Understanding Form Elements

Omeka makes heavy use of Zend’s Form_Element class for building forms, rather than writing out the HTML explicitly.

Typically, elements are added directly to an Omeka_Form object or an Omeka_Form_Admin object.

The basic structure is to use the addElement() method, with three parameters:

string $element

A string name for the form element. Typical examples are: button, captcha, checkbox, file, multicheckbox, multiselect, radio, select, submit, text, textarea.

An element object can also be passed in here. In this (rare) case, the other two parameters are usually unnecessary

string $name
The name attribute for the form element
array $options

Additional options for the form element. label, description, and required are the most common options. HTML attributes such as rows and cols can also appear here, as well as class

In more complex examples, an array of validators can also be passed here


$form->addElement('textarea', 'description', array(
    'label' => __('Description'),
    'description' => __('My record description'),
    'rows' => 10

$form->addElement('text', 'user_email', array(
    'label' => __('Email'),
    'description' => __("Prefered email address of the person submitting the record"),
    'validators' => array('EmailAddress'),
    'required' => true

For a more extended example, see the IndexController::_getForm() method in the SimplePages plugin, bundled with Omeka.