Getting Help with TYPO3 – Powermail 101

by Virgil Huston in TYPO3 · 2 comments


For pre-Powermail 2.0

One of the great things about TYPO3 is that the core is relatively clean, yet the potential feature options are limitless due to extensions. One of the best extensions available is Powermail. It can handle a simple contact form to a multi-page monster form. From a TYPO3 agency perspective, it is easy to install, implement and speeds up the forms creation process. From a client/user perspective, it is easy to learn and use. For us, training clients on how to set up forms becomes a breeze.

This is a quick tutorial on using Powermail to set up a form, along with the most common settings. Full details may be found in the Powermail manual.

Once installed, it becomes a content type option:

Once selected, there are a number of options to set up. The options you use depend on your desired form, of course.

In the General tab, you have to have a header to identify the element. You can hide it from public view with the Type dropdown menu.

In the Formdata tab, you must enter a Formtitle. This identifies the element, but is not seen on the frontend. You must also set up and define a sysfolder to store the data from form submissions and select it in the Save mails in page area. This data may be downloaded later and manipulated for a number of purposes, depending on thye information submitted via the form.

The Fields tab is the heart of the system. More on this in a bit.

The Sender tab allows you to set parameters for the acknowledgement email sent to the person submitting the form

The Recipients tab defines the parameters for who gets the form submission via email and how the submission will look. This includes a Subject for recipient’s mail that is really useful when one person is receiving form submissions from multiple forms. The recipient is the email address to which the form submission is sent and there can be multiple recipients separated by a semi-colon. The email text for the recipient is set here. ###POWERMAIL### gives you the raw form results. You can make this as elegant as you wish.

The Answerpage tab defines the responses to the form submitter. It defines the email sent, just as the recipient email is defined and allows for the designation for a redirect page where the submitter is sent after form submission. Normally, this is a Thank you page.

The Access tab allows you to set a start and stop date for a given form. This is useful when running a time limited campaign and saves you the hassle of remembering (or forgetting) to turn a form off at the correct time.

Setting up Fieldsets and Fields

Fieldsets are logical divisions of your form fields and make management of forms, especially long ones, easier to manage. Below, there are three fieldsets in a Contact Form, Contact, Request, and Validate.

Within each formfield, you create one or more form fields. Below, in the Contact Fieldset, there are three fields, Name, Email, and Telephone.

Each field may be defined in multiple ways, such as text box, text area, radio button, and many other options. Each option provides for different options applicable to each filed type, including making it a mandatory field. I will explain these in more detail in a future tutorial. Suffice it to say that there is an incredible amount of flexibility here.

Finally, before I complete this introduction to Powermail, here is one tip. Normally, the Title of the field is what is seen on the frontend to show people what to enter:

However, sometimes the title, or question, is too long to to look good and makes your form look like garbage. For example,

You really can’t even tell what the question is. However, you can use two fifferent field types to make this look good:

The first field is a text field, which does not have anything to fill in, all it does is list the text. Then, you create a new field that can be filled in, with a short name. As above, this is “34. List areas *” a text area. You could also use any other type of fillable field type. This provides for a clean look. Note, * denotes a mandatory field.

Have fun with Powermail, if you start using it, you will never go back.

Originally posted January 31, 2009

Be Sociable, Share!

Related Entries

About Virgil Huston

Field Service Rep Journeyman at Raytheon in Afghanistan; Studied Ecological Anthropology at University of Georgia; Lives in North Augusta, South Carolina; Married to Lynn Huston

Previous post:

Next post: