In a Django form, how do I make a field readonly (or disabled) so that it cannot be edited?

In a Django form, how do I make a field readonly (or disabled) so that it cannot be edited?

In a Django form, how do I make a field read-only (or disabled)?
When the form is being used to create a new entry, all fields should be enabled - but when the record is in update mode some fields need to be read-only.
For example, when creating a new Item model, all fields must be editable, but while updating the record, is there a way to disable the sku field so that it is visible, but cannot be edited?
class Item(models.Model):
    sku = models.CharField(max_length=50)
    description = models.CharField(max_length=200)
    added_by = models.ForeignKey(User)


class ItemForm(ModelForm):
    class Meta:
        model = Item
        exclude = ('added_by')

def new_item_view(request):
    if request.method == 'POST':
        form = ItemForm(request.POST)
        # Validate and save
    else:
            form = ItemForm()
    # Render the view

Can class ItemForm be reused? What changes would be required in the ItemForm or Item model class? Would I need to write another class, "ItemUpdateForm", for updating the item?
def update_item_view(request):
    if request.method == 'POST':
        form = ItemUpdateForm(request.POST)
        # Validate and save
    else:
        form = ItemUpdateForm()

Solutions/Answers:

Answer 1:

As pointed out in this answer, Django 1.9 added the Field.disabled attribute:

The disabled boolean argument, when set to True, disables a form field using the disabled HTML attribute so that it won’t be editable by users. Even if a user tampers with the field’s value submitted to the server, it will be ignored in favor of the value from the form’s initial data.

With Django 1.8 and earlier, to disable entry on the widget and prevent malicious POST hacks you must scrub the input in addition to setting the readonly attribute on the form field:

class ItemForm(ModelForm):
    def __init__(self, *args, **kwargs):
        super(ItemForm, self).__init__(*args, **kwargs)
        instance = getattr(self, 'instance', None)
        if instance and instance.pk:
            self.fields['sku'].widget.attrs['readonly'] = True

    def clean_sku(self):
        instance = getattr(self, 'instance', None)
        if instance and instance.pk:
            return instance.sku
        else:
            return self.cleaned_data['sku']

Or, replace if instance and instance.pk with another condition indicating you’re editing. You could also set the attribute disabled on the input field, instead of readonly.

The clean_sku function will ensure that the readonly value won’t be overridden by a POST.

Otherwise, there is no built-in Django form field which will render a value while rejecting bound input data. If this is what you desire, you should instead create a separate ModelForm that excludes the uneditable field(s), and just print them inside your template.

Answer 2:

Django 1.9 added the Field.disabled attribute: https://docs.djangoproject.com/en/stable/ref/forms/fields/#disabled

The disabled boolean argument, when set to True, disables a form field using the disabled HTML attribute so that it won’t be editable by users. Even if a user tampers with the field’s value submitted to the server, it will be ignored in favor of the value from the form’s initial data.

Answer 3:

Setting readonly on a widget only makes the input in the browser read-only. Adding a clean_sku which returns instance.sku ensures the field value will not change on form level.

def clean_sku(self):
    if self.instance: 
        return self.instance.sku
    else: 
        return self.fields['sku']

This way you can use model’s (unmodified save) and avoid getting the field required error.

Answer 4:

awalker’s answer helped me a lot!

I’ve changed his example to work with Django 1.3, using get_readonly_fields.

Usually you should declare something like this in app/admin.py:

class ItemAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    ...
    readonly_fields = ('url',)

I’ve adapted in this way:

# In the admin.py file
class ItemAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):
    ...
    def get_readonly_fields(self, request, obj=None):
        if obj:
            return ['url']
        else:
            return []

And it works fine. Now if you add an Item, the url field is read-write, but on change it becomes read-only.

Answer 5:

To make this work for a ForeignKey field, a few changes need to be made. Firstly, the SELECT HTML tag does not have the readonly attribute. We need to use disabled="disabled" instead. However, then the browser doesn’t send any form data back for that field. So we need to set that field to not be required so that the field validates correctly. We then need to reset the value back to what it used to be so it’s not set to blank.

So for foreign keys you will need to do something like:

class ItemForm(ModelForm):

    def __init__(self, *args, **kwargs):
        super(ItemForm, self).__init__(*args, **kwargs)
        instance = getattr(self, 'instance', None)
        if instance and instance.id:
            self.fields['sku'].required = False
            self.fields['sku'].widget.attrs['disabled'] = 'disabled'

    def clean_sku(self):
        # As shown in the above answer.
        instance = getattr(self, 'instance', None)
        if instance:
            return instance.sku
        else:
            return self.cleaned_data.get('sku', None)

This way the browser won’t let the user change the field, and will always POST as it it was left blank. We then override the clean method to set the field’s value to be what was originally in the instance.

Answer 6:

For Django 1.2+, you can override the field like so:

sku = forms.CharField(widget = forms.TextInput(attrs={'readonly':'readonly'}))

Answer 7:

I made a MixIn class which you may inherit to be able to add a read_only iterable field which will disable and secure fields on the non-first edit:

(Based on Daniel’s and Muhuk’s answers)

from django import forms
from django.db.models.manager import Manager

# I used this instead of lambda expression after scope problems
def _get_cleaner(form, field):
    def clean_field():
         value = getattr(form.instance, field, None)
         if issubclass(type(value), Manager):
             value = value.all()
         return value
    return clean_field

class ROFormMixin(forms.BaseForm):
    def __init__(self, *args, **kwargs):
        super(ROFormMixin, self).__init__(*args, **kwargs)
        if hasattr(self, "read_only"):
            if self.instance and self.instance.pk:
                for field in self.read_only:
                    self.fields[field].widget.attrs['readonly'] = "readonly"
                    setattr(self, "clean_" + field, _get_cleaner(self, field))

# Basic usage
class TestForm(AModelForm, ROFormMixin):
    read_only = ('sku', 'an_other_field')

Answer 8:

I’ve just created the simplest possible widget for a readonly field – I don’t really see why forms don’t have this already:

class ReadOnlyWidget(widgets.Widget):
    """Some of these values are read only - just a bit of text..."""
    def render(self, _, value, attrs=None):
        return value

In the form:

my_read_only = CharField(widget=ReadOnlyWidget())

Very simple – and gets me just output. Handy in a formset with a bunch of read only values.
Of course – you could also be a bit more clever and give it a div with the attrs so you can append classes to it.

Answer 9:

I ran across a similar problem.
It looks like I was able to solve it by defining a “get_readonly_fields” method in my ModelAdmin class.

Something like this:

# In the admin.py file

class ItemAdmin(admin.ModelAdmin):

    def get_readonly_display(self, request, obj=None):
        if obj:
            return ['sku']
        else:
            return []

The nice thing is that obj will be None when you are adding a new Item, or it will be the object being edited when you are changing an existing Item.

get_readonly_display is documented here:
http://docs.djangoproject.com/en/1.2/ref/contrib/admin/#modeladmin-methods

Answer 10:

One simple option is to just type form.instance.fieldName in the template instead of form.fieldName.

Answer 11:

How I do it with Django 1.11 :

class ItemForm(ModelForm):
    disabled_fields = ('added_by',)

    class Meta:
        model = Item
        fields = '__all__'

    def __init__(self, *args, **kwargs):
        super(ItemForm, self).__init__(*args, **kwargs)
        for field in self.disabled_fields:
            self.fields[field].disabled = True

Answer 12:

As a useful addition to Humphrey’s post, I had some issues with django-reversion, because it still registered disabled fields as ‘changed’. The following code fixes the problem.

class ItemForm(ModelForm):

    def __init__(self, *args, **kwargs):
        super(ItemForm, self).__init__(*args, **kwargs)
        instance = getattr(self, 'instance', None)
        if instance and instance.id:
            self.fields['sku'].required = False
            self.fields['sku'].widget.attrs['disabled'] = 'disabled'

    def clean_sku(self):
        # As shown in the above answer.
        instance = getattr(self, 'instance', None)
        if instance:
            try:
                self.changed_data.remove('sku')
            except ValueError, e:
                pass
            return instance.sku
        else:
            return self.cleaned_data.get('sku', None)

Answer 13:

As I can’t yet comment (muhuk’s solution), I’ll response as a separate answer. This is a complete code example, that worked for me:

def clean_sku(self):
  if self.instance and self.instance.pk:
    return self.instance.sku
  else:
    return self.cleaned_data['sku']

Answer 14:

Yet again, I am going to offer one more solution 🙂 I was using Humphrey’s code, so this is based off of that.

However, I ran into issues with the field being a ModelChoiceField. Everything would work on the first request. However, if the formset tried to add a new item and failed validation, something was going wrong with the “existing” forms where the SELECTED option was being reset to the default ---------.

Anyway, I couldn’t figure out how to fix that. So instead, (and I think this is actually cleaner in the form), I made the fields HiddenInputField(). This just means you have to do a little more work in the template.

So the fix for me was to simplify the Form:

class ItemForm(ModelForm):

    def __init__(self, *args, **kwargs):
        super(ItemForm, self).__init__(*args, **kwargs)
        instance = getattr(self, 'instance', None)
        if instance and instance.id:
            self.fields['sku'].widget=HiddenInput()

And then in the template, you’ll need to do some manual looping of the formset.

So, in this case you would do something like this in the template:

<div>
    {{ form.instance.sku }} <!-- This prints the value -->
    {{ form }} <!-- Prints form normally, and makes the hidden input -->
</div>

This worked a little better for me and with less form manipulation.

References