NFDC Frequently Asked Questions!

How can I get email from my visitors?

     Use Forms to get email from your visitors!

 FormMail is a very flexible CGI script written by Matt Wright. You can use FormMail to present folks with input fields on your web pages. In turn, they fill in those fields and press a submit button. The data that they filled in is emailed to you.

 There are a ton of ways that you can use this info. Sometimes it's fun to provide a "Guest Book" that your web page readers can use to tell you a little about themselves. You'll think of other ways to use FormMail, I'm sure.

Here's an example of a page that uses FormMail.

How to call the program?

 The general approach to using FormMail is as follows:

<FORM method="POST" action="/shellcgi/formmail.pl">
<INPUT TYPE=HIDDEN NAME="recipient" VALUE="YourID@nfdc.net">
<INPUT TYPE=HIDDEN NAME="subject" VALUE="Guest Book Response">
<INPUT TYPE=HIDDEN NAME="sort" VALUE="order:email,realname,goodguy,">
<INPUT TYPE=HIDDEN NAME="required" VALUE="email,realname">
<H3>Guest Book</H3>
<P>Select the items that apply, enter your message and press Submit.</P>
<p><input type="checkbox" checked name="goodguy" value="ON">I am a goodguy.
<br><input type="text" size="35" name="realname">
<P><input type="submit" value="Submit">
<input type="reset" value="Reset">
</P></FORM>

Form Mail Options

Parameter Description Example
recipient This required form field allows you to specify to whom you wish
your form results to be mailed. Most likely you will want to
configure this option as a hidden form field with a value equal
to that of your e-mail address.
<input type=hidden
name="recipient"
value="email@your.host.xxx">
subject The subject field will allow you to specify the subject that you wish to appear in the e-mail that is sent to you after this form has been filled out. If you do not have this option turned on, then the script will default to a message subject: WWW Form Submission If you wish to choose the subject:
<input type=hidden
name="subject"
value="Your Subject">

To allow the user to choose a subject:
<input type=text name="subject">
email This form field will allow the user to specify their return e-mail address. If you want to be able to return e-mail to your user, I strongly suggest that you include this form field and allow them to fill it in. This will be put into the From: field of the message you receive. <input type=text name="email">
realname The realname form field will allow the user to input their real name. This field is useful for identification purposes and will also be put into the From: line of your message header. <input type=text name="realname">
redirect If you wish to redirect the user to a different URL, rather than having them see the default response to the fill-out form, you can use this hidden variable to send them to a pre-made HTML page. To choose the URL they will end up at:
<input type=hidden
name="redirect"
value="http://your.address/to/file.html">

To allow the user to specify a URL:
<input type=text name="redirect">
required You can require that certain fields in your form are filled in before the user can successfully submit the form. Simply place all field names that you want to be mandatory into this field. If the required fields are not filled in, the user will be notified of what they need to fill in, and a link back to the form they just submitted will be provided. <input type=hidden
name="required" value="email,realname">
env_report Allows you to have Environment variables included in the e-mail message you receive after a user has filled out your form. Useful if you wish to know what browser they were using, what domain they were coming from or any other attributes associated with environment variables. Some acceptable values are:
REMOTE_HOST, REMOTE_ADDR,
REMOTE_USER, REMOTE_IDENT,
and
HTTP_USER_AGENT
<input type=hidden
name="env_report"
value="REMOTE_HOST,HTTP_USER_AGENT">
sort This field allows you to choose the order in which you wish for your variables to appear in the e-mail that FormMail generates. You can choose to have the field sorted alphabetically or specify a set order in which you want the fields to appear in your mail message. By leaving this field out, the order will simply default to the order in which the browsers sends the information to the script (which isn't always the exact same order they appeared in the form.) When sorting by a set order of fields, you should include the phrase "order:" as the first part of your value for the sort field, and then follow that with the field names you want to be listed in the e-mail message, separated by commas. To sort alphabetically:
<input type=hidden
name="sort" value="alphabetic">

To sort by a set field order:
<input type=hidden
name="sort" value="order:name1,name2,etc...">
print_config Allows you to specify which of the config variables you would like to have printed in your e-mail message. By default, no config fields are printed to your e-mail. This is because the important form fields, like email, subject, etc... are included in the header of the message. However some users have asked for this option so they can have these fields printed in the body of the message. The config fields that you wish to have printed should be in the value attribute of your input tag separated by commas. <input type=hidden
name="print_config"
value="email,subject">
title Allows you to specify the title and header that will appear on the resulting page if you do not specify a redirect URL. <input type=hidden
name="title"
value="Feedback Form Results">
return_link_url Allows you to specify a URL that will appear, as return_link_title, on the following report page. This field will not be used if you have the redirect field set, but it is useful if you allow the user to receive the report on the following page, but want to offer them a way to get back to your main page. <input type=hidden
name="return_link_url"
value="http://your.host.xxx/main.html">
return_link_title Sets the title that will be used to link the user back to the page you specify with return_link_url. The two fields will be shown on the resulting form page as:

<ul>
<li> <a href="return_link_url">
return_link_title</a>
</ul>
<input type=hidden
name="return_link_title"
value="Back to Main Page">
background Allows you to specify a background image that will appear if you do not have the redirect field set. This image will appear as the background to the form results page. <input type=hidden
name="background"
value="http://your.host.xxx/image.gif">
bgcolor Allows you to specify a bgcolor for the form results page in much the way you specify a background image. This field should not be set if the redirect field is. <input type=hidden
name="bgcolor"
value="#FFFFFF">
text_color Works in the same way as bgcolor, except that it will change the color of your text. <input type=hidden
name="text_color"
value="#000000">
link_color Changes the color of links on the resulting page. Works in the same way as text_color. Should not be defined if redirect is. <input type=hidden
name="link_color"
value="#FF0000">
vlink_color Changes the color of visited links on the resulting page. Works exactly the same as link_color. Should not be set if redirect is. <input type=hidden
name="vlink_color"
value="#0000FF">
alink_color Changes the color of active links on the resulting page. Works exactly the same as link_color. Should not be set if redirect is. <input type=hidden
name="alink_color"
value="#0000FF">
All Others Any other form fields that appear in your script will be mailed back to you and displayed on the resulting page if you do not have the redirect field set. There is no limit as to how many other form fields you can use with this form, except the limits imposed by browsers and your server. <input type="checkbox" checked
name="OrderProduct"
value="ON">
Please place my order

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Last modified - Wednesday, February 02, 2005 -
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