With the form generator you can create forms and either send their data by e-mail or write them to the database. Contao automatically validates the form input according to the rules you specify. Files can be sent as attachments or saved on the server.

Setting your own SMTP server

Without specifying a separate SMTP server, the data is sent via sendmail, which can lead to problems.

We recommend sending via the e-mail transport protocol (SMTP).

Form configuration

You can find the form generator in the “Content” group in the backend navigation.

To create a new form click on New Create a new form.

Title and forwarding

Title: The title of a form is only used in the backend.

Form alias: The form alias is a unique reference that can be called instead of the numeric form ID.

Redirect page: Here you can define to which page a visitor is redirected to after submitting a form (confirmation/thank you page).

Form configuration

Allow HTML tags: If you select this option, your visitors can use HTML code in the form fields. In the backend settings under “Allowed HTML Tags” you define which HTML tags are allowed.

since 5.1 Submit via Ajax: If you select this option, you will not need a redirect page and you can additionally set a text as confirmation message. The submitted form data can be used as simple tokens like: ##field_name##.

Send form data

If desired, Contao will send the form data by email to one or more recipients. If a form contains a file upload field, the file will be attached to the e-mail.

Send by e-mail: Here you can activate the sending of e-mails.

Recipient address: Here you can enter one or more comma separated e-mail addresses to which the form data will be sent.

Subject: Here you enter the subject of the e-mail.

Data format: Here you can define the format in which the form data will be sent. Uploaded files are always sent as an attachment.

Data format Declaration
Raw data The e-mail contains the unprocessed data, i.e. the contents of the individual form fields are simply listed below each other.
XML file An XML file with the form data is attached to the e-mail.
CSV file A CSV file with the form data is attached to the e-mail.
CSV file (Microsoft Excel)

This feature is available in Contao 4.10 and later.

A CSV file in Microsoft Excel format with the form data is attached to the e-mail.
E-mail The form data is formatted as if the sender had written an e-mail with his e-mail program. In this case, the form generator only processes the fields name, email, subject, and message, and ignores all other form fields.

Omit empty fields: If you select this option, only completed fields will be sent by e-mail. Fields without any input will be skipped.

Save form data

In addition to or instead of sending the form by e-mail, form entries can also be stored in a table in the database. To do this, you have to create a corresponding field in the target table for each form field and make sure that the field names match.

Save entries: Here you activate the saving of the data in the database.

Destination table: Here you select the table in which the data should be written. The table must be created before (e.g. via phpMyAdmin or as DCA) in order to show up as a choice. The SQL-table must contain a column of the same name for each form field. Special characters such as hyphens in the field name can cause problems.

Example SQL code to create a new table prefix_example in the database ##DB-name## for a form with the (text) fields field1 , field2 , field3:

CREATE TABLE `##DB-name##`.`prefix_example` ( `ID` INT NOT NULL AUTO_INCREMENT , `field1` TEXT NOT NULL , `field2` TEXT NOT NULL , `field3` TEXT NOT NULL , INDEX (`ID`)) ENGINE = InnoDB;

Template settings

Individual template: Here you can overwrite the standard template.

Expert settings

In the expert settings you can change the transmission method of a form. By default, forms are sent as a POST request, which allows you to transfer large amounts of data such as files. However, in special cases, for example if you want to create a search form to control the Contao search engine, it is necessary to send a GET request instead, which attaches the form data to the URL of the page.

Submission method: Here you define the submission method.

Disable HTML5 validation: Here you add the novalidate attribute to the form.

CSS ID/class: To address a specific form in a specific stylesheet, you can assign it a CSS ID or CSS class here.

Form ID: Most frontend modules that receive user input have a form ID that can be used to uniquely identify them. If you want to access such a module with your own form, you have to specify this form ID here.