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§Form template helpers

Play provides several helpers to help you render form fields in HTML templates.

§Creating a <form> tag

The first helper creates the <form> tag. It is a pretty simple helper that automatically sets the action and method tag parameters according to the reverse route you pass in:

@helper.form(action = routes.Application.submit()) {

You can also pass an extra set of parameters that will be added to the generated HTML:

@helper.form(action = routes.Application.submit(), 'id -> "myForm") {

§Rendering an <input> element

There are several input helpers in the views.html.helper package. You feed them with a form field, and they display the corresponding HTML form control, with a populated value, constraints and errors:

@(myForm: Form[User])

@helper.form(action = routes.Application.submit()) {

As for the form helper, you can specify an extra set of parameters that will be added to the generated HTML:

@helper.inputText(myForm("username"), 'id -> "username", 'size -> 30)

Note: All extra parameters will be added to the generated HTML, except for ones whose name starts with the _ character. Arguments starting with an underscore are reserved for field constructor argument (which we will see later).

§Handling HTML input creation yourself

There is also a more generic input helper that let you code the desired HTML result:

@helper.input(myForm("username")) { (id, name, value, args) =>
    <input type="date" name="@name" id="@id" @toHtmlArgs(args)>

§Field constructors

A rendered field does not only consist of an <input> tag, but may also need a <label> and a bunch of other tags used by your CSS framework to decorate the field.

All input helpers take an implicit FieldConstructor that handles this part. The default one (used if there are no other field constructors available in the scope), generates HTML like:

<dl class="error" id="username_field">
    <dt><label for="username"><label>Username:</label></dt>
    <dd><input type="text" name="username" id="username" value=""></dd>
    <dd class="error">This field is required!</dd>
    <dd class="error">Another error</dd>
    <dd class="info">Required</dd>
    <dd class="info">Another constraint</dd>

This default field constructor supports additional options you can pass in the input helper arguments:

'_label -> "Custom label"
'_id -> "idForTheTopDlElement"
'_help -> "Custom help"
'_showConstraints -> false
'_error -> "Force an error"
'_showErrors -> false

§Twitter bootstrap field constructor

There is another built-in field constructor that can be used with Twitter Bootstrap .

To use it, just import it in the current scope:

@import helper.twitterBootstrap._

This field constructor generates HTML like the following:

<div class="clearfix error" id="username_field">
  <label for="username">Username:</label>
  <div class="input">
    <input type="text" name="username" id="username" value="">
    <span class="help-inline">This field is required!, Another error</span>
    <span class="help-block">Required, Another constraint</d</span> 

It supports the same set of options as the default field constructor (see above).

§Writing you own field constructor

Often you will need to write your own field constructor. Start by writing a template like:

@(elements: helper.FieldElements)

<div class="@if(elements.hasErrors) {error}">
    <label for="">@elements.label</label>
    <div class="input">
        <span class="errors">@elements.errors.mkString(", ")</span>
        <span class="help">@elements.infos.mkString(", ")</span> 

Note: This is just a sample. You can make it as complicated as you need. You have also access to the original field using @elements.field.

Now create a FieldConstructor somewhere, using:

@implicitField = @{ FieldConstructor(myFieldConstructorTemplate.f) }


§Handling repeated values

The last helper makes it easier to generate inputs for repeated values. Suppose you have this kind of form definition:

val myForm = Form(
    "name" -> text,
    "emails" -> list(email)

Now you have to generate as many inputs for the emails field as the form contains. Just use the repeat helper for that:


@repeat(myForm("emails"), min = 1) { emailField =>

Use the min parameter to display a minimum number of fields, even if the corresponding form data are empty.

Next: Working with JSON