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stacks for the rest of us

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Contact Form Populator Stack manual

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1. Preparation
Advanced RapidWeaver users can skip this section.

1a Setup a contact form
Make a contact form for your site. To avoid double work, try to make it final before setting the options in the Contact Form Placeholder Stack.

1b Add a stacks page and a PlusKit page
In Page Inspector > General disable both Enabled and Show in Menu. Give both pages a meaningful name. I prefer to make the pages that are only used for importing into other pages with PlusKit subpages of the PlusKit page, but that’s up to you.

1c Add the Contact Form Placeholder Stack to the stacks page
On the contact form page, add @​import((PAGENAME)) in the sidebar, select the code and apply Format > Ignore Formatting.

2. Setting the parameters
With the Contact Form Populator stack, you instruct the contact form to prepopulate one or more fields with a value that is given by the query string of the url.

For example: if the url to the contact form page is contact-form/page1.php, you can append a string to the end of the url consisting of a question mark, followed by one or more paramater-value pairs. In case of more than one paramater-value pair, those are separated with an ampersand (&) like:
Separating the paramater-value pairs with an ampersand (&) will not generate valid HTML, but works in every browser (ASAIK). If valid HTML is important to you, just use & instead.
In the Contact Form Populator stack, you define which parameter belongs to which form field, so the text of each parameter is prefilled in the right field.

2a Set the parameters for each field you want to be prepopulated
Select Set parameter for each item in the form that will prepopulated. For all other items (including Check Box, Popup Menu, etc) leave the checkbox deselected. When you have less than 8 form items, leave those that are not in use also deselected.
You can only prepopulate Text Fields and Text Areas.

2b Enter the parameter text
For each selected field, enter the parameter text in the Text field.
Important: use a single word without spaces.

3. Creating the links
Each link that you want to lead to the contact form and prepopulate one or more fields, will have a query string attached to the end of the link as described above. This means you cannot use the automatic link creation as provided by RapidWeaver. You will need to use the URL field in the Add Link window and set the link manually (fig. 1) – or use html to create the link (fig. 2).

Need help with creating internal URLs manually? Here’s a small tutorial.

You can use ‘special’ characters (©π§¶ª∑∫ etc.) in the text, but no & (ampersand)! If you need to use an ampersand in the text, replace it with %26 like:
contact-form/page1.php?name=Bert%26Ernie&city=Sesame Street.
The following is only meant for those familiar with HTML. There’s no need to understand (or even read) it in order to use the Contact Form Populator stack.

All characters other than an ampersand will work in every modern browser, but will not generate valid HTML. If valid HTML is important to you, use only unreserved characters (A​B​C​D​E​F​G​H​I​J​K​L​M​N​O​P​Q​R​S​T​U​V​W​X​Y​Z​a​b​c​d​e​f​g​h​i​j​k​l​m​n​o​p​q​r​s​t​u​v​w​x​y​z​0​1​2​3​4​5​6​7​8​9​-​.​_​~​:​/​?​#​[​]​@​!​$​'​(​)​*​+​,​;​=) and encode all other character with the percent-encoding (%nn), like %20 for a space.

Tip: Eric Meyer made a handy URL Decoder/Encoder to automate this encoding. When you check show URL De/Encoder in General Settings and go to Preview mode, this page will be shown in an iframe. Enter your text, click Encode and use the encoded result.
Uncheck show URL De/Encoder before publishing!

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