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To create a form you must first have a form tag. All form elements like checkboxes, text field and menus must be inside the form tag to it could be considered part of the form. Although Dreamweaver will wrap a form tag around any form element you place on the page that isn't already inside a form. And what I mean to say is that if you just decide, hey, I want is a text field on the page, Dreamweaver is going to automatically wrap it in a form. However that's not a good practice. It's better to consciously choose to place a form tag on the page so that you are in total control of how your form is constructed.
In Dreamweaver the Insert panel is where we'll access all of our form elements. So if you've not already, make sure you have your Insert panel open and make sure you have your Forms tab selected. And almost all of our form elements are in that one single location. So typically when you're building a form in Dreamweaver you really won't need any additional resources. That pretty much has everything that you're going to need. So we are going to start out building our form by placing a form tag on the page and then setting some of the basic form properties for this. So I have the join.htm file open.
It's not uncommon to click around or not mean to do something and then you lose them. Like this for example. Let's say I click into this paragraph and you are like, oh no, how do I get my form properties back? Well, very simple. Just click inside your form and using your Tag Selector you can select the form tag to focus on it. Now if you click inside an empty form tag, that's going to happen automatically. But if you got some content already in there, be sure to use the Tag Selector to actually select the form tag so that you can see these properties. Okay the first thing I am going to do here is give our form an ID.
And I am going to name this form frmJoin, all one word, frmJoin. You know once again I like placing that frm as a prefix on any of my form IDs. That helps me know when I scan through the IDs in my CSS or look at any references that I have made to the form elsewhere in code, that is referring to a form. Now the Action we are going to do is point it to a page called join_process.php. Now let me be very, very clear about this.
That page does not exist. Now later on in the Dreamweaver CS5 Dynamic Development course, David Gassner is going to walk you through how to build those types of processing pages. Fact of the matter is that's a little outside of the scope of this course. And we are just placing it there to have a placeholder, not to actually do anything with the data. Same thing with our method. We are free to use either Get or Post, but for a form like the one that we are going to build, more than likely you'd be using Post. We have text areas, we have a lot of form data, we have got passwords that we need to be secure.
So we are probably not going to append them to any type of a query string and we'll just use Post as the method. All right cool. So now we have our form tag and we've really laid down the foundation that we need for building out the rest of our form. Now you can go back at any time and select that form tag and modify those properties. That's especially true if you've got any changes or if the processing page has changed, that sort of thing. You're also free to begin building forms without really knowing any of those things. So if you are going to build a form from scratch and you are going to hire a developer later on to build the processing page, you can leave all of that blank and then ask the developer what those values should be.
Now I feel it's a best practice to go ahead and fill them out as you start building the form. Especially if you know what the settings are going to be. That way you can avoid any errors caused by forgetting to go back and setting them later. And yeah I'm afraid that does happen.
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