Ian McNally

Getting input values in a dynamic form

June 30, 2016

Today I was experimenting with how to get all the values in a form. The form was dynamic, so I didn’t know the input and textareas that could be in it. So I turned to my old standby document.forms (supported in _all_ browsers!).

When I started iterating over the form (document.forms[formname]), which is an HTMLCollection, I noticed that all non-input or textarea elements were filtered out (even if an input was nested inside a label). That means I can easily map over the inputs, get their values, and do as I wish with them!

Consider the following form:

<form name="hey">
  <label><input name="innie" value="i am an input" /></label>
  <textarea name="textie">i am a text area</textarea>

In my javascript, if I convert it to an array, I can map over the form’s inner elements and get values from them!!! Like so:

const mapInputNamesToValues = () => {
  const form = document.forms.hey
  const formAsArray = [].slice.call(form)

  return formAsArray.reduce((result, input) => {
    result[input.name] = input.value
    return result
  }, {})


// note: you could convert to an array and reduce in one line
// via [].reduce.call(form, callback)
// but I chose to separate it for clarity.

Play with the demo on Codepen:

Ian McNally

Hey, I'm Ian. I build websites and write about what I learn as I go. Follow me on Twitter.