Jquery – Resetting a multi-stage form with jQuery


I have a form with a standard reset button coded thusly:

<input type="reset" class="button standard" value="Clear" />

Trouble is, said form is of the multi-stage sort, so if a user fills out a stage & then returns later, the 'remembered' values for the various fields won't reset when the Clear button is clicked.

I'm thinking that attaching a jQuery function to loop over all the fields and clear them 'manually' would do the trick. I'm already using jQuery within the form, but am only just getting up to speed & so am not sure how to go about this, other than individually referencing each field by ID, which doesn't seem very efficient.

TIA for any help.

Best Solution

updated on March 2012.

So, two years after I originally answered this question I come back to see that it has pretty much turned into a big mess. I feel it's about time I come back to it and make my answer truly correct since it is the most upvoted + accepted.

For the record, Titi's answer is wrong as it is not what the original poster asked for - it is correct that it is possible to reset a form using the native reset() method, but this question is trying to clear a form off of remembered values that would remain in the form if you reset it this way. This is why a "manual" reset is needed. I assume most people ended up in this question from a Google search and are truly looking for the reset() method, but it does not work for the specific case the OP is talking about.

My original answer was this:

// not correct, use answer below
.not(':button, :submit, :reset, :hidden')

Which might work for a lot of cases, including for the OP, but as pointed out in the comments and in other answers, will clear radio/checkbox elements from any value attributes.

A more correct answer (but not perfect) is:

function resetForm($form) {
    $form.find('input:text, input:password, input:file, select, textarea').val('');
    $form.find('input:radio, input:checkbox')

// to call, use:
resetForm($('#myform')); // by id, recommended
resetForm($('form[name=myName]')); // by name

Using the :text, :radio, etc. selectors by themselves is considered bad practice by jQuery as they end up evaluating to *:text which makes it take much longer than it should. I do prefer the whitelist approach and wish I had used it in my original answer. Anyhow, by specifying the input part of the selector, plus the cache of the form element, this should make it the best performing answer here.

This answer might still have some flaws if people's default for select elements is not an option that has a blank value, but it is certainly as generic as it is going to get and this would need to be handled on a case-by-case basis.