django-floppyforms is an application that gives you full control of the output of forms rendering. The forms API and features are exactly the same as Django’s, the key difference is that fields and widgets are rendered in templates instead of using string interpolation, giving you full control of the output using Django templates.

The widgets API allows you to customize and extend the widgets behaviour, making it very easy to define custom widgets. The default widgets are very similar to the default Django widgets, except that they implement some nice features of HTML5 forms, such as the placeholder and required attribute, as well as the new <input> types. For more information, read this if you haven’t yet.

The form rendering API is a set of template tags that lets you render forms using custom layouts. This is very similar to Django’s as_p, as_ul or as_table, except that you can customize and add layouts to your convenience.

The source code is hosted on github.


Depending on your Django and python versions, you might want to install a specific version of django-floppyforms instead of the latest and greatest.

Floppyforms version Minimal Django version Python versions
1.0 1.3 2.5 - 2.7
1.1 1.4.2 2.6, 2.7, 3.3

Two-step process to install django-floppyforms:

  • pip install django-floppyforms==<version_number>
  • Add 'floppyforms' to your INSTALLED_APPS

When you’re done you can jump to the usage section. For the impatient reader, there’s also an examples section.

Additional notes


Feel free to join the #django-floppyforms IRC channel on freenode.


  • 1.1.1 (2014-01-21):
    • Fix for Django 1.6
    • Fix for GIS widgets on Django 1.4 and some versions of GEOS.
  • 1.1 (2013-02-13):
    • Added GenericIPAddressField.
    • Django 1.5 and Python 3.3 support added.
    • Django 1.3 support dropped.
    • GIS widgets switched to stable OpenLayers release instead of a dev build.
    • Fixed Textarea widget template to work with a non-empty TEMPLATE_STRING_IF_INVALID setting. Thanks to Leon Matthews for the report.
    • Fixed context handling in widget rendering. It didn’t take care of popping the context as often as it was pushed onto. This could cause strange behaviour in the template by leaking variables into outer scopes. Thanks to David Danier for the report.
    • Added missing empty choice for selectboxes in SelectDateWidget. Thanks fsx999 for the report.
    • IntegerField now automatically passes its min_value and max_value (if provided) to the NumberInput widget.
    • Added basic support for <datalist> elements for suggestions in Input widgets.
    • date, datetime and time inputs are not localized anymore. The HTML5 spec requires the rendered values to be RFC3339-compliant and the browsers are in charge of localization. If you still want localized date/time inputs, use those provided by Django or override the _format_value() method of the relevant widgets.
  • v1.0:
    • cleaned up the behaviour of attrs
    • compatible with Django 1.3 and 1.4
    • <optgroup> support in select widgets
    • Select widgets: renamed choices context variable to optgroups. This is backwards-incompatible: if you have custom templates for Select widgets, they need to be updated.
    • get_context() is more reliable
    • Added form, formrow, formfield, formconfig and widget template tags.
    • Added template-based form layout system.
    • Added ability to render widgets with the broader page context, for instance for django-sekizai compatibility.
  • v0.4:
    • All widgets from Django have their floppyforms equivalent
    • Added widgets for GeoDjango

Why the name?

  • There aren’t enough packages with silly names in the Django community. So, here’s one more.
  • The name reflects the idea that a widget can take any kind of shape, if that makes any sense.


Each time a widget is rendered, there is a template inclusion. To what extent does it affect performance? You can try with this little script:

import timeit

django = """from django import forms

class DjangoForm(forms.Form):
    text = forms.CharField()
    slug = forms.SlugField()
    some_bool = forms.BooleanField()
    email = forms.EmailField()
    date = forms.DateTimeField()
    file_ = forms.FileField()

rendered = DjangoForm().as_p()"""

flop = """import floppyforms as forms

class FloppyForm(forms.Form):
    text = forms.CharField()
    slug = forms.SlugField()
    some_bool = forms.BooleanField()
    email = forms.EmailField()
    date = forms.DateTimeField()
    file_ = forms.FileField()

rendered = FloppyForm().as_p()"""

def time(stmt):
    t = timeit.Timer(stmt=stmt)
    return t.timeit(number=1000)

print "Plain django:", time(django)
print "django-floppyforms:", time(flop)

The result varies if you’re doing template caching or not. To put it simply, here is the average time for a single iteration on a MacBookPro @ 2.53GHz.

Method Time without template caching Time with template caching
Plain Django 1.63973999023 msec 1.6320669651 msec
django-floppyforms 9.05481505394 msec 3.0161819458 msec

Even with template caching, the rendering time is doubled. However the impact is probably not noticeable since rendering the form above takes 3 milliseconds instead of 1.6: it still takes no time :). The use of template caching in production is, of course, encouraged.

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