How to Build Horizontal Forms with Gravity Forms

May 19, 2022: Updated to support GF 2.5's layout editor, GF 2.6's inline submit button and using multi-input fields (like the Name field).

May 19, 2022: Updated to support GF 2.5's layout editor, GF 2.6's inline submit button and using multi-input fields (like the Name field).

By default, Gravity Forms outputs it’s forms in a vertical (or column) format. This just means that the form fields are stacked on top of one another all the way down the form. This is ideal for most forms but there are some cases where you may want to display your form with a horizontal layout instead. This means the form fields are displayed side by side, in a row, also allowing for an inline submit button.

Gravity Forms can actually get you a decent way towards this goal using the powerful Gravity Forms CSS Class and the drag and drop editor. This method of creating horizontal forms does have some limitations. Here’s an example using the helper styles we provide later in this tutorial.

How to create Gravity Forms with a Horizontal Layout

Step 1 – Align Fields Using Drag and Drop Editor

Go to whichever form you’d like to layout horizontally. Using the the Drag and Drop editor, align the fields in your form horizontally by dragging the fields into the Column Drop Zones.

To place the Submit button at the end of the form, first select it, then navigate to the Appearance tab. Set the Submit Button Location to End of the last row.

At this point your Gravity Form is now a horizontal form!

There are two additional steps we can take to make this even more streamlined.

Step 2 – Hide the Field Label and Sub Labels

In many cases when implementing a horizontal form, you are putting it in location without a ton of room. We can hide the labels and use placeholders to save a little space. Visit the Appearance tab on each field and set visibility to Hidden in the Field Label Visibility and Sub-Label Placement drop down fields.

After applying this configuration, your form should now look something like this:

Step 3 – Add Helper Styles

We’re inching closer to something good here… but you might notice that some of the fields aren’t properly aligned and the submit button is larger than the inputs. Here are some simple helper styles that can act as a starting point to get your horizontal form styled more consistently.

This code can be copied and pasted into your theme’s style.css stylesheet file. Keep in mind, theme styles are not loaded in preview so you might want to check out Gravity Forms Live Preview for an easy way to preview your forms directly in your WordPress theme.

.gw-horizontal-form_wrapper .ginput_container input,
.gw-horizontal-form_wrapper .ginput_container select,
.gw-horizontal-form_wrapper #field_submit input.button {
	height: 2.4rem;
}

.gw-horizontal-form_wrapper #field_submit input.button {
	padding: 0 1.4rem;
}

.gw-horizontal-form_wrapper .gform_fields {
	grid-column-gap: 1vw !important;
}

.gw-horizontal-form_wrapper .ginput_complex span:not(:first-child) {
	padding-left: 1vw !important;
}

Step 4 – Add gw-horizontal-form to the Form’s CSS Class Name Setting

Now we need to apply those helper styles to our form. We’ll do this by setting the helper class on our form settings.

Visit the Form Settings for the form you want to convert and add the gw-horizontal-form class to the CSS Class Name setting.

After applying the helper class to your form, the final result will look something like this:

Limitations

  1. This method works best for simple forms with only a few fields.
  2. This method isn’t a “final” solution but it should get you exactly 93% of the way there.
  3. This method requires some additional customization to handle responsive styling e.g. for column layouts.

The pros are that it’s available with the Gravity Forms WordPress plugin out of the box and doesn’t require too much effort to get everything looking just right without using add-ons.

What questions do you still have?

Do you still have any questions about how to build horizontal forms with the Gravity Forms plugin in WordPress? We’d love to know what they are.

Comments

  1. Jeffrey Phillips
    Jeffrey Phillips March 15, 2022 at 6:49 pm

    I’m looking at the current Gravity Forms documentation on gf_simple_horizontal and see this: “This class is deprecated by the submit button being built directly into the Form Editor in Gravity Forms 2.6.” I was only able to get good results by setting a fixed width on the email field, otherwise it was short.

    Do you have any updated thoughts? Thanks!

    1. Dario Space
      Dario Space Staff March 15, 2022 at 6:54 pm

      Hi Jeffrey,

      It seems the Submit button on GF 2.6 it’s available in the Form Editor and lets you set the width of the button in the Appearance tab. I would suggest reaching out to Gravity Forms support about this question.

      Cheers.

  2. Chris L-S
    Chris L-S April 20, 2021 at 1:09 pm

    Hi –

    Any thoughts on how to make validation errors (like required field needs to be entered) not mess up the formatting of horizontal forms?

    Thanks!

    1. Dario Space
      Dario Space Staff April 20, 2021 at 1:52 pm

      Hi Chris,

      This is possible with custom CSS but will differ per theme and form. With Gravity Form 2.5 you will be able to setup the fields as blocks which will make it even easier.

  3. Ruud
    Ruud May 10, 2020 at 4:46 pm

    Applied one of the codes mentioned above and now at least the field and button are aligned and centered.

    (Green newsletter signup form at) https://www.alettahelena.com

    Now, I would like to have fields and button using the entire available space.

    Any suggestion would be honestly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance!

  4. Stuart
    Stuart March 12, 2020 at 3:20 pm

    Hi, I’m getting some strange behaviour with this one. I apply the css classes as described. It then “hides” my email field label and reduces the size of the email field box.

    any thoughts on why that would be and how to rectify?

    Thanks, Stuart

    1. Jason
      Jason March 18, 2020 at 10:41 pm

      It’s not working for me either, maybe GF have changed something on the CSS side that is causing issues with this?

    2. Ryan Donovan
      Ryan Donovan March 19, 2020 at 9:31 am

      Hey Jason, Excellent question. This seems to be a default interaction with gf_simple_horizontal. This only works with the “top label” form layout option. When added to “CSS Class Name” in your form settings will create a very simple horizontal form layout (think simple email address field and inline form button). The field label is hidden so using the placeholder option for the field is recommended. Please note that this works best on very simple, single-input field types. Also, it works best if you set the input size to “large” in the field settings. Let us know if you have any other questions.😀

  5. Robert Norcross
    Robert Norcross December 26, 2019 at 4:16 pm

    Is it possible to do this for mobile? Obviously wouldn’t make sense with a lot of fields, but we have 1 field and a “send” button.

    1. David Smith
      David Smith Staff January 7, 2020 at 3:35 pm

      I would expect this to work in mobile now. Do you have an example of what you’ve implemented with this so far?

    1. Scott Ryer
      Scott Ryer Staff November 20, 2019 at 10:40 am

      Hi Annette, thanks for reaching out to us via Gravity Perks support. I wanted to follow up here for the benefit of other folks having this issue.

      The difference in styling between Chrome and Firefox was due to some existing CSS in the site’s theme. If you run into this, you can simply add this to your theme’s style sheet to force the form to 100% width in both browsers:

      http://snippi.com/s/13yiw81

  6. Andrew Peters
    Andrew Peters September 26, 2019 at 12:57 pm

    Is there a way to just make the submit button inline with the very last field?

    Like I want my whole form to be three lines. The first two lines would each have two questions, the last line would have one question then the Submit button.

  7. Chris
    Chris July 11, 2019 at 8:50 pm

    Thanks for this tutorial.

    I’m trying to add the form to a newsletter template that came with my theme. When I added the “gf_simple_horizontal” and “gf_inline” appropriately, the email field became smaller.

    Is there a way to increase the length of the email field (it’s in large already)?

    1. David Smith
      David Smith Staff July 12, 2019 at 8:10 am

      Hi Chris, the form-level classes override some of the styles on the form elements. You would need to use CSS to set a desired width on your Email field.

  8. Shmuel
    Shmuel April 4, 2019 at 5:37 pm

    How can I accomplish the same look for a multi-page form so that the next button would be in place of the submit button with same inline style?

    1. Cavtec
      Cavtec March 7, 2019 at 11:31 am

      Naturally the form appears to be aligned to the left. Is there a container or ready class to centralise this?

    2. David Smith
      David Smith Staff March 11, 2019 at 8:10 am

      I think I’m still misunderstanding? The “gf_simple_horizontal_wrapper” is the class to use to centralize this behavior.

    3. Brian
      Brian April 3, 2019 at 8:26 pm

      I’m having the same issue, I have have the gf_simple_horizontal set with gf_inline on all 3 input fields and the form is left justified left rather than center.

      https://termitetiger.com/test/

      I’m using Divi theme.

      Any clue why it is left rather than center justified?

    4. David Smith
      David Smith Staff April 3, 2019 at 9:19 pm

      Hi Brian, this is the default behavior of the gf_simple_horizontal ready class. You would need additional custom CSS to center it.

  9. Marianne
    Marianne March 28, 2018 at 5:04 pm

    how do you change the size of the fields for horizontal forms? I want only an email field with a button. The field size never changes. I tried selecting “small”, “medium” and “large”

    1. David Smith
      David Smith Staff April 11, 2018 at 11:37 am

      Looks like Gravity Forms doesn’t support this in this context. You would need to use CSS to set the sizes manually.

  10. ed
    ed January 30, 2018 at 4:48 am

    Do you have anything in your kit to add a modal box helper at the end of a field title for the person completing the form, much in the same way that the admin panel has them with the ‘?’ and when you hover additional explanation comes up. As some fields only display conditionally it needs to be in with the form title. I don’t want to swamp the form with extensive text in the description field that is offered. Thanks

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  13. Rachel R.
    Rachel R. November 23, 2016 at 6:53 pm

    Do you know if there’s a way to make only part of form horizontal?

    Two or three fields can be placed on the same line with the “thirds” or “halves” style options — but not the submit button. So I have, for instance, some HTML fields I want above, and then a name, address, and submit button below that I’d like to be in a line. I can get the name and address on the same line, but I can’t seem to control the placement of the submit button.

    (Also, your readers should be aware that under normal circumstances, hiding the field labels and relying on placeholder text alone is bad practice. Screen readers, etc. used for accessibility purposes won’t read the placeholder; they need the label.)

    1. David Smith
      David Smith Staff November 23, 2016 at 8:52 pm

      Thanks, Rachel, I thought we had a mention in here about accessibility but it was actually on this other article.

      In regards to your question, I do not know of a ready solution for making only part of the form horizontal outside of the ready classes you already mentioned. You’d have to write some custom CSS to wrangle the submit button into it’s desired location.

    2. Rachel R.
      Rachel R. November 23, 2016 at 9:04 pm

      Well, drat. I was hoping there might be an easy way. This CSS newbie is struggling with all the CSS wrangling to get a decent-looking form. .lol

      Thank you!

  14. makii
    makii August 13, 2016 at 12:39 pm

    Hi, I tried gf_simple_horizontal with just an email field. But the field does not resize–it stays at small whether I select large or medium.

    Any suggestions? Thx!

    1. David Smith
      David Smith Staff August 14, 2016 at 7:45 am

      Hi Makil, the gf_simple_horizontal class overrides some of GF’s other styles, including the size setting. You can manually override the width for any input by adding a custom style to your theme’s stylesheet:

      input#input_1418_1 { width: 500px; }

      Where “1418” is your own form ID and the “1” is your field ID. Template: input#input_FORMID_FIELDID

  15. faithbegins
    faithbegins June 15, 2016 at 9:19 am

    I would like to Create 4 column table in Gravity form can you provide me the code

    Local Guardian (If Any): S.No Name Relationship Address (w/ tel. no.)

    Form & output should be like Table

Comments are closed.

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