms:

Name:
Password:

Do not use the password feature for security purposes. The data in the password field is not encrypted and is not secure in any way.

HTML Form Email

Now we will add the submit functionality to your form. Generally, the button should be the last item of your form and have its name attribute set to “Send” or “Submit”. Name defines what the label of the button will be. Here is a list of important attributes of the submit:

In addition to adding the submit button, we must also add a destination for this information and specify how we want it to travel to that place. Adding the following attributes to your <form> will do just this.

  • method – We will only be using the post functionality of method, which sends the data without displaying any of the information to the visitor.
  • action – Specifies the URL to send the data to. We will be sending our information to a fake email address.

HTML Code:

HTML - Forms

<form method="post" action="mailto:youremail@email.com">
Name: <input type="text" size="10" maxlength="40" name="name"> <br />
Password: <input type="password" size="10" 
maxlength="10" name="password"><br />

<input type="submit" value="Send"> 
</form>

Email Forms:

Name:
Password:

Simply change the email address to your own and you will have set up your first functional form!

HTML Radio Buttons

Radio buttons are a popular form of interaction. You may have seen them on quizzes, questionnaires, and other web sites that give the user a multiple choice question. Below are a couple attributes you should know that relate to the radio button.

  • value – specifies what will be sent if the user chooses this radio button. Only one value will be sent for a given group of radio buttons (see name for more information).
  • name – defines which set of radio buttons that it is a part of. Below we have 2 groups: shade and size.

HTML Code:

<form method="post" action="mailto:youremail@email.com">
What kind of shirt are you wearing? <br />
Shade: 

<input type="radio" name="shade" value="dark">Dark
<input type="radio" name="shade" value="light">Light <br />
Size:

<input type="radio" name="size" value="small">Small
<input type="radio" name="size" value="medium">Medium
<input type="radio" name="size" value="large">Large <br />
<input type="submit" value="Email Myself">
</form>

Radios:

What kind of shirt are you wearing?
Shade: Dark Light
Size: Small Medium Large

If you change the email address to your own and “Email Myself” then you should get an email with “shade=(choice) size=(choice)”.

HTML Check Boxes

Check boxes allow for multiple items to be selected for a certain group of choices. The check box’s name and value attributes behave the same as a radio button.

HTML Code:

<form method="post" action="mailto:youremail@email.com">
Select your favorite cartoon characters.
<input type="checkbox" name="toon" value="Goofy">Goofy
<input type="checkbox" name="toon" value="Donald">Donald
<input type="checkbox" name="toon" value="Bugs">Bugs Bunny
<input type="checkbox" name="toon" value="Scoob">Scooby Doo
<input type="submit" value="Email Myself">
</form>

Check Boxes:

Select the 2 greatest toons.
Goofy
Donald
Bugs Bunny
Scooby Doo

HTML Drop Down Lists

Drop down menues are created with the <select> and <option> tags. <select> is the list itself and each <option> is an available choice for the user.

HTML Code:

<form method="post" action="mailto:youremail@email.com">
College Degree?
<select name="degree">
<option>Choose One</option>
<option>Some High School</option>
<option>High School Degree</option>
<option>Some College</option>
<option>Bachelor's Degree</option>
<option>Doctorate</option>
<input type="submit" value="Email Yourself">
</select>
</form>

Drop Down Lists:

Education?

HTML Selection Forms

Yet another type of form, a highlighted selection list. This form will post what the user highlights. Basically just another type of way to get input from the user.

The size attribute selects how many options will be shown at once before needing to scroll, and the selected option tells the browser which choice to select by default.

HTML Code:

<form method="post" action="mailto:youremail@email.com">
Musical Taste
<select multiple name="music" size="4">
<option value="emo" selected>Emo</option>
<option value="metal/rock" >Metal/Rock</option>
<option value="hiphop" >Hip Hop</option>
<option value="ska" >Ska</option>
<option value="jazz" >Jazz</option>
<option value="country" >Country</option>
<option value="classical" >Classical</option>
<option value="alternative" >Alternative</option>
<option value="oldies" >Oldies</option>
<option value="techno" >Techno</option>
</select>
<input type="submit" value="Email Yourself">
</form>

Selection Forms:

Musical Taste

HTML Upload Forms

First of all, to actually make the upload form function correctly you must know a scripting language of some sort. PHP and PERL work fine, Javascript is also an option. We have an entire upload example demonstrated here, PHP File Upload. The HTML code for the upload form does nothing more than create an interface for the user to see and work with.

An upload form consists of three basic parts. The first being a hidden field. This hidden field does nothing more than limit the allowed file size of our uploaded file. The second part is the input field itself. In this field, the user has the option to type in the full local URL of the file or he/she may click the browse button to thumb through directory after directory. HTML codes this automatically when we place the type=”file” attribute within the input tag.

HTML Code:

<input type="hidden" name="MAX_FILE_SIZE" value="100" />
<input name="file" type="file" />

Upload Form:

HTML Text Areas

Text areas serve as an input field for viewers to place their own comments onto. Forums and the like use text areas to post what you type onto their site using scripts. For this form, the text area is used as a way to write comments to somebody.

Rows and columns need to be specified as attributes to the <textarea> tag. Rows are roughly 12pixels high, the same as in word programs and the value of the columns reflects how many characters wide the text area will be. i.e. The example below shows a text area 5 rows tall and 20 characters wide. Another attribute to be aware of is the wrap. Wrap has 3 values.

  • wrap=
    • “off”
    • “virtual”
    • “physical”

Virtual means that the viewer will see the words wrapping as they type their comments, but when the page is submitted to you, the web host, the document sent will not have wrapping words.
Physical means that the text will appear both to you, the web host, and the viewer including any page breaks and additional spaces that may be inputed. The words come as they are.
Off of course, turns off word wrapping within the text area. One ongoing line.

HTML Code:

<form method="post" action="mailto:youremail@email.com">
<textarea rows="5" cols="20" wrap="physical" name="comments">
Enter Comments Here
</textarea>
<input type="submit" value="Email Yourself">
</form>

Text Area:

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