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Microsoft FrontPage 2003

Forms: Optional Hidden Form Fields

In addition to the five required hidden form fields, optional form fields are available with the UW-Eau Claire form processing script. These optional fields are not visible to the user and allow form developers to require that users fill in certain form fields or obtain information from users' environment variables, such as what web browser they were using when they visited the page.

The UW-Eau Claire form processing script has the ability to send form results to multiple recipients more easily, send automatic courtesy messages, and store the form results in a data file that can be imported into a Word table, Excel worksheet, Access database table, or other program.

This document will cover the optional form fields that require completion of a field, obtain environment information about the user, and allow form results to be shared with others via email.

NOTE: For more information about working with optional form fields, refer to Optional Visible Form Fields, Courtesy Reply Messages, Capturing the Data, and Formatting the Default Form Results Page.

return to topDefining the Optional Hidden Form Fields

This section briefly defines the optional hidden form fields. The next section, Inserting the Optional Hidden Form Fields, provides instructions and examples of values to be used. The optional hidden form fields can be divided into the following categories:

Requiring completion of fields
The required and missing_fields_redirect fields can be used to force specific completion of specific fields. The missing_fields_redirect field can pull up a developer-designed error page.

Redefine the "Results" Page
Instead of display the default results page, you can redirect the user to a page of your choosing, perhaps a thank you page.

Generate Environment Report
The env_report field gives a form developer access to environment variables, which can provide additional information about users, such as what web browser they were using or what domain (e.g., uwec.edu). The form developer will receive this information in the email containing the form information. The names of the environment variables must be entered as the value of this hidden form field.

Sharing the Results

Use the cc and bcc fields to share the form results with multiple people.

Generating a Custom Email Reply

Use the courtesy_reply fields to customize an email that is automatically generated to the user completing the form. Fields include the following:
courtesy_reply
courtesy_reply_texta
courtesy_reply_textb
courtesy_who_we_are
courtesy_our_url
courtesy_our_email

Capturing Results to a Data File

Reduce the data entry and capture the results to a file with the following fields:
append_db
db_fields
db_delimiter

return to topOptional Hidden Form Fields: Values

Before inserting the optional hidden form fields into your form, you must first know the values to be used. The following table illustrates each hidden form field's name and value.

required
The value is the name(s) of any form field(s) a form developer would like to be required, separated by commas if more than one form field will be required.
EXAMPLE: email,realname
NOTE: Field names are case sensitive, so be certain that values here match the field names used in the visible form fields.

redirect
The value is the URL of the web page users are redirected to when they have not filled in required fields.
EXAMPLE: http://www.uwec.edu/yourdirectory/yourpage.htm
NOTE: You must use the absolute URL.

missing_fields_redirect
The value is the URL of the web page users are redirected to when they have not filled in required fields.
EXAMPLE: http://www.uwec.edu/yourdirectory/yourpage.htm
NOTE: You must use the absolute URL.

env_report
The value is the name(s) of the environment variable(s) you would like to use, separated by commas if you use more than one.
EXAMPLE: REMOTE_HOST,REMOTE_ADDR

Names of Environment Variables

REMOTE_HOST
Sends the hostname of the user
EXAMPLE: uwec.edu

REMOTE_ADDR
Sends the internet protocol (IP) address, which is the unique number of the user's computer on a network or the internet
EXAMPLE: 137.28.143.226

HTTP_USER_AGENT
Sends the type of browser the user is running

Sharing the Results

cc
The value is the email address of the person to which you want to send a carbon copy.
EXAMPLE: username@uwec.edu

bcc
The value is the email address of the person to which you want a send a blind carbon copy.
EXAMPLE: username@uwec.edu

Generating a Custom Email Reply

For information on creating an automatically generated response, refer to Courtesy Reply Messages.

Capturing Results to a Data File

For information on capturing results to a text file, an Excel worksheet, or a database, refer to Capturing the Data.

return to topInserting the Optional Hidden Form Fields

  1. Open the file containing your form or create your form

  2. Right click the form » select Form Properties...
    The Form Properties dialog box appears.

  3. Click ADVANCED...
    The Advanced Form Properties dialog box appears.
    Advanced Form Properties dialog box

  4. Click ADD...
    The Name/Value Pair dialog box appears.
    Name/Value Pair dialog box

  5. In the Name and Value text boxes, type the name and value of the appropriate optional hidden form field
    NOTE: For more information about field names and values, refer to Optional Hidden Form Fields: Values.

  6. Click OK
    You are returned to the Advanced Form Properties dialog box.

  7. Repeat steps 4-6 until you have entered all the necessary hidden form fields

  8. Click OK
    NOTE: A submitted form will not be accepted if a user does not fill in all required fields.

  9. Click OK

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