Multiple submit buttons in an HTML form

273

Let's say you create a wizard in an HTML form. One button goes back, and one goes forward. Since the back button appears first in the markup when you press Enter, it will use that button to submit the form.

Example:

_x000D_
_x000D_
<form>_x000D_
  <!-- Put your cursor in this field and press Enter -->_x000D_
  <input type="text" name="field1" />_x000D_
_x000D_
  <!-- This is the button that will submit -->_x000D_
  <input type="submit" name="prev" value="Previous Page" />_x000D_
_x000D_
  <!-- But this is the button that I WANT to submit -->_x000D_
  <input type="submit" name="next" value="Next Page" />_x000D_
</form>
_x000D_
_x000D_
_x000D_

I would like to get to decide which button is used to submit the form when a user presses Enter. That way, when you press Enter the wizard will move to the next page, not the previous. Do you have to use tabindex to do this?

This question is tagged with html forms form-submit submit-button

~ Asked on 2008-08-01 13:01:17

26 Answers


145

I hope this helps. I'm just doing the trick of floating the buttons to the right.

This way the Prev button is left of the Next button, but the Next comes first in the HTML structure:

_x000D_
_x000D_
.f {_x000D_
  float: right;_x000D_
}_x000D_
.clr {_x000D_
  clear: both;_x000D_
}
_x000D_
<form action="action" method="get">_x000D_
  <input type="text" name="abc">_x000D_
  <div id="buttons">_x000D_
    <input type="submit" class="f" name="next" value="Next">_x000D_
    <input type="submit" class="f" name="prev" value="Prev">_x000D_
    <div class="clr"></div><!-- This div prevents later elements from floating with the buttons. Keeps them 'inside' div#buttons -->_x000D_
  </div>_x000D_
</form>
_x000D_
_x000D_
_x000D_

Benefits over other suggestions: no JavaScript code, accessible, and both buttons remain type="submit".

~ Answered on 2008-08-28 09:34:40


65

Change the previous button type into a button like this:

<input type="button" name="prev" value="Previous Page" />

Now the Next button would be the default, plus you could also add the default attribute to it so that your browser will highlight it like so:

<input type="submit" name="next" value="Next Page" default />

~ Answered on 2008-08-01 13:14:30


59

Give your submit buttons the same name like this:

<input type="submit" name="submitButton" value="Previous Page" />
<input type="submit" name="submitButton" value="Next Page" />

When the user presses Enter and the request goes to the server, you can check the value for submitButton on your server-side code which contains a collection of form name/value pairs. For example, in ASP Classic:

If Request.Form("submitButton") = "Previous Page" Then
    ' Code for the previous page
ElseIf Request.Form("submitButton") = "Next Page" Then
    ' Code for the next page
End If

Reference: Using multiple submit buttons on a single form

~ Answered on 2008-08-01 13:10:16


31

If the fact that the first button is used by default is consistent across browsers, put them the right way around in the source code, and then use CSS to switch their apparent positions.

float them left and right to switch them around visually, for example.

~ Answered on 2008-08-02 11:24:57


21

Sometimes the provided solution by @palotasb is not sufficient. There are use cases where for example a "Filter" submits button is placed above buttons like "Next and Previous". I found a workaround for this: copy the submit button which needs to act as the default submit button in a hidden div and place it inside the form above any other submit button. Technically it will be submitted by a different button when pressing Enter than when clicking on the visible Next button. But since the name and value are the same, there's no difference in the result.

<html>
<head>
    <style>
        div.defaultsubmitbutton {
            display: none;
        }
    </style>
</head>
<body>
    <form action="action" method="get">
        <div class="defaultsubmitbutton">
            <input type="submit" name="next" value="Next">
        </div>
        <p><input type="text" name="filter"><input type="submit" value="Filter"></p>
        <p>Filtered results</p>
        <input type="radio" name="choice" value="1">Filtered result 1
        <input type="radio" name="choice" value="2">Filtered result 2
        <input type="radio" name="choice" value="3">Filtered result 3
        <div>                
            <input type="submit" name="prev" value="Prev">
            <input type="submit" name="next" value="Next">
        </div>
    </form>
</body>
</html>

~ Answered on 2012-10-26 09:53:08


18

This cannot be done with pure HTML. You must rely on JavaScript for this trick.

However, if you place two forms on the HTML page you can do this.

Form1 would have the previous button.

Form2 would have any user inputs + the next button.

When the user presses Enter in Form2, the Next submit button would fire.

~ Answered on 2008-08-26 03:44:54


17

I would use JavaScript to submit the form. The function would be triggered by the OnKeyPress event of the form element and would detect whether the Enter key was selected. If this is the case, it will submit the form.

Here are two pages that give techniques on how to do this: 1, 2. Based on these, here is an example of usage (based on here):

<SCRIPT TYPE="text/javascript">//<!--
function submitenter(myfield,e) {
  var keycode;
  if (window.event) {
    keycode = window.event.keyCode;
  } else if (e) {
    keycode = e.which;
  } else {
    return true;
  }

  if (keycode == 13) {
    myfield.form.submit();
    return false;
  } else {
    return true;
  }
}
//--></SCRIPT>

<INPUT NAME="MyText" TYPE="Text" onKeyPress="return submitenter(this,event)" />

~ Answered on 2008-08-03 13:12:21


17

If you really just want it to work like an install dialog, just give focus to the "Next" button OnLoad.

That way if the user hits Return, the form submits and goes forward. If they want to go back they can hit Tab or click on the button.

~ Answered on 2008-08-26 03:41:44


16

You can do it with CSS.

Put the buttons in the markup with the Next button first, then the Prev button afterwards.

Then use CSS to position them to appear the way you want.

~ Answered on 2008-09-16 12:16:05


14

This works without JavaScript or CSS in most browsers:

<form>
    <p><input type="text" name="field1" /></p>
    <p><a href="previous.html">
    <button type="button">Previous Page</button></a>
    <button type="submit">Next Page</button></p>
</form>

Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Google Chrome all work.
As always, Internet Explorer is the problem.

This version works when JavaScript is turned on:

<form>
    <p><input type="text" name="field1" /></p>
    <p><a href="previous.html">
    <button type="button" onclick="window.location='previous.html'">Previous Page</button></a>
    <button type="submit">Next Page</button></p>
</form>

So the flaw in this solution is:

Previous Page does not work if you use Internet Explorer with JavaScript off.

Mind you, the back button still works!

~ Answered on 2008-09-16 11:19:26


12

If you have multiple active buttons on one page then you can do something like this:

Mark the first button you want to trigger on the Enter keypress as the default button on the form. For the second button, associate it to the Backspace button on the keyboard. The Backspace eventcode is 8.

_x000D_
_x000D_
$(document).on("keydown", function(event) {_x000D_
  if (event.which.toString() == "8") {_x000D_
    var findActiveElementsClosestForm = $(document.activeElement).closest("form");_x000D_
_x000D_
    if (findActiveElementsClosestForm && findActiveElementsClosestForm.length) {_x000D_
      $("form#" + findActiveElementsClosestForm[0].id + " .secondary_button").trigger("click");_x000D_
    }_x000D_
  }_x000D_
});
_x000D_
<script src="https://ajax.aspnetcdn.com/ajax/jQuery/jquery-3.2.1.min.js"></script>_x000D_
_x000D_
<form action="action" method="get" defaultbutton="TriggerOnEnter">_x000D_
  <input type="submit" id="PreviousButton" name="prev" value="Prev" class="secondary_button" />_x000D_
  <input type="submit" id='TriggerOnEnter' name="next" value="Next" class="primary_button" />_x000D_
</form>
_x000D_
_x000D_
_x000D_

~ Answered on 2014-03-14 14:51:50


11

Changing the tab order should be all it takes to accomplish this. Keep it simple.

Another simple option would be to put the back button after the submit button in the HTML code but float it to the left so it appears on the page before the submit button.

~ Answered on 2012-11-27 22:27:41


10

The first time I came up against this, I came up with an onclick()/JavaScript hack when choices are not prev/next that I still like for its simplicity. It goes like this:

@model myApp.Models.myModel

<script type="text/javascript">
    function doOperation(op) {
        document.getElementById("OperationId").innerText = op;
        // you could also use Ajax to reference the element.
    }
</script>

<form>
  <input type="text" id = "TextFieldId" name="TextField" value="" />
  <input type="hidden" id="OperationId" name="Operation" value="" />
  <input type="submit" name="write" value="Write" onclick='doOperation("Write")'/>
  <input type="submit" name="read" value="Read" onclick='doOperation("Read")'/>
</form>

When either submit button is clicked, it stores the desired operation in a hidden field (which is a string field included in the model the form is associated with) and submits the form to the Controller, which does all the deciding. In the Controller, you simply write:

// Do operation according to which submit button was clicked
// based on the contents of the hidden Operation field.
if (myModel.Operation == "Read")
{
     // Do read logic
}
else if (myModel.Operation == "Write")
{
     // Do write logic
}
else
{
     // Do error logic
}

You can also tighten this up slightly using numeric operation codes to avoid the string parsing, but unless you play with enumerations, the code is less readable, modifiable, and self-documenting and the parsing is trivial, anyway.

~ Answered on 2015-09-03 13:30:10


10

Another simple option would be to put the back button after the submit button in the HTML code, but float it to the left, so it appears on the page before the submit button.

Changing the tab order should be all it takes to accomplish this. Keep it simple.

~ Answered on 2014-10-14 16:02:21


9

From https://html.spec.whatwg.org/multipage/forms.html#implicit-submission

A form element's default button is the first submit button in tree order whose form owner is that form element.

If the user agent supports letting the user submit a form implicitly (for example, on some platforms hitting the "enter" key while a text field is focused implicitly submits the form)...

Having the next input be type="submit" and changing the previous input to type="button" should give the desired default behavior.

<form>
   <input type="text" name="field1" /> <!-- put your cursor in this field and press Enter -->

   <input type="button" name="prev" value="Previous Page" /> <!-- This is the button that will submit -->
   <input type="submit" name="next" value="Next Page" /> <!-- But this is the button that I WANT to submit -->
</form>

~ Answered on 2015-03-28 21:05:52


9

This is what I have tried out:

  1. You need to make sure you give your buttons different names
  2. Write an if statement that will do the required action if either button is clicked.

 

<form>
    <input type="text" name="field1" /> <!-- Put your cursor in this field and press Enter -->

    <input type="submit" name="prev" value="Previous Page" /> <!-- This is the button that will submit -->
    <input type="submit" name="next" value="Next Page" /> <!-- But this is the button that I WANT to submit -->
</form>

In PHP,

if(isset($_POST['prev']))
{
    header("Location: previous.html");
    die();
}

if(isset($_POST['next']))
{
    header("Location: next.html");
    die();
}

~ Answered on 2014-03-03 06:16:35


8

<input type="submit" name="prev" value="Previous Page"> 
<input type="submit" name="prev" value="Next Page"> 

Keep the name of all submit buttons the same: "prev".

The only difference is the value attribute with unique values. When we create the script, these unique values will help us to figure out which of the submit buttons was pressed.

And write the following coding:

    btnID = ""
if Request.Form("prev") = "Previous Page" then
    btnID = "1"
else if Request.Form("prev") = "Next Page" then
    btnID = "2"
end if

~ Answered on 2012-06-05 09:19:59


7

I came across this question when trying to find an answer to basically the same thing, only with ASP.NET controls, when I figured out that the ASP button has a property called UseSubmitBehavior that allows you to set which one does the submitting.

<asp:Button runat="server" ID="SumbitButton" UseSubmitBehavior="False" Text="Submit" />

Just in case someone is looking for the ASP.NET button way to do it.

~ Answered on 2016-03-24 17:29:22


6

With JavaScript (here jQuery), you can disable the prev button before submitting the form.

$('form').on('keypress', function(event) {
    if (event.which == 13) {
        $('input[name="prev"]').prop('type', 'button');
    }
});

~ Answered on 2015-08-14 10:01:14


2

I solved a very similar problem in this way:

  1. If JavaScript is enabled (in most cases nowadays) then all the submit buttons are "degraded" to buttons at page load via JavaScript (jQuery). Click events on the "degraded" button typed buttons are also handled via JavaScript.

  2. If JavaScript is not enabled then the form is served to the browser with multiple submit buttons. In this case hitting Enter on a textfield within the form will submit the form with the first button instead of the intended default, but at least the form is still usable: you can submit with both the prev and next buttons.

Working example:

_x000D_
_x000D_
<html>_x000D_
    <head>_x000D_
        <script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/jquery/1.12.4/jquery.min.js"></script>_x000D_
    </head>_x000D_
_x000D_
    <body>_x000D_
        <form action="http://httpbin.org/post" method="post">_x000D_
            If JavaScript  is disabled, then you CAN submit the form_x000D_
            with button1, button2 or button3._x000D_
_x000D_
            If you press enter on a text field, then the form is_x000D_
            submitted with the first submit button._x000D_
_x000D_
            If JavaScript is enabled, then the submit typed buttons_x000D_
            without the 'defaultSubmitButton' style are converted_x000D_
            to button typed buttons._x000D_
_x000D_
            If you press Enter on a text field, then the form is_x000D_
            submitted with the only submit button_x000D_
            (the one with class defaultSubmitButton)_x000D_
_x000D_
            If you click on any other button in the form, then the_x000D_
            form is submitted with that button's value._x000D_
_x000D_
            <br />_x000D_
_x000D_
            <input type="text" name="text1" ></input>_x000D_
            <button type="submit" name="action" value="button1" >button 1</button>_x000D_
            <br />_x000D_
_x000D_
            <input type="text" name="text2" ></input>_x000D_
            <button type="submit" name="action" value="button2" >button 2</button>_x000D_
            <br />_x000D_
_x000D_
            <input type="text" name="text3" ></input>_x000D_
            <button class="defaultSubmitButton" type="submit" name="action" value="button3" >default button</button>_x000D_
        </form>_x000D_
_x000D_
        <script>_x000D_
            $(document).ready(function(){_x000D_
_x000D_
                /* Change submit typed buttons without the 'defaultSubmitButton'_x000D_
                   style to button typed buttons */_x000D_
                $('form button[type=submit]').not('.defaultSubmitButton').each(function(){_x000D_
                    $(this).attr('type', 'button');_x000D_
                });_x000D_
_x000D_
                /* Clicking on button typed buttons results in:_x000D_
                   1. Setting the form's submit button's value to_x000D_
                      the clicked button's value,_x000D_
                   2. Clicking on the form's submit button */_x000D_
                $('form button[type=button]').click(function( event ){_x000D_
                    var form = event.target.closest('form');_x000D_
                    var submit = $("button[type='submit']",form).first();_x000D_
                    submit.val(event.target.value);_x000D_
                    submit.click();_x000D_
                });_x000D_
            });_x000D_
        </script>_x000D_
    </body>_x000D_
</html>
_x000D_
_x000D_
_x000D_

~ Answered on 2018-01-09 15:26:05


1

Try this..!

_x000D_
_x000D_
<form>_x000D_
  <input type="text" name="Name" />_x000D_
  <!-- Enter the value -->_x000D_
_x000D_
  <input type="button" name="prev" value="Previous Page" />_x000D_
  <!-- This is the button that will submit -->_x000D_
  <input type="submit" name="next" value="Next Page" />_x000D_
  <!-- But this is the button that I WANT to submit -->_x000D_
</form>
_x000D_
_x000D_
_x000D_

~ Answered on 2017-09-29 04:58:59


0

You can use Tabindex to solve this issue. Also changing the order of the buttons would be a more efficient way to achieve this.

Change the order of the buttons and add float values to assign them the desired position you want to show in your HTML view.

~ Answered on 2018-04-25 06:28:32


0

I think this is a esay solution for this. Make Previous button type to button, and a new add onclick attribute in button with value jQuery(this).attr('type','submit');.

So, when the user clicks on the Previous button then its type will be changed to submit and the form will be submitted with Previous button.

<form>
  <!-- Put your cursor in this field and press Enter -->
  <input type="text" name="field1" />

  <!-- This is the button that will submit -->
  <input type="button" onclick="jQuery(this).attr('type','submit');" name="prev" value="Previous Page" />

  <!-- But this is the button that I WANT to submit -->
  <input type="submit" name="next" value="Next Page" />
</form>

~ Answered on 2021-01-07 12:00:17


0

Instead of struggling with multiple submits, JavaScript or anything like that to do some previous/next stuff, an alternative would be to use a carousel to simulate the different pages. Doing this :

  • You don't need multiple buttons, inputs or submits to do the previous/next thing, you have only one input type="submit" in only one form.
  • The values in the whole form are there until the form is submitted.
  • The user can go to any previous page and any next page flawlessly to modify the values.

Example using Bootstrap 5.0.0 :

<div id="carousel" class="carousel slide" data-ride="carousel">
    <form action="index.php" method="post" class="carousel-inner">
        <div class="carousel-item active">
            <input type="text" name="lastname" placeholder="Lastname"/>
        </div>
        <div class="carousel-item">
            <input type="text" name="firstname" placeholder="Firstname"/>
        </div>
        <div class="carousel-item">
            <input type="submit" name="submit" value="Submit"/>
        </div>
    </form>
    <a class="btn-secondary" href="#carousel" role="button" data-slide="prev">Previous page</a>
    <a class="btn-primary" href="#carousel" role="button" data-slide="next">Next page</a>
</div>

~ Answered on 2020-12-10 17:29:56


-1

When a button is clicked with a mouse (and hopefully by touch), it records the X,Y coordinates. This is not the case when it is invoked by a form, these values are normally zero.

So you can do something like this.

function(e) {
  const isArtificial = e.screenX === 0 && e.screenY === 0
    && e.x === 0 && e.y === 0 
    && e.clientX === 0 && e.clientY === 0;

    if (isArtificial) {
      return; // DO NOTHING
    } else {
      // OPTIONAL: Don't submit the form when clicked 
      // e.preventDefault();
      // e.stopPropagation();
    }

    // ...Natural code goes here
}

~ Answered on 2021-01-03 10:45:16


-4

Using the example you gave:

<form>
    <input type="text" name="field1" /><!-- Put your cursor in this field and press Enter -->
    <input type="submit" name="prev" value="Previous Page" /> <!-- This is the button that will submit -->
    <input type="submit" name="next" value="Next Page" /> <!-- But this is the button that I WANT to submit -->
</form>

If you click on "Previous Page", only the value of "prev" will be submitted. If you click on "Next Page" only the value of "next" will be submitted.

If however, you press Enter somewhere on the form, neither "prev" nor "next" will be submitted.

So using pseudocode you could do the following:

If "prev" submitted then
    Previous Page was click
Else If "next" submitted then
    Next Page was click
Else
    No button was click

~ Answered on 2008-08-05 15:08:42


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