8.5 Changing a Form's Action
NN 2, IE 3
You want to
submit a form to a different action depending on user activity in the
The most common scenario is a form with two or more buttons that
submit the form, but each button directs the form to a different CGI
program on the server. If you use submit-type
input elements, use the
onclick event handlers to assign the desired
CGI URL to the action property of the form:
<input type="submit" value="Send To HeadQuarters"
<input type="submit" value="Send For Peer Review"
Any function executing before the form submits itself can assign a
URL to the form element's
action property to influence where the form goes.
Deploying this solution to a browser base that may include
nonscriptable browsers (including browsers with scripting turned off)
should be done with care. Your first inclination might be to assign a
default action URL in the form that receives the form if scripting is
not available. But if you use two submit-type
input elements, as shown in the example, both
buttons will submit the form to the default action, regardless of the
label in the button. This could mislead your scriptless visitors.
You aren't limited to using
submit-type input elements, of
course. For example, your form may contain a checkbox that acts as a
signal for which action the form should follow. In this case, the
onsubmit event handler of the form can inspect the
checked property of the checkbox button, and set
the action property's URL before
allowing the submission to continue:
form.action = (form.myCheckbox.checked) ? "cgi-bin/special.pl" : "normal.jsp";
Bear in mind that the action attribute is required
in a form element under all recent HTML and XHTML
8.5.4 See Also
Recipe 8.3 for using the onsubmit event handler to
perform last-instant processing before form submission.