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dtbaker Moderator says

Hey kids,

Would anybody have a use of a “save form for later” script?

eg: if you have a reallllly long form, put a button half way through that says “Save for later”.

It will open a popup and ask the user for their email address, and then email them a special link they can click at any time to continue where they left off.

Also a function to remind the user a week later that they haven’t come back to complete the form.

Could be useful for things like surveys or application forms.

Requires javascript, and probably only works on basic forms (ie: single long form, no ajax). Remembers every input type (textarea/radio/select/etc..), except for files which cannot be remembered.

I’ve got it sitting here, just need some design love. If people think it will be useful I’ll organise a design for it, write some help docs, and submit it here as an item.

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jjjrmy says

Sounds nice, but sorry. Can’t think of any use I would need it for.

Don’t see why you shouldn’t submit it though, don’t see anything else similar.

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iLochie says

I’m sure there are plenty of people who may need something like this. Could even be useful at the bottom of the page, “Submit now” or “Save for later”.

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michaelw90 says

If it’s something unique like this, it’s worth submitting it – someone will always have a need for it.

It’s worth submitting – if it’s coded up, you’re not losing anything.

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TwoJStudios says

This would be nice for a project I am working on – I am doing a site for a Church Preschool, and they want to move all of their school forms that parents need to fill out for each child to on-line forms. I do not know if you have ever filled out forms for getting your kids into school, but they are long and drawn out, and if you have more then one kid, yuk.

I would definitely buy.

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Australia says

Hey Dave we would be interested in a Auto Draft save feature, for some new projects we are doing.

Similar to this

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dtbaker Moderator says

Interesting, an “auto form saver” feature.

Few challenges there.

If the browser crashes half way through completing a form, and the end user comes back to complete the form again, might be hard to work out which end user that form data belonged to.

You’ll want to ensure a half completed form is shown back to the correct end user :) cookies and sessions may work, but not ideal especially if the browser crashes.

Maybe i’ll match it on ipaddress/browser user agent, with the option to link an auto-saved form to a member id if the site has an existing member system.

Sorry, rambling to myself there. I’ll come visit this thread again when I go to finish up the script.

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TutelageSystems says

If you are worried about browser crashing, stick in some JavaScript (if they have it on, its a big bonus).

So every time a blur() event happens you call some quick AJAX that will save the data for that item thus in an event of a crash, as long as your entire form is not a giant text-area you will not lose much.

  • Not to get off topic here.

Are you thinking of serializing the entire form when a button is clicked, or perhaps using localStorage? I see you mentioned IPAddress/browser string so I am guessing you will be storing it remotely.

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Australia says
If you are worried about browser crashing, stick in some JavaScript (if they have it on, its a big bonus).

So every time a blur() event happens you call some quick AJAX that will save the data for that item thus in an event of a crash, as long as your entire form is not a giant text-area you will not lose much.

  • Not to get off topic here.
Are you thinking of serializing the entire form when a button is clicked, or perhaps using localStorage? I see you mentioned IPAddress/browser string so I am guessing you will be storing it remotely.

I suppose ajax or json could be used at timed periods huh. If the form were a 2 part process, and…

part 1, they enter email addy, which generates a unique id key. Then takes us to step 2, and then auto saves as per interval timer. Then if browser crashes, it could even be stored in flat files, couldnt it.

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dtbaker Moderator says

Unfortunately a blur() ajax request won’t work in a browser crash / power outage.

If the script is in auto save mode, maybe it can detect when a user has entered their email again for a second time, and then prompt them to load their previous form data.

All saved remotely in serialized flat files on the server.

Here is an example of the “save for later” form code:

http://tf.dtbaker.com.au/form_saver/test_form.html

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