In a Django form, how to 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
            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
        form = ItemUpdateForm()

Best Solution

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
            self.fields['sku'].widget.attrs['readonly'] = True

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

Or, replace if instance and 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.

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