# Form Helpers

Rails provides view helpers for generating form markup.

# Creating a search form

To create a search form, enter the following code

<%= form_tag("/search", method: "get") do %>
  <%= label_tag(:q, "Search for:") %>
  <%= text_field_tag(:q) %>
  <%= submit_tag("Search") %>
<% end %>

  • form_tag: This is the default helper for creating a form. It's first parameter, /search is the action and the second parameter specifies the HTTP method. For search forms, it is important to always use the method get
  • label_tag: This helper creates an html <label> tag.
  • text_field_tag: This will create an input element with type text
  • submit_tag: This creates an input element with type submit

# Helpers for form elements

# Checkboxes

<%= check_box_tag(:pet_dog) %>
<%= label_tag(:pet_dog, "I own a dog") %>
<%= check_box_tag(:pet_cat) %>
<%= label_tag(:pet_cat, "I own a cat") %>

This will generate the following html

<input id="pet_dog" name="pet_dog" type="checkbox" value="1" />
<label for="pet_dog">I own a dog</label>
<input id="pet_cat" name="pet_cat" type="checkbox" value="1" />
<label for="pet_cat">I own a cat</label>

# Radio Buttons

<%= radio_button_tag(:age, "child") %>
<%= label_tag(:age_child, "I am younger than 18") %>
<%= radio_button_tag(:age, "adult") %>
<%= label_tag(:age_adult, "I'm over 18") %>

This generates the following HTML

<input id="age_child" name="age" type="radio" value="child" />
<label for="age_child">I am younger than 18</label>
<input id="age_adult" name="age" type="radio" value="adult" />
<label for="age_adult">I'm over 18</label>

# Text Area

To create a larger text box, it is recommended to use the text_area_tag

<%= text_area_tag(:message, "This is a longer text field", size: "25x6") %>

This will create the following HTML

<textarea id="message" name="message" cols="25" rows="6">This is a longer text field</textarea>

# Number Field

This will create an input<type="number"> element

<%= number_field :product, :rating %>

To specify a range of values, we can use the in: option

<%= number_field :product, :rating, in: 1..10 %>

# Password Field

Sometimes you want the characters typed by the user to be masked. This will generate an <input type="password">

<%= password_field_tag(:password) %>

# Email Field

This will create an <input type="email">

<%= email_field(:user, :email) %>

# Telephone Field

This will create an <input type="tel">.

<%= telephone_field :user, :phone %>

# Date Helpers

  • `input[type="date"]`
    <%= date_field(:user, :reservation) %>
  • `input[type="week"]`
     <%= week_field(:user, :reservation) %>
  • `input[type="year"]`
     <%= year_field(:user, :reservation) %>
  • `input[type="time"]`
     <%= time_field(:user, :check_in) %>
  • Standard example: @models = Model.all select_tag "models", options_from_collection_for_select(@models, "id", "name"), {}

    This will generate the following HTML: David

    The last argument are options, which accepts the following: { multiple: false, disabled: false, include_blank: false, prompt: false }

    More examples can be found: http://apidock.com/rails/ActionView/Helpers/FormTagHelper/select_tag (opens new window)

    # Create a form

    You can create a form using the form_tag helper

    <%= form_tag do %>
      Form contents
    <% end %>

    This creates the following HTML

    <form accept-charset="UTF-8" action="/" method="post">
      <input name="utf8" type="hidden" value="&#x2713;" />
      <input name="authenticity_token" type="hidden" value="J7CBxfHalt49OSHp27hblqK20c9PgwJ108nDHX/8Cts=" />
      Form contents

    This form tag has created a hidden input field. This is necessary, because forms cannot be successfully submitted without it.

    The second input field, named authenticity_token adds protection against cross-site request forgery.

    # Remarks

    • The date input types including date, datetime, datetime-local, time, month and week do not work in FireFox.
    • input<type="telephone"> only works with Safari 8.
    • input<type="email"> does not work on Safari