Custom formats for the Phone field in your form

  

Predefined form fields are the easiest to use – you drag them to your form, the end. The field label and format are self-explanatory and predefined validation gets you nothing but the information you’ve asked for.

The problem with predefined form fields, quite self-obvious itself, is that they are less flexible. While very suitable for specific situations, they can quickly become a reason for frustration.

We’ve experienced this with our predefined Phone field. Most US users are thrilled about it. Non-US users get righteously upset with this form field from time to time. The US standard is unusable for them and they have to use a simple Number field to get the job done.

Well, they had to. Because, as you’ve probably noticed (or will notice in the close future), we are more and more preoccupied with increasing usability for users from all parts of the world. And today we’re releasing an improved Phone field.

It’s predefined, yet customizable. Three input boxes linked by dashes, one hash key below each digit and numeric field validation – these stay the same. However, you’ve got a menu called Number Format where you can establish the number of digits each box will accept. This way, no matter what your country’s standard phone number format is, you’ll be able to use the Phone field in that precise format.

How to do it? Go to your Form Editor, add a Phone field and, in its Edit Field panel on the left side of the page, select your preferred format. If you believe there might be any room for confusion for users (especially in what including or leaving out the country calling code are concerned), use Field Instructions to provide an example.

Here are some of the custom phone number formats available at the moment:

Denmark field for phone number: NN-NN-NNNN (2-2-4)
France, Australia, Brazil field for phone number: NN-NNNN-NNNN (2-4-4)
Polland, Spain field for phone number: NNN-NNN-NNN (3-3-3)
US, Canada, Mexico field for phone number: NNN-NNN-NNNN (3-3-4)
The Netherlands, Switzerland field for phone number: NNNN-NN-NNNNNNNN (4-2-8)
Quebec, UK field for phone number: NNNN-NNN-NNNN (4-3-4)
Romania field for phone number: NNNN-NNN-NNNNNN (4-3-6)
Italy field for phone number: NNNN-NNN-NNNNNNN (4-3-7)
Germany field for phone number: NNNN-NNNN-NNNNNN (4-4-6)

If you need any other phone number format to be added to the list, let us know in the Comments section and we’ll add it straight away.

Read more about custom format for phone form fields.

About the Author

Alexandra Draghici is the Project Manager of 123ContactForm. She tracks our project development and acts as a link between departments. Alexandra likes web technologies and teaching online and offline.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 25th, 2012 at 4:59 pm and is filed under Tips & Tricks. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

10 Responses to “Custom formats for the Phone field in your form”

  1. Caio M Says:

    Just to make it clear: The phone format in Brazil is 2-4-4 not 5-4-4, it can be 3-4-4 but it’s common to use the 2-4-4 format.

  2. Cynthia Says:

    South Africa telephone format to add please:
    ###-###-####
    Thank You

  3. Cynthia Says:

    Oops, sorry, see it’s already the same as US.
    Thanks : -)

  4. Alexandra Says:

    Hey Cynthia,
    Yes, but it’s very good that you did point this out. Thanks a bunch!

  5. Alexandra Says:

    Hey Caio, thanks for the remark. We’ve adjusted our documentation accordingly.

  6. Sean Gates Says:

    I believe the proper formats for UK and DE are:

    UK: 5-6 (NNNNN-NNNNNN)
    DE: 6-8 (NNNNNN-NNNNNNNN)

    Here are the reasons why:

    UK: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_numbers_in_the_United_Kingdom

    DE: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Telephone_numbers_in_Germany

    You basically have variability in both, and you must be able to validate the prefixes according to the specification. Otherwise, you may be confusing those who are entering data into your forms.

    Thanks for the information, nonetheless. It’s very constructive.

  7. Dan Says:

    I have a case that perhaps is a bit unusual.
    I’m building a form that is intended for people from several countries in Europe (UK, Germany, Belgium and a few others later).
    Asking for their phone number would be impossible using the current Phone field.
    I think the most open-ended, flexible solution to this situation would be to add an option to this field type, that removes the format validation and provides the longest format available (for example: 4-3-7, or add international code box like 3-4-3-7).
    That way, both shorter and longer numbers, including international codes, could be entered and would not give a validation error. (I would also remove the ### signs below the field, when this option is turned on).
    It would be great if you could implement this as I need it in my form asap. (otherwise, I would just have to use a regular text field. and that’s just… not fun. :) )

  8. Adina Says:

    Hello Dan,

    I understand you would need 4-3-7 or 3-4-3-7 number format for the telephone field.

    If you go to My forms -> click on the form -> Edit -> click on the Phone field, on the left side you can see Number Format and from the dropdown list you can select the number format 4-3-7.

    Regarding the 3-4-3-7 number format, unfortunately this is not possible. We can only create 3-sections number format.

    But, using the custom validation feature, you can create the format that you want and use Instructions to inform about the expected output of the phone field. Here is an example for the 3-4-3-7 number format:
    1 – Add a number field
    2 – under Field Validation select Custom
    3 – in the box that appears under Field Validation write: NNN-NNNN-NNN-NNNNNNN (N= numeric (digit))
    4 – In the Instructions box provide information about the expected output of the phone field.

    Here you can read more about custom validation:
    http://www.123contactform.com/docs/field-validation/

  9. Frank Cross Says:

    i am trying to fill out a form for the USA it requires 3 3 4 format for the phone number how can I put in my Australian mobile phone number ?????
    regards
    frank.

  10. Laura Moisei Says:

    Frank, if you are trying to create a form with us that includes a Phone field and you wish to format it to accept Australian mobile numbers, just choose the suitable format from the Number Format dropdown in the editor. We support 4-3-3s and 2-4-4s among others, so I trust you will find the good match. If you are looking to fill in a form that’s not created with our service and offers a different phone format, you should probably contact the owner (and maybe tell him to re-build the form with us :D)
    Thanks for dropping by!

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