Form field types

All my form-fields (for inserting items) are currently text-areas… I would like to change some of these input-fields to dropdown-, radio- and date(calendar) fields for obvious reasons. I have been scratching my head over this for quite a while, but I can’t seem to find any setting that changes this.

The only thing I found on the subject (in the documentation) is that Omeka is utilizing the ‘Zend’ framework and that changing some code will alter form-field-types, but surely there must be an easier way to do this in the backend, right?

I hope someone can push me in the right direction!

Thanks & regards,


For dropdowns, you can use the Simple Vocab plugin.

Thank you, I will try that plugin.

However I still have the feeling I’m missing something obvious… I hope it’s not a dumb question - I just started using Omeka so please beare with me;) … But nobody is, for instance, inserting their date-fields into text-area fields, right? And hopefully it is possible to change the text-input fields into radio/checkbox types as well…?

Those can be done with plugins, but by default all the fields are text-input.

There used to be a Date plugin, but I can no longer find it on GitHub.

Omeka is designed to work with a broad range of data. We have people using it for oral histories, public health posters, congressional archives, personal papers, photographs, protest archives… as such, it is built to be as flexible as possible. We allow for a variety of date formats because while someone working with 20th century media might be able to input a specific date, an art historian or medievalist needs to be able to enter “14th century” or “ca. 1620”

Looks like the Date plugin was folded into ElementTypes (though the documentation there seems outdated).

Thank you mebrett. While I understand that Omeka was designed to serve a wide array of needs, I don’t think it is good practice to store a date field as a string in the database. Imo a string like “14th century” should be stored in another field (like date description / comment). If the database structure does not match with (expected) user-input, it will eventually become very difficult - if not impossible - to develop a professional application based on that structure… It would become, for instance, impossible to sort results chronologically or to sort/filter results based on date-fields.

Thank you patrickmj, the “Element types” plugin offers some more flexibility, especially in combination with the “Taxonomy” plugin. It still doesn’t give me enough control over the form-field types though. It looks like I’ll have to start learning more about the Zend-framework and figure out how to alter the forms/views…

Hopefully, you won’t have to dig all the way down to Zend. Omeka provides a lot of filters to use for those kinds of tasks. ElementInput is one that you’ll probably want to look at.

Also look into how that Element Types plugin works, as well as SimpleVocab. SimpleVocab is in some ways more complex, and does move more toward underlying Zend stuff, but it might be a good example to work from.

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