Multiple submit buttons in an HTML form


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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:

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

  <!-- This is the button that will submit -->
  <input 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>

All Answers
  • Translate

    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:

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

  • Translate

    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 />
    

  • Translate

    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


  • Translate

    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.


  • Translate

    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.


  • Translate

    Sometimes the provided solution by @palotasb is not sufficient. There are use cases where for example a "Filter" submit 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 then when clicking on the visible Next button. But since the name and value is 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>
    

  • Translate

    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.


  • Translate

    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.


  • Translate

    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)" />
    

  • Translate

    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!


  • Translate

    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.

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

  • Translate

    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.


  • Translate

    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.


  • Alger Lee
    Translate
    <input type="submit" name="perv" 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
    

  • Translate

    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.


  • Translate

    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>
    

  • Translate

    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();
    }
    

  • Translate

    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.


  • Translate

    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');
        }
    });
    

  • Translate

    Try this..!

    <form>
      <input type="text" name="Name" />
      <!-- Enter the value -->
    
      <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>

  • Translate

    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:

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

  • Translate

    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.


  • Translate

    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