The compat version should be chosen, in either the .tar.gz or .zip format, depending on which is easier for you to extract.
After extracting the archive, open the script in your favorite text editor so the variables can be set. For most people, the default values will
be sufficient, with the following changes:
Change the following value from 1 to 0 after the script is live. Do not leave the debug option set to 1 when the script is live. $DEBUGGING =
Change the following value from 5 to the actual number of recipients your form is designed to mail. For most people, the maximum number of
recipients will be 1. $max_recipients = 5;
Change the following value to your own domain information. @referers = qw(dave.org.uk 126.96.36.199 localhost);
For instance, if your domain name is mydomain.com, and your IP is 188.8.131.52, your referers would look like this: @referers = qw(mydomain.com
www.mydomain.com 184.108.40.206 localhost);
Multiple items are separated by a space. Only the referers listed in this parameter will be permitted to use this script.
Change the following value(s) to the recipients of the form: @allow_mail_to = qw(firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com localhost);
Do not leave localhost in this parameter, as there is no valid reason for it. If the recipient can be any user at your domain, only the domain
name (not a full email address) is required. This will permit the script to be used for multiple forms on the same site without a separate copy or
complete list of allowed recipients. If there is only a single form, and only one or two recipients allowed, it is better for security reasons to
specifically define those recipients in the script.
Change this value to either a style sheet in use on the site or to 0 or an empty string if no stylesheet is to be used: $style =
More advanced options are available for the script. Details for those options are available in the README file within the distribution
Save the file and upload to your account. Typically, scripts of this nature will be placed in the cgi-bin directory.
Rename the script to anything other than a variation of formmail.*, FormMail.*, or Formmail.*, as these names are filtered and cannot be used.
Change the permissions on the script to 755 (rwxr-xr-x).
The script can then be called within the HTML code of the form. Code that previously used the systemwide form to mail script
(/cgi-sys/FormMail.cgi) should be modified to use the new script instead. Typically, the POST code will be one of the following:
Many of the same values used by any generic or by the systemwide script, such as subject, redirect, and return link URL can be set within the
code. Full details of all variables can be found in the README file included with the package distribution.
In the most general of cases, most people will need only set the variables in the script itself and then replace the code used to post the form
data, as this script is designed to be a drop-in replacement for Matt Wright's script, which is banned on our servers - and which is what the
systemwide FormMail clone is based on as well.
The action of your form needs to point towards this script, and the method must be POST or GET. The form action line should be:
<FORM ACTION="/cgi-bin/scriptname" METHOD="POST">
There is only one form field that you must have in your form for FormMail to work correctly. This is the recipient field.
Field: recipient Description: This form field allows you to specify to whom you wish for your form results to
be mailed. Most likely you will want to configure this option as a hidden form field with a value equal to that of your e-mail address.
Below is a list of form fields you can use and how to implement them.
Field: subject Description: The subject field will allow you to specify the subject that you wish
to appear in the e-mail that is sent to you after this form has been filled out. If you do not have this option turned on, then the script will
default to a message subject: WWW Form Submission
Syntax: If you wish to choose what the subject is: <input type=hidden name="subject" value="Your Subject"> To
the user to choose a subject: <input type=text name="subject">
Field: email Description: This form field will allow the user to specify their return e-mail address. If you want to be able to return
e-mail to your user, I strongly suggest that you include this form field and allow them to fill it in. This will be put into the From: field of
the message you receive. If you want to require an email address with valid syntax, add this field name to the 'required' field.
Syntax: <input type=text name="email">
Field: realname Description: The realname form field will allow the user to input their real name. This field is useful for
identification purposes and will also be put into the From: line of your message header.
Syntax: <input type=text name="realname">
Field: redirect Description: If you wish to redirect the user to a different URL, rather than having them see
the default response to the fill-out form, you can use this hidden variable to send them to a pre-made HTML page.
Syntax: To choose the URL they will end up at: <input type=hidden name="redirect"value="http://your.host.com/to/file.html"> To
allow them to specify a URL they wish to travel to once the form is filled out: <input type=text name="redirect">
Field: required Version: 1.3 & Up Description: You can now require for certain fields in your form to be
filled in before the user can successfully submit the form. Simply place all field names that you want to be mandatory into this field. If the
required fields are not filled in, the user will be notified of what they need to fill in, and a link back. To use a customized error page, see
Syntax: If you want to require that they fill in the email and phone fields in your form, so that you can reach them once you have received the
mail, use a syntax like:
Field: env_report Version: 1.3 & Up Description: Allows you to have Environment variables included in
the e-mail message you receive after a user has filled out your form. Useful if you wish to know what browser they were using, what domain they
were coming from or any other attributes associated with environment variables. The following is a short list of valid environment variables that
might be useful:
REMOTE_HOST - Sends the hostname making the request. REMOTE_ADDR - Sends the IP address of the remote host making the request. REMOTE_USER
- If server supports authentication and script is protected, this is the username they have authenticated as. *This is not usually set.* HTTP_USER_AGENT
- The browser the client is using to send the request.
There are others, but these are a few of the most useful. For more information on environment variables, see: The CGI Resource Index:
Documentation: Environment Variables
Syntax: If you wanted to find the remote host and browser sending the request, you would put the following into your form: <input
type=hidden name="env_report" value="REMOTE_HOST,HTTP_USER_AGENT">
Field: sort Version: 1.4 & Up Description: This field allows you to choose the order in which you wish
for your variables to appear in the e-mail that FormMail generates. You can choose to have the field sorted alphabetically or specify a set order
in which you want the fields to appear in your mail message. By leaving this field out, the order will simply default to the order in which the
browsers sends the information to the script (which is usually the exact same order as they appeared in the form.) When sorting by a set order of
fields, you should include the phrase "order:" as the first part of your value for the sort field, and then follow that with the field
names you want to be listed in the e-mail message, separated by commas. Version 1.6 allows a little more flexibility in the listing of ordered
fields, in that you can include spaces and line breaks in the field without it messing up the sort. This is helpful when you have many form fields
and need to insert a line wrap.
Syntax: To sort alphabetically: <input type=hidden name="sort" value="alphabetic"> To sort by a set field
order: <input type=hidden name="sort" value="order:name1,name2,etc...">
Field: print_config Version: 1.5 & Up Description: print_config allows you to specify which of the
config variables you would like to have printed in your e-mail message. By default, no config fields are printed to your e-mail. This is because
the important form fields, like email, subject, etc. are included in the header of the message. However some users have asked for this option so
they can have these fields printed in the body of the message. The config fields that you wish to have printed should be in the value attribute of
your input tag separated by commas.
Syntax: If you want to print the email and subject fields in the body of your message, you would place the following form tag: <input
type=hidden name="print_config" value="email,subject">
Field: print_blank_fields Version: 1.6 Description: print_blank_fields allows you to request that all form
fields are printed in the return HTML, regardless of whether or not they were filled in. FormMail defaults to turning this off, so that unused
form fields aren't e-mailed.
Syntax: If you want to print all blank fields: <input type=hidden name="print_blank_fields" value="1">
Field: title Version: 1.3 & Up Description: This form field allows you to specify the title and header
that will appear on the resulting page if you do not specify a redirect URL.
Syntax: If you wanted a title of 'Feedback Form Results': <input type=hidden name="title" value="Feedback Form Results">
Field: return_link_url Version: 1.3 & Up Description: This field allows you to specify a URL that will
appear, as return_link_title, on the following report page. This field will not be used if you have the redirect field set, but it is useful if
you allow the user to receive the report on the following page, but want to offer them a way to get back to your main page.
Field: return_link_title Version: 1.3 & Up Description: This is the title that will be used to link the
user back to the page you specify with return_link_url. The two fields will be shown on the resulting form page as: * return_link_title
Syntax: <input type=hidden name="return_link_title" value="Back to Main Page">
Field: missing_fields_redirect Version: 1.6 Description: This form field allows you to specify a URL that
users will be redirected to if there are fields listed in the required form field that are not filled in. This is so you can customize an error
page instead of displaying the default.
Field: background Version: 1.3 & Up Description: This form field allow you to specify a background image
that will appear if you do not have the redirect field set. This image will appear as the background to the form results page.
Field: bgcolor Version: 1.3 & Up Description: This form field allow you to specify a bgcolor for the
form results page in much the way you specify a background image. This field should not be set if the redirect field is.
Syntax: For a background color of White: <input type=hidden name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF">
Field: text_color Version: 1.3 & Up Description: This field works in the same way as bgcolor, except
that it will change the color of your text.
Syntax: For a text color of Black: <input type=hidden name="text_color" value="#000000">
Field: link_color Version: 1.3 & Up Description: Changes the color of links on the resulting page. Works
in the same way as text_color. Should not be defined if redirect is
Syntax: For a link color of Red: <input type=hidden name="link_color" value="#FF0000">
Field: vlink_color Version: 1.3 & Up Description: Changes the color of visited links on the resulting page.
Works exactly the same as link_color. Should not be set if redirect is.
Syntax: For a visited link color of Blue: <input type=hidden name="vlink_color" value="#0000FF">
Field: alink_color Version: 1.4 & up Description: Changes the color of active links on the resulting
page. Works exactly the same as link_color. Should not be set if redirect is.
Syntax: For a active link color of Blue: <input type=hidden name="alink_color" value="#0000FF">
Any other form fields that appear in your script will be mailed back to you and displayed on the resulting page if you do not have the redirect
field set. There is no limit as to how many other form fields you can use with this form, except the limits imposed by browsers and your
The documentation for Matt Wright's FormMail.cgi might be helpful if you have never used FormMail before. It is available here.