Override Field Widget Attributes in a Django Form or How To Add Placeholder Attribute to Django Form Input

Jan 18, 2017 · Updated: Jul 12, 2021 · by Tim Kamanin

Let's say we have a contact form and we want to add placeholders to this form inputs so our rendered form has these cool input labels. How do we do that?

My form is a child of ContactForm class provided by the django_contact_form module. The module defines default fields for that form: name, email, and message. We need to add a placeholder attribute in our form class constructor.

In order to edit field widget attributes, we need to use the following code template

self.fields["field_name"].widget.attrs["attribute_name"] = "attribute_value"

where field_name is a name of our field (email, for example), attribute_name is a name of our attribute (in our case it's a placeholder) and attribute_value is a value we want the attribute to have (in our example it's a label).

Here's the result:

from contact_form.forms import ContactForm

# My form is a child of ContactForm class provided by django_contact_form module
class MyContactForm(ContactForm):
    def __init__(
        self, data=None, files=None, request=None, recipient_list=None, *args, **kwargs
        self.fields["name"].widget.attrs["placeholder"] = "name"
        self.fields["email"].widget.attrs["placeholder"] = "e-mail"
        self.fields["body"].widget.attrs["placeholder"] = "message"

Now you can render the form in a template and you'll see that inputs now have placeholders.

Hope this one was helpful. Till next time.

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