If you need your visitors to pick a date in a form, use the calendar widgets. This makes it easier to locate the right date, and reduces the risk of errors considerably.
Calendar widgets make it much easier for the user to pick the right date. It also makes it easier to count from one date to another. The widgets ensure that any date picked from the calendar is valid, and formats it correctly for the recipient of the electronic web form using the regional settings.
The date will be formatted according to your computer’s regional settings.
- The Button calendar is represented by a plain text field with a button in the form, and the Full calendar appears only when you press the button – and disappears again when you have selected a date.
- The Pop-up calendar appears as a plain text field in the form, but once you have focus on the widget, the Full calendar appears – and disappears again when a date has been set.
- Name your widgets if you want to pass data into them from the link to the form. As an example, if the link to the form contains an Excel serial day number (/form.htm?ship_on=20376), it will be preserved by the form if your spreadsheet has a cell named date, and it will be forwarded with the form when the form is submitted for processing. Read more about filling form fields from the link. For electronic forms, it is also much easier to process the form if all input fields have names. You can name your fields in the widgets or give them cell names in Excel. Widget names can start with numbers or an underscore, which is required when integrating with products like Salesforce.
- There is no default value for a calendar field. The calendar will position itself on the current date but not select it. The user must explicitly click on a date to select it. To provide a default value, enter a date into the widget’s cell. The calendar will position itself on the default date, and it will be selected. To select a date other than the default, the user must select a different date in the calendar.
The calendar widgets do not return the selected date as text. Excel stores dates as sequential serial day numbers so that they can be used in calculations. By default, January 1, 1900 is serial number 1, and January 1, 2008 is serial number 39448 because it is 39,447 days after January 1, 1900. The date returned by the calendar widget is in the form of an Excel serial number.