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Use forms to collect information from users

  1. Dreamweaver User Guide
  2. Introduction
    1. Responsive web design basics
    2. What's new in Dreamweaver
    3. Web development using Dreamweaver - An Overview
    4. Dreamweaver / Common Questions
    5. Keyboard shortcuts
    6. Dreamweaver system requirements
    7. Feature summary
  3. Dreamweaver and Creative Cloud
    1. Synchronize Dreamweaver settings with Creative Cloud
    2. Creative Cloud Libraries in Dreamweaver
    3. Using Photoshop files in Dreamweaver
    4. Work with Adobe Animate and Dreamweaver
    5. Extract web-optimized SVG files from Libraries
  4. Dreamweaver workspaces and views
    1. The Dreamweaver workspace
    2. Optimize Dreamweaver workspace for visual development
    3. Search files based on filename or content | Mac OS
  5. Set up sites
    1. About Dreamweaver sites
    2. Set up a local version of your site
    3. Connect to a publishing server
    4. Set up a testing server
    5. Import and export Dreamweaver site settings
    6. Bring existing websites from a remote server to your local site root
    7. Accessibility features in Dreamweaver
    8. Advanced settings
    9. Set site preferences for transferring files
    10. Specify proxy server settings in Dreamweaver
    11. Synchronize Dreamweaver settings with Creative Cloud
    12. Using Git in Dreamweaver
  6. Manage files
    1. Create and open files
    2. Manage files and folders
    3. Getting and putting files to and from your server
    4. Check in and check out files
    5. Synchronize files
    6. Compare files for differences
    7. Cloak files and folders in your Dreamweaver site
    8. Enable Design Notes for Dreamweaver sites
    9. Preventing potential Gatekeeper exploit
  7. Layout and design
    1. Use visual aids for layout
    2. About using CSS to lay out your page
    3. Design responsive websites using Bootstrap
    4. Creating and using media queries in Dreamweaver
    5. Present content with tables
    6. Colors
    7. Responsive design using fluid grid layouts
    8. Extract in Dreamweaver
  8. CSS
    1. Understand Cascading Style Sheets
    2. Laying out pages using CSS Designer
    3. Using CSS preprocessors in Dreamweaver
    4. How to set CSS Style preferences in Dreamweaver
    5. Move CSS rules in Dreamweaver
    6. Convert inline CSS to a CSS rule in Dreamweaver
    7. Work with div tags
    8. Apply gradients to background
    9. Create and edit CSS3 transition effects in Dreamweaver
    10. Format code
  9. Page content and assets
    1. Set page properties
    2. Set CSS heading properties and CSS link properties
    3. Work with text
    4. Find and replace text, tags, and attributes
    5. DOM panel
    6. Edit in Live View
    7. Encoding documents in Dreamweaver
    8. Select and view elements in the Document window
    9. Set text properties in the Property inspector
    10. Spell check a web page
    11. Using horizontal rules in Dreamweaver
    12. Add and modify font combinations in Dreamweaver
    13. Work with assets
    14. Insert and update dates in Dreamweaver
    15. Create and manage favorite assets in Dreamweaver
    16. Insert and edit images in Dreamweaver
    17. Add media objects
    18. Adding videos in Dreamweaver
    19. Insert HTML5 video
    20. Insert SWF files
    21. Add audio effects
    22. Insert HTML5 audio in Dreamweaver
    23. Work with library items
    24. Using Arabic and Hebrew text in Dreamweaver
  10. Linking and navigation
    1. About linking and navigation
    2. Linking
    3. Image maps
    4. Troubleshoot links
  11. jQuery widgets and effects
    1. Use jQuery UI and mobile widgets in Dreamweaver
    2. Use jQuery effects in Dreamweaver
  12. Coding websites
    1. About coding in Dreamweaver
    2. Coding environment in Dreamweaver
    3. Set coding preferences
    4. Customize code coloring
    5. Write and edit code
    6. Code hinting and code completion
    7. Collapse and expand code
    8. Reuse code with snippets
    9. Lint code
    10. Optimize code
    11. Edit code in Design view
    12. Work with head content for pages
    13. Insert server-side includes in Dreamweaver
    14. Using tag libraries in Dreamweaver
    15. Importing custom tags into Dreamweaver
    16. Use JavaScript behaviors (general instructions)
    17. Apply built-in JavaScript behaviors
    18. About XML and XSLT
    19. Perform server-side XSL transformations in Dreamweaver
    20. Performing client-side XSL transformations in Dreamweaver
    21. Add character entities for XSLT in Dreamweaver
    22. Format code
  13. Cross-product workflows
    1. Installing and using extensions to Dreamweaver
    2. In-App updates in Dreamweaver
    3. Insert Microsoft Office documents in Dreamweaver (Windows only)
    4. Working with Fireworks and Dreamweaver
    5. Edit content in Dreamweaver sites using Contribute
    6. Dreamweaver-Business Catalyst integration
    7. Create personalized email campaigns
  14. Templates
    1. About Dreamweaver templates
    2. Recognizing templates and template-based documents
    3. Create a Dreamweaver template
    4. Create editable regions in templates
    5. Create repeating regions and tables in Dreamweaver
    6. Use optional regions in templates
    7. Define editable tag attributes in Dreamweaver
    8. How to create nested templates in Dreamweaver
    9. Edit, update, and delete templates
    10. Export and import xml content in Dreamweaver
    11. Apply or remove a template from an existing document
    12. Edit content in Dreamweaver templates
    13. Syntax rules for template tags in Dreamweaver
    14. Set highlighting preferences for template regions
    15. Benefits of using templates in Dreamweaver
  15. Mobile and multiscreen
    1. Create media queries
    2. Changing page orientation for mobile devices
    3. Create web apps for mobile devices using Dreamweaver
  16. Dynamic sites, pages and web forms
    1. Understand web applications
    2. Set up your computer for application development
    3. Troubleshoot database connections
    4. Removing connection scripts in Dreamweaver
    5. Design dynamic pages
    6. Dynamic content sources overview
    7. Define sources of dynamic content
    8. Add dynamic content to pages
    9. Changing dynamic content in Dreamweaver
    10. Display database records
    11. Provide and troubleshoot live data in Dreamweaver
    12. Add custom server behaviors in Dreamweaver
    13. Building forms using Dreamweaver
    14. Use forms to collect information from users
    15. Create and enable ColdFusion forms in Dreamweaver
    16. Create web forms
    17. Enhanced HTML5 support for form elements
    18. Develop a form using Dreamweaver
  17. Building applications visually
    1. Build master and detail pages in Dreamweaver
    2. Build search and results pages
    3. Build a record insert page
    4. Build an update record page in Dreamweaver
    5. Building record delete pages in Dreamweaver
    6. Use ASP commands to modify database in Dreamweaver
    7. Build a registration page
    8. Build a login page
    9. Build a page that only authorized users can access
    10. Securing folders in Coldfusion using Dreamweaver
    11. Using ColdFusion components in Dreamweaver
  18. Test, preview, and publish websites
    1. Preview pages
    2. Preview Dreamweaver web pages on multiple devices
    3. Test your Dreamweaver site
  19. Troubleshooting
    1. Fixed issues
    2. Known issues




The user interface has been simplified in Dreamweaver CC and later. As a result, you may not find some of the options described in this article in Dreamweaver CC and later. For more information, see this article.

About collecting information from users

You can use web forms or hypertext links to gather information from users, store that information in the server’s memory, and then use the information to create a dynamic response based on the user’s input. The most common tools for gathering user information are HTML forms and hypertext links.

HTML forms

Let you gather information from users and store it in the server’s memory. An HTML form can send the information either as form parameters or as URL parameters.

Hypertext links

Let you gather information from users and store it in the server’s memory. You specify a value (or values) to be submitted when a user clicks a link—a preference, for example—by appending the value to the URL specified in the anchor tag. When a user clicks the link, the browser sends the URL and the appended value to the server.

HTML form parameters

Form parameters are sent to the server by means of an HTML form using either the POST or GET method.

When using the POST method, parameters are sent to the web server as part of the document's header, and are not visible or accessible to anyone who's viewing the page using standard methods. The POST method should be used for values that affect database content (for example inserting, updating, or deleting records), or for values that are sent by email.

The GET method appends parameters to the requested URL. The parameters are in turn visible to anyone viewing the page. The GET method should be used for search forms.

You can use Dreamweaver to quickly design HTML forms that send form parameters to the server. Be aware of the method you use to transmit information from the browser to the server.

Form parameters take the names of their corresponding form objects. For example, if your form contains a text field named txtLastName, then the following form parameter is sent to the server when the user clicks the Submit button:


In cases where a web application expects a precise parameter value (for example, when it performs an action based on one of several options), use a radio button, check box, or list/menu form object to control the values the user can submit. This prevents users from typing information incorrectly and causing an application error. The following example depicts a pop‑up menu form offering three choices:

Pop-up menu form

Each menu choice corresponds to a hard-coded value that is submitted as a form parameter to the server. The List Values dialog box in the following example matches each list item to a value (Add, Update, or Delete):

List Values dialog box

After a form parameter is created, Dreamweaver can retrieve the value and use it in a web application. After defining the form parameter in Dreamweaver, you can insert its value within a page.

URL parameters

URL parameters let you pass user-supplied information from the browser to the server. When a server receives a request and parameters are appended to the URL of the request, the server gives the requested page access to the parameters before serving that page to the browser.

A URL parameter is a name-value pair appended to a URL. The parameter begins with a question mark (?) and takes the form name=value. If more than one URL parameter exists, each parameter is separated by an ampersand (&). The following example shows a URL parameter with two name-value pairs:


In this example workflow, the application is a web-based storefront. Because the developers of the site want to reach the widest possible audience, the site is designed to support foreign currencies. When users log in to the site, they can select the currency in which to view the prices of the available items.

  1. The browser requests the report.cfm page from the server. The request includes the URL parameter Currency="euro". The Currency="euro" variable specifies that all monetary amounts retrieved be displayed as the European Union euro.

  2. The server temporarily stores the URL parameter in memory.

  3. The report.cfm page uses the parameter to retrieve the cost of items in euros. These monetary amounts can either be stored in a database table of different currencies, or converted from a single currency associated with each item (any currency supported by the application).

  4. The server sends the report.cfm page to the browser and displays the value of items in the requested currency. When this user ends the session, the server clears the value of the URL parameter, freeing server memory to hold new user requests.

    URL parameters are also created when the HTTP GET method is used in conjunction with an HTML form. The GET method specifies that the parameter value be appended to the URL request when the form is submitted.

    Typical uses of URL parameters include personalizing websites based on user preferences. For example, a URL parameter consisting of a user name and password can be used to authenticate a user, displaying only information that user has subscribed to. Common examples of this include financial websites that display individual stock prices based on stock market symbols the user has previously chosen. Web application developers commonly use URL parameters to pass values to variables within applications. For example, you could pass search terms to SQL variables in a web application to generate search results.

You create URL parameters within an HTML link by using the href attribute of the HTML anchor tag. You can enter the URL parameters directly in the attribute in Code view (View > Code), or by appending the URL parameters at the end of the link URL in the Property inspector Link box.

In the following example, three links create a single URL parameter (action) with three possible values (Add, Update, and Delete). When the user clicks a link, a parameter value is sent to the server, and the requested action is performed.

<a href="">Add a record</a> 
<a href="">Update a record</a> 
<a href="">Delete a record</a>

The Property inspector (Window > Properties) lets you create the same URL parameters by selecting the link and appending the URL parameter values at the end of the link URL in the Link box.

Property inspector

After a URL parameter is created, Dreamweaver can retrieve the value and use it in a web application. After defining the URL parameter in Dreamweaver, you can insert its value within a page.


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