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Web Publishing

Optional Form Fields: An Overview

In addition to the five required hidden form fields, there are optional form fields available with the UW-Eau Claire Forms Processing Script. These optional fields consist of both hidden form fields that are not visible to the user, and normal form fields, such as text boxes, that are visible to the user. These form fields allow users to specify their return email address, require that users fill in certain form fields, redirect users to a certain URL, or provide a form developer with access to users' environment variables, such as what web browser they were using.

These advanced functions have 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 spreadsheet, Access database table, or other program.

This document explains the following:

return to top Optional Visible Form Fields

This field creates a one-line text box allowing a user to enter his/her email address. When form developers use this field in a form, the email message they receive containing the form results will be from the user, indicating who submitted the form information and allowing the form developer to reply to the message. In addition, the user's email address will also appear at the beginning of the actual email message (e.g., submitted by

This field creates a one-line text box allowing a user to enter his/her name. When form developers use this field, the user's name will appear at the beginning of the email message containing the form results (e.g., submitted by Chris Student); however, form developers will not be able to reply to the user unless they also use the email field.

HINT: If form developers use both the email and realname fields, they will be able to reply to the email message, and the user's name and email address will appear at the beginning of the email message.

return to top Optional Hidden Form Fields

This section briefly defines the optional hidden form fields. The optional hidden form fields can be divided into the following categories:


Require completion of fields
The required and missing_fields_redirect fields can be used to force specific completion of specific fields. The missing_fields_redirect 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 hidden form 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., they were coming from. The form developer will receive this information in the email that contains the form information. The names of the environment variables must be entered as the value of this hidden form field.

Share the Results

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

Generate a Courtesy Reply Message

Use the courtesy reply fields to customize a email that is automatically generated to the user that completed the form. Fields include:


Capture the Data

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

Format the Default Form Results Page

Personalize the appearance of the results page with custom colors and a background image.

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