The form Submit method and event

Anybody with any programming experience starting to use JavaScript would expect that when they call a form's submit() method the corresponding onSubmit() event would be triggered. This is not the case.

For example, say that a document has the following function in its JS Header:

function FormSubmit( formObjecct ){
if ( formObject.Country.value=="") {
alert('You need to the Country field in');
return false
} else {
return true

and the document has a form whose tag is:

<form name="_prj" onSubmit="FormSubmit( this )" method="post" action="....

This is all well and good as long as you use a "standard" submit button on the form:

<input type="submit" name="Submit" value="Submit This Form">

But if you needed to call this Submit method explicitly, from a function, button, anchor link etc then calling this method does not call the onSubmit() event:

<a href="JavaScript: document._prj.submit();">Submit Form</a>

In order to validate the form first the code would need to be:

if ( document._prj.onsubmit() ) document._prj.submit();


<a href="JavaScript: if (document._prj.onsubmit()) document._prj.submit();">Submit Form</a>

Note: In R4.6 if you have a button that uses the following formula:

@Command([FileSave]); @Command([FileCloseWindow])

The resulting JavaScript calls the Submit method whilst ignoring the onSubmit event.

In R5 this has been rectified and the same button produces script that accounts for the onSubmit.


    • avatar
    • emo
    • Wed 1 Sep 2004

    no onSubmit

    and if I don't always have the onSubmit() ??

    • avatar
    • Juan
    • Wed 23 Feb 2005

    This is unlogical !!

    I had the problem with the submit method, and i find this so unlogical that it takes me time to think it could be that ! But all you write is totaly write, thanks !

    • avatar
    • crab
    • Thu 24 Feb 2005

    i simply do this

    I simply do this to submit the form and invoke the onSubmit event by Javascript:

    function submitFormWithOnSubmitEventFired(f) { if (f.onsubmit()) { f.submit(); } }

  1. Doesn't work with dynamically added events

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but calling form.onsubmit() works great only IF you've actually got an onsubmit event specified in the form tag as <form onsubmit="somefunction()">. But if you add events programmatically, e.g. addEventListener, this seems to fail.

    • avatar
    • Kip
    • Tue 16 Sep 2008


    This was really confusing me and I finally found your post via Google and finally the problem is solved... thank you.

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Author: Jake Howlett
Category: JavaScript
Keywords: Form; submit; onsubmit; validate;


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