form serialize javascript (no framework)


Wondering is there a function in javascript without jquery or any framework that allows me to serialize the form and access the serialized version?

The miniature from-serialize library doesn't rely on a framework. Other than something like that, you'll need to implement the serialization function yourself. (though at a weight of 1.2 kilobytes, why not use it?)


Here is pure JavaScript approach:

var form = document.querySelector('form');
var data = new FormData(form);
var req = new XMLHttpRequest();
req.send(data);

Though it seems to be working only for POST requests.

https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/API/FormData


For modern browsers only

If you target browsers that support the URLSearchParams API (most recent browsers) and FormData(formElement) constructor (most recent browsers except Edge), use this:

new URLSearchParams(new FormData(formElement)).toString()

Everywhere except IE

For browsers that support URLSearchParams but not the FormData(formElement) constructor, use this FormData polyfill and this code (works everywhere except IE):

new URLSearchParams(Array.from(new FormData(formElement))).toString()

Example

var form = document.querySelector('form');
var out = document.querySelector('output');

function updateResult() {
  try {
    out.textContent = new URLSearchParams(Array.from(new FormData(form)));
    out.className = '';
  } catch (e) {
    out.textContent = e;
    out.className = 'error';
  }
}

updateResult();
form.addEventListener('input', updateResult);
body { font-family: Arial, sans-serif; display: flex; flex-wrap: wrap; }
input[type="text"] { margin-left: 6px; max-width: 30px; }
label + label { margin-left: 10px; }
output { font-family: monospace; }
.error { color: #c00; }
div { margin-right: 30px; }
<!-- FormData polyfill for older browsers -->
<script src="https://unpkg.com/[email protected]/formdata.min.js"></script>
<div>
  <h3>Form</h3>
  <form id="form">
    <label>x:<input type="text" name="x" value="1"></label>
    <label>y:<input type="text" name="y" value="2"></label>
    <label>
    z:
    <select name="z">
      <option value="a" selected>a</option>
      <option value="b" selected>b</option>
    </select>
  </label>
  </form>
</div>
<div>
  <h3>Query string</h3>
  <output for="form"></output>
</div>

Compatible with IE 10

For even older browsers (e.g. IE 10), use the FormData polyfill, an Array.from polyfill if necessary and this code:

Array.from(
  new FormData(formElement),
  e => e.map(encodeURIComponent).join('=')
).join('&')

function serialize (form) {
    if (!form || form.nodeName !== "FORM") {
            return;
    }
    var i, j, q = [];
    for (i = form.elements.length - 1; i >= 0; i = i - 1) {
        if (form.elements[i].name === "") {
            continue;
        }
        switch (form.elements[i].nodeName) {
            case 'INPUT':
                switch (form.elements[i].type) {
                    case 'text':
                    case 'tel':
                    case 'email':
                    case 'hidden':
                    case 'password':
                    case 'button':
                    case 'reset':
                    case 'submit':
                        q.push(form.elements[i].name + "=" + encodeURIComponent(form.elements[i].value));
                        break;
                    case 'checkbox':
                    case 'radio':
                        if (form.elements[i].checked) {
                                q.push(form.elements[i].name + "=" + encodeURIComponent(form.elements[i].value));
                        }                                               
                        break;
                }
                break;
                case 'file':
                break; 
            case 'TEXTAREA':
                    q.push(form.elements[i].name + "=" + encodeURIComponent(form.elements[i].value));
                    break;
            case 'SELECT':
                switch (form.elements[i].type) {
                    case 'select-one':
                        q.push(form.elements[i].name + "=" + encodeURIComponent(form.elements[i].value));
                        break;
                    case 'select-multiple':
                        for (j = form.elements[i].options.length - 1; j >= 0; j = j - 1) {
                            if (form.elements[i].options[j].selected) {
                                    q.push(form.elements[i].name + "=" + encodeURIComponent(form.elements[i].options[j].value));
                            }
                        }
                        break;
                }
                break;
            case 'BUTTON':
                switch (form.elements[i].type) {
                    case 'reset':
                    case 'submit':
                    case 'button':
                        q.push(form.elements[i].name + "=" + encodeURIComponent(form.elements[i].value));
                        break;
                }
                break;
            }
        }
    return q.join("&");
}

Source: http://code.google.com/p/form-serialize/source/browse/trunk/serialize-0.1.js


Here's a slightly modified version of TibTibs':

function serialize(form) {
    var field, s = [];
    if (typeof form == 'object' && form.nodeName == "FORM") {
        var len = form.elements.length;
        for (i=0; i<len; i++) {
            field = form.elements[i];
            if (field.name && !field.disabled && field.type != 'file' && field.type != 'reset' && field.type != 'submit' && field.type != 'button') {
                if (field.type == 'select-multiple') {
                    for (j=form.elements[i].options.length-1; j>=0; j--) {
                        if(field.options[j].selected)
                            s[s.length] = encodeURIComponent(field.name) + "=" + encodeURIComponent(field.options[j].value);
                    }
                } else if ((field.type != 'checkbox' && field.type != 'radio') || field.checked) {
                    s[s.length] = encodeURIComponent(field.name) + "=" + encodeURIComponent(field.value);
                }
            }
        }
    }
    return s.join('&').replace(/%20/g, '+');
}

Disabled fields are discarded and names are also URL encoded. Regex replace of %20 characters takes place only once, before returning the string.

The query string is in identical form to the result from jQuery's $.serialize() method.


I started with the answer from Johndave Decano.

This should fix a few of the issues mentioned in replies to his function.

  1. Replace %20 with a + symbol.
  2. Submit/Button types will only be submitted if they were clicked to submit the form.
  3. Reset buttons will be ignored.
  4. The code seemed redundant to me since it is doing essentially the same thing regardless of the field types. Not to mention incompatibility with HTML5 field types such as 'tel' and 'email', thus I removed most of the specifics with the switch statements.

Button types will still be ignored if they don't have a name value.

function serialize(form, evt){
    var evt    = evt || window.event;
    evt.target = evt.target || evt.srcElement || null;
    var field, query='';
    if(typeof form == 'object' && form.nodeName == "FORM"){
        for(i=form.elements.length-1; i>=0; i--){
            field = form.elements[i];
            if(field.name && field.type != 'file' && field.type != 'reset'){
                if(field.type == 'select-multiple'){
                    for(j=form.elements[i].options.length-1; j>=0; j--){
                        if(field.options[j].selected){
                            query += '&' + field.name + "=" + encodeURIComponent(field.options[j].value).replace(/%20/g,'+');
                        }
                    }
                }
                else{
                    if((field.type != 'submit' && field.type != 'button') || evt.target == field){
                        if((field.type != 'checkbox' && field.type != 'radio') || field.checked){
                            query += '&' + field.name + "=" + encodeURIComponent(field.value).replace(/%20/g,'+');
                        }   
                    }
                }
            }
        }
    }
    return query.substr(1);
}

This is how I am currently using this function.

<form onsubmit="myAjax('http://example.com/services/email.php', 'POST', serialize(this, event))">

If you need to submit form "myForm" using POST in json format you can do:

const formEntries = new FormData(myForm).entries();
const json = Object.assign(...Array.from(formEntries, ([x,y]) => ({[x]:y})));
fetch('/api/foo', {
  method: 'POST',
  body: JSON.stringify(json)
});

The second line converts from an array like:

[["firstProp", "firstValue"], ["secondProp", "secondValue"], ...and so on... ]

...into a regular object, like:

{"firstProp": "firstValue", "secondProp": "secondValue", ...and so on ... }

...it does this conversion by passing in a mapFn into Array.from(). This mapFn is applied to each ["a","b"] pair and converts them into {"a": "b"} so that the array contains a lot of object with only one property in each. The mapFn is using "destructuring" to get names of the first and second parts of the pair, and it is also using an ES6 "ComputedPropertyName" to set the property name in the object returned by the mapFn (this is why is says "[x]: something" rather than just "x: something".

All of these single property objects are then passed into arguments of the Object.assign() function which merges all the single property objects into a single object that has all properties.

Array.from(): https://developer.mozilla.org/en-US/docs/Web/JavaScript/Reference/Global_Objects/Array/from

Destructuring in parameters: https://simonsmith.io/destructuring-objects-as-function-parameters-in-es6/

More on computed property names here: Variable as the property name in a JavaScript object literal?


Works in all browsers.

const formSerialize = formElement => {
  const values = {};
  const inputs = formElement.elements;

  for (let i = 0; i < inputs.length; i++) {
    values[inputs[i].name] = inputs[i].value;
  }
  return values;
}

const dumpValues = form => () => {
  
  const r = formSerialize(form);
  console.log(r);
  console.log(JSON.stringify(r));
}

const form = document.querySelector('form');

dumpValues(form)();

form.addEventListener('change',dumpValues(form));
<form action="/my-handling-form-page" method="post">
  <div>
    <label for="name">Name:</label>
    <input type="text" id="name" name="user_name" value="John">
  </div>
  <div>
    <label for="mail">E-mail:</label>
    <input type="email" id="mail" name="user_mail" value="[email protected]">
  </div>
  <div>
    <label for="interests">Interest:</label>
    <select required=""  id="interests" name="interests">
      <option value="" selected="selected">- None -</option>
      <option value="drums">Drums</option>
      <option value="js">Javascript</option>
      <option value="sports">Sports</option>
      <option value="trekking">Trekking</option>
    </select>
  </div>
  <div>
    <label for="msg">Message:</label>
    <textarea id="msg" name="user_message">Hello My Friend</textarea>
  </div>
</form>


HTMLElement.prototype.serialize = function(){
    var obj = {};
    var elements = this.querySelectorAll( "input, select, textarea" );
    for( var i = 0; i < elements.length; ++i ) {
        var element = elements[i];
        var name = element.name;
        var value = element.value;

        if( name ) {
            obj[ name ] = value;
        }
    }
    return JSON.stringify( obj );
}

To use like this:

var dataToSend = document.querySelector("form").serialize();

I hope I have helped.


If you are looking to serialize the inputs on an event. Here's a pure JavaScript approach I use.

// serialize form
var data = {};
var inputs = [].slice.call(e.target.getElementsByTagName('input'));
inputs.forEach(input => {
  data[input.name] = input.value;
});

Data will be a JavaScript object of the inputs.


A refactored version of @SimonSteinberger's code using less variables and taking advantage of the speed of forEach loops (which are a bit faster than fors)

function serialize(form) {
    var result = [];
    if (typeof form === 'object' && form.nodeName === 'FORM')
        Array.prototype.slice.call(form.elements).forEach(function(control) {
            if (
                control.name && 
                !control.disabled && 
                ['file', 'reset', 'submit', 'button'].indexOf(control.type) === -1
            )
                if (control.type === 'select-multiple')
                    Array.prototype.slice.call(control.options).forEach(function(option) {
                        if (option.selected) 
                            result.push(encodeURIComponent(control.name) + '=' + encodeURIComponent(option.value));
                    });
                else if (
                    ['checkbox', 'radio'].indexOf(control.type) === -1 || 
                    control.checked
                ) result.push(encodeURIComponent(control.name) + '=' + encodeURIComponent(control.value));
        });
        return result.join('&').replace(/%20/g, '+');
}

I refactored TibTibs answer into something that's much clearer to read. It is a bit longer because of the 80 character width and a few comments.

Additionally, it ignores blank field names and blank values.

// Serialize the specified form into a query string.
//
// Returns a blank string if +form+ is not actually a form element.
function $serialize(form, evt) {
  if(typeof(form) !== 'object' && form.nodeName !== "FORM")
    return '';

  var evt    = evt || window.event || { target: null };
  evt.target = evt.target || evt.srcElement || null;
  var field, query = '';

  // Transform a form field into a query-string-friendly
  // serialized form.
  //
  // [NOTE]: Replaces blank spaces from its standard '%20' representation
  //         into the non-standard (though widely used) '+'.
  var encode = function(field, name) {
    if (field.disabled) return '';

    return '&' + (name || field.name) + '=' +
           encodeURIComponent(field.value).replace(/%20/g,'+');
  }

  // Fields without names can't be serialized.
  var hasName = function(el) {
    return (el.name && el.name.length > 0)
  }

  // Ignore the usual suspects: file inputs, reset buttons,
  // buttons that did not submit the form and unchecked
  // radio buttons and checkboxes.
  var ignorableField = function(el, evt) {
    return ((el.type == 'file' || el.type == 'reset')
        || ((el.type == 'submit' || el.type == 'button') && evt.target != el)
        || ((el.type == 'checkbox' || el.type == 'radio') && !el.checked))
  }

  var parseMultiSelect = function(field) {
    var q = '';

    for (var j=field.options.length-1; j>=0; j--) {
      if (field.options[j].selected) {
        q += encode(field.options[j], field.name);
      }
    }

    return q;
  };

  for(i = form.elements.length - 1; i >= 0; i--) {
    field = form.elements[i];

    if (!hasName(field) || field.value == '' || ignorableField(field, evt))
      continue;

    query += (field.type == 'select-multiple') ? parseMultiSelect(field)
                                               : encode(field);
  }

  return (query.length == 0) ? '' : query.substr(1);
}

  // supports IE8 and IE9 
  function serialize(form) {
    var inputs = form.elements;
    var array = [];
    for(i=0; i < inputs.length; i++) {
      var inputNameValue = inputs[i].name + '=' + inputs[i].value;
      array.push(inputNameValue);
    }
    return array.join('&');
  }
 //using the serialize function written above
 var form = document.getElementById("form");//get the id of your form. i am assuming the id to be named form.
 var form_data = serialize(form);
 var xhr = new XMLHttpRequest();
 xhr.send(form_data);

 //does not work with IE8 AND IE9
 var form = document.querySelector('form');
 var data = new FormData(form);
 var xhr = new XMLHttpRequest();
 xhr.send(data);

I've grabbed the entries() method of formData from @moison answer and from MDN it's said that :

The FormData.entries() method returns an iterator allowing to go through all key/value pairs contained in this object. The key of each pair is a USVString object; the value either a USVString, or a Blob.

but the only issue is that mobile browser (android and safari are not supported ) and IE and Safari desktop too

but basically here is my approach :

let theForm =  document.getElementById("contact"); 

theForm.onsubmit = function(event) {
    event.preventDefault();

    let rawData = new FormData(theForm);
    let data = {};

   for(let pair of rawData.entries()) {
     data[pair[0]] = pair[1]; 
    }
    let contactData = JSON.stringify(data);
    console.warn(contactData);
    //here you can send a post request with content-type :'application.json'

};

the code can be found here


Using JavaScript reduce function should do a trick for all browsers, including IE9 >:

Array.prototype.slice.call(form.elements) // convert form elements to array
    .reduce(function(acc,cur){   // reduce 
        var o = {type : cur.type, name : cur.name, value : cur.value}; // get needed keys
        if(['checkbox','radio'].indexOf(cur.type) !==-1){
            o.checked = cur.checked;
        } else if(cur.type === 'select-multiple'){{
            o.value=[];
            for(i=0;i<cur.length;i++){
                o.value.push({
                    value : cur.options[i].value,
                    selected : cur.options[i].selected
                });
            }
        }
        acc.push(o);
        return acc;
 },[]);

Live example bellow.

var _formId = document.getElementById('formId'),
    formData = Array.prototype.slice.call(_formId.elements).reduce(function(acc,cur,indx,arr){
        var i,o = {type : cur.type, name : cur.name, value : cur.value};
        if(['checkbox','radio'].indexOf(cur.type) !==-1){
            o.checked = cur.checked;
        } else if(cur.type === 'select-multiple'){
            o.value=[];
            for(i=0;i<cur.length;i++){
                o.value.push({
                    value : cur.options[i].value,
                    selected : cur.options[i].selected
                });
            }
        }
        acc.push(o);
        return acc;
    },[]);

// view
document.getElementById('formOutput').innerHTML = JSON.stringify(formData, null, 4);
<form id="formId">
    <input type="text" name="texttype" value="some text">
    <select>
        <option value="Opt 1">Opt 1</option>
        <option value="Opt 2" selected>Opt 2</option>
        <option value="Opt 3">Opt 3</option>
    </select>
    <input type="checkbox" name="checkboxtype" value="Checkbox 1" checked> Checkbox 1
    <input type="checkbox" name="checkboxtype" value="Checkbox 2"> Checkbox 2
    <input type="radio" name="radiotype" value="Radio Btn 1"> Radio Btn 1
    <input type="radio" name="radiotype" value="Radio Btn 2" checked> Radio Btn 2
    <select multiple>
        <option value="Multi 1" selected>Multi 1</option>
        <option value="Multi 2">Saab</option>
        <option value="Multi 3" selected>Multi 3</option>
    </select>
</form>
<pre><code id="formOutput"></code></pre>


document.serializeForm = function (selector) {
     var dictionary = {};
     var form = document.querySelector(selector);
     var formdata = new FormData(form);
     var done = false;
     var iterator = formdata.entries();
     do {
         var prop = iterator.next();
         if (prop.done && !prop.value) {
             done = true;
         }
         else {
             dictionary[prop.value[0]] = prop.value[1];
         }

     } while (!done);
     return dictionary;
}

For debugging purposes this might help you:

function print_form_data(form) {
    const form_data = new FormData(form);

    for (const item of form_data.entries()) {
        console.log(item);
    }

    return false;
}

I hope this will work

var serializeForm = (formElement) => {
  const formData = {};
  const inputs = formElement.elements;

  for (let i = 0; i < inputs.length; i++) {
    if(inputs[i].name!=="")
        formData[inputs[i].name] = inputs[i].value;
  }
  return formData;
}

I could be crazy but I'm finding these answers seriously bloated. Here's my solution

function serialiseForm(form) {
  var input = form.getElementsByTagName("input");
  var formData = {};
  for (var i = 0; i < input.length; i++) {
    formData[input[i].name] = input[i].value;
  }
  return formData = JSON.stringify(formData);
}

Improving upon David Lemon's answer.

This converts form data to JSON and allows you to set the form from a data object.

const main = () => {
  const form = document.forms['info'];
  const data = {
    "user_name"       : "John",
    "user_email"      : "[email protected]",
    "user_created"    : "2020-03-24",
    "user_age"        : 42,
    "user_subscribed" : true,
    "user_interests"  : "sports",
    "user_message"    : "Hello My Friend"
  };

  populateForm(form, data);
  updateJsonView(form);
  form.addEventListener('change', (e) => updateJsonView(form));
}

const getFieldValue = (field, opts) => {
  let type = field.getAttribute('type');
  if (type) {
    switch (type) {
      case 'checkbox':
        return field.checked;
      case 'number':
        return field.value.includes('.')
          ? parseFloat(field.value)
          : parseInt(field.value, 10);
    }
  }
  if (opts && opts[field.name] && opts[field.name].type) {
    switch (opts[field.name].type) {
      case 'int':
        return parseInt(field.value, 10);
      case 'float':
        return parseFloat(field.value);
    }
  }
  return field.value;
}

const setFieldValue = (field, value) => {
  let type = field.getAttribute('type');
  if (type) {
    switch (type) {
      case 'checkbox':
        field.checked = value;
        break;
      default:
        field.value = value;
        break;
    }
  } else {
    field.value = value;
  }
}

const extractFormData = (form, opts) => {
  return Array.from(form.elements).reduce((data, element) => {
    return Object.assign(data, { [element.name] : getFieldValue(element, opts) });
  }, {});
};

const populateForm = (form, data) => {
  return Array.from(form.elements).forEach((element) => {
    setFieldValue(element, data[element.name]);
  });
};

const updateJsonView = (form) => {
  let fieldOptions = {};
  let formData = extractFormData(form, fieldOptions);
  let serializedData = JSON.stringify(formData, null, 2);
  document.querySelector('.json-view').textContent = serializedData;
};

main();
.form-field {
  margin-bottom: 0.5em;
}

.form-field label {
  display: inline-block;
  font-weight: bold;
  width: 7em;
  vertical-align: top;
}

.json-view {
  position: absolute;
  top: 0.667em;
  right: 0.667em;
  border: thin solid grey;
  padding: 0.5em;
  white-space: pre;
  font-family: monospace;
  overflow: scroll-y;
  max-height: 100%;
}
<form name="info" action="/my-handling-form-page" method="post">
  <div class="form-field">
    <label for="name">Name:</label>
    <input type="text" id="name" name="user_name">
  </div>
  <div class="form-field">
    <label for="mail">E-mail:</label>
    <input type="email" id="mail" name="user_email">
  </div>
  <div class="form-field">
    <label for="created">Date of Birth:</label>
    <input type="date" id="created" name="user_created">
  </div>
  <div class="form-field">
    <label for="age">Age:</label>
    <input type="number" id="age" name="user_age">
  </div>
  <div class="form-field">
    <label for="subscribe">Subscribe:</label>
    <input type="checkbox" id="subscribe" name="user_subscribed">
  </div>
  <div class="form-field">
    <label for="interests">Interest:</label>
    <select required=""  id="interests" name="user_interests">
      <option value="" selected="selected">- None -</option>
      <option value="drums">Drums</option>
      <option value="js">Javascript</option>
      <option value="sports">Sports</option>
      <option value="trekking">Trekking</option>
    </select>
  </div>
  <div class="form-field">
    <label for="msg">Message:</label>
    <textarea id="msg" name="user_message"></textarea>
  </div>
</form>
<div class="json-view"></div>


This could be done by very simple function as follows

function serialize(form) {
        let requestArray = [];
        form.querySelectorAll('[name]').forEach((elem) => {
            requestArray.push(elem.name + '=' + elem.value);
        });
        if(requestArray.length > 0)
            return requestArray.join('&');
        else
            return false;
    }

 serialized = serialize(document.querySelector('form'))
  console.log(serialized);
<form>

  <input type='text' name='fname' value='Johne'/>
  <input type='text' name='lname' value='Doe'/>
  <input type='text' name='contact[]' value='99999999'/>
  <input type='text' name='contact[]' value='34423434345'/>

</form>


Here is pure JavaScript approach:

var form = document.querySelector('form');
var data = new FormData(form);

  var xhttp = new XMLHttpRequest();
  xhttp.onreadystatechange = function() {
    if (this.readyState == 4 && this.status == 200) {
       console.log(this.responseText);
    }
  };
  xhttp.open("POST", "<YOUR-URL>", true);
  xhttp.send(data);
}