A simple form designer for Django
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Form Designer - a simple form designer for Django


This form designer does not try to offer every last configuration possibility of Django's forms, just through the administration interface instead of directly in Python code. Instead, it strives to be a tool which everyone can use right away, without the need for long explanations.

It offers a small set of predefined input fields such as:

  • Text fields (One line and multi line widgets possible)
  • E-mail address fields
  • Checkboxes
  • Dropdowns
  • Radio Buttons
  • Multiple selection checkboxes
  • Hidden input fields

Every field can optionally be declared mandatory, default values and help texts are available too. That's it.

By default, form data is sent by e-mail to a freely definable e-mail address and stored in the database (a CSV export of saved submissions is provided too). It is possible to add your own actions as well.

Installing the form designer

Install the package using pip_:

$ pip install form_designer

Setting up the form designer

  • Add 'form_designer' to INSTALLED_APPS.
  • Run ./manage.py migrate form_designer
  • Go into Django's admin panel and add one or more forms with the fields you require. Also select at least one action in the configuration options selectbox, most often you'd want to select both the "E-mail" and the "Save form submission" option. After saving once, you'll see additional fields belonging to the selected configuration options, in this case a field for entering an e-mail address where the submission results should be sent to.

If you're using the form designer with FeinCMS, the content type can be imported from form_designer.contents.FormContent. Otherwise, your code should use the following methods (the code would probably reside in a view):

# Somehow fetch the form_designer.models.Form instance:
instance = ...

# Build the form class:
form_class = instance.form()

# Standard form processing:
if request.method == 'POST':
    form = form_class(request.POST)

    if form.is_valid():
        # Do what you want, or run the configured processors:
        result = instance.process(form, request)

        # Maybe there's something useful in here:

    form = form_class()

return render(...)

Adding custom actions

Custom actions can be added by appending them to Form.CONFIG_OPTIONS:

from form_designer.models import Form

def do_thing(model_instance, form_instance, request, config, **kwargs):

    ('do_thing', {
        'title': _('Do a thing'),
        'form_fields': [
            ('optional_form_field', forms.CharField(
                label=_('Optional form field'),
                # validators...
                # help_text...
        'process': do_thing,

The interesting part if the do_thing callable. It currently receives four arguments, however you should also accept **kwargs to support additional arguments added in the future:

  • model_instance: The Form model instance
  • form_instance: The dynamically generated form instance
  • request: The current HTTP request
  • config: The config options (keys and values defined through form_fields; for example the email action defines an email char field, and accesses its value using config['email'].

Configuring the export

The CSV export of form submissions uses the Python's CSV module, the Excel dialect and UTF-8 encoding by default. If your main target is Excel, you should probably add the following setting to work around Excel's abysmal handling of CSV files encoded in anything but latin-1:

    'encoding': 'latin-1',

You may add additional keyword arguments here which will be used during the instantiation of csv.writer.


To enable [ReCaptcha](http://www.google.com/recaptcha) install [django-recaptcha](https://github.com/praekelt/django-recaptcha) and add captcha to your INSTALLED_APPS. This will automatically add a ReCaptcha field to the form designer. For everything else read through the django-recaptcha readme.

Override field types

Define FORM_DESIGNER_FIELD_TYPES in your settings file like:

FORM_DESIGNER_FIELD_TYPES = 'your_project.form_designer_config.FIELD_TYPES'

In your_project.form_designer_config.py something like:

from django import forms
from django.utils.translation import ugettext_lazy as _

    ('text', _('text'), forms.CharField),
    ('email', _('e-mail address'), forms.EmailField),

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