How to Make Fields Comma (or tab) Delineated

the mail() function

Moderators: egami, macek, gesf

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Sat Sep 17, 2005 5:14 pm

Hi there,

I need to make the contents of a form either comma, or tab (or whatever works) delineated.
Given the following:

Code: Select all

    if (!is_array($HTTP_POST_VARS))
    while(list($key, $val) = each($HTTP_POST_VARS)) {
    $GLOBALS[$key] = $val;
    echo  "<b>$key</b> = $val<br>";
    $Message .= "$key = $val\n";

    if ($Header) {
    $Message = $Header."\n\n".$Message;

    if ($Footer) {
    $Message .= "\n\n".$Footer;

mail( "$MailToAddress", "$MailSubject", "$Message", "From: $requiredE-mail");

What would I need to do to make the fields delineated?

Thanks much :)

User avatar
Posts: 826
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2003 10:42 pm
Location: Michigan USA

Sat Sep 17, 2005 5:41 pm

If you have an array you can implode(',',$array) this will add in the comma after each value.


Sat Sep 17, 2005 6:00 pm

Hi Redcircle & thanks!
I don't believe I have an array.
Here is the URL of the form in question: ... nform.html

Any clues?


Sat Sep 17, 2005 6:30 pm

It might help to explain WHY I am trying to do this.
I want the form contents to have the capability of being imported into MS Access.
Would having the form's field inputs placed into a table be another way of doing this?
If so, how?
Sorry, I know very little about PHP -- mostly just html and javascript :(

User avatar
Posts: 826
Joined: Tue Jan 21, 2003 10:42 pm
Location: Michigan USA

Sat Sep 17, 2005 11:33 pm

what you can do is have the field names create an array


Code: Select all

<form method="post" action="">
<label for="name">Name: </label><input type="text" id="name" name="form[name]" />
<label for="email">Email: </label><input type="text" id="email" name="form[email]" />

<input type="submit" name="subUserForm" value="submit" />

when you post the form it will create an array called $_POST['form'] you can then implode the form to get the CSV's

Code: Select all

   $csv = implode(', ',$_POST['form']);

$csv will be your comma seperated string.


Sun Sep 18, 2005 9:58 am

I am afraid I am still confused. :?
Would I keep my initial php code and just add the snipped you included?
I found a php script, but it is way overkill for what I want to do, and only serves to confuse me.
I do not even think it is parsing the data corerectly because everything winds up in one cell in Access and excel.
Also, if someone puts in a comma in the form itself (ie "mileage=100,000), it stops all further data from being read.
I think I need a tab-delimited way of doing this.
Here is the script I am using:

Code: Select all

// email for send submitted forms //////////////////////////////////////////
// if empty, use value from form ('send_to' field)
$send_to = "";

// set $send_cc address if you need copy of mail to other addresses
// for example: $send_cc = array('', '');
$send_cc = array();

// Subject. if empty, use value from form ('subject' field)
$subject = "Feedback";

// Allowed Referres. Should be empty or list of domains
$referrers = array();

// Attachments
$attachment_enabled = 1;

////// Database - write CSV file with data of submitted forms //////////////
$database_enabled = 1;
$database_file = 'submissions.csv';

// Fields to collect
// $database_fields = '*' - mean all fields, as in form
// $database_fields = array('from', 'subject') - only 'from', 'subject' fields
$database_fields = '*';

////// Redirect user after submitting form
$redirect_url = 'thankyou.htm';

////// Auto-Responder
////// You can substitute any of form fields in response by using
////// %field_name% in response text.
$autoresponder_enabled = 0;
$autoresponder_from = $send_to;
$autoresponder_subject = "%subject% (autoresponse)";
$autoresponder_message = <<<MSG
Hi %name_from%,

Thank you for submitting the form. We will contact you shortly.


function do_formmail(){
    global $autoresponder_enabled, $database_enabled;
    $form      = get_form_data();
    $errors    = check_form($form);
    if ($errors) {
    if ($autoresponder_enabled)
    if ($database_enabled)

function redirect(){
    global $redirect_url;
    header("Location: $redirect_url");

function save_form($vars){
    global $database_file, $database_fields;
    $f = fopen($database_file, 'a');
    if (!$f){
        die("Cannot open db file for save");
    foreach ($vars as $k=>$v) {
        $vars[$k] = str_replace(array("|", "\r","\n"), array('_',' ',' '), $v);
    if (is_array($database_fields)) {
        $vars_orig = $vars;
        $vars = array();
        foreach ($database_fields as $k)
            $vars[$k] = $vars_orig[$k];
    $str = join('|', $vars);
    fwrite($f, $str."\n");

function auto_respond($vars){
    global $autoresponder_from, $autoresponder_message, $autoresponder_subject;
    /// replace all vars in message
    $msg = $autoresponder_message;
    preg_match_all('/%(.+?)%/', $msg, $out);
    $s_vars = $out[1]; //field list to substitute
    foreach ($s_vars as $k)
        $msg = str_replace("%$k%", $vars[$k], $msg);
    /// replace all vars in subject
    $subj = $autoresponder_subject;
    preg_match_all('/%(.+?)%/', $subj, $out);
    $s_vars = $out[1]; //field list to substitute
    foreach ($s_vars as $k)
        $subj = str_replace("%$k%", $vars[$k], $subj);
    $_send_to = "$vars[name_from] <".$vars[E_Mail].">";
    $_send_from = $autoresponder_from;
    mail($_send_to, $subj, $msg, "From: $_send_from");

function _build_fields($vars){
    $skip_fields = array(
    // order by numeric begin, if it exists
    $is_ordered = 0;
    foreach ($vars as $k=>$v)
        if (in_array($k, $skip_fields)) unset($vars[$k]);

    $new_vars = array();
    foreach ($vars as $k=>$v){
        // remove _num, _reqnum, _req from end of field names
        $k = preg_replace('/_(req|num|reqnum)$/', '', $k);
        // check if the fields is ordered
        if (preg_match('/^\d+[ \:_-]/', $k)) $is_ordered++;
        //remove number from begin of fields
        $k = preg_replace('/^\d+[ \:_-]/', '', $k);
        $new_vars[$k] = $v;
    $vars = $new_vars;

    $max_length = 10; // max length of key field
    foreach ($vars as $k=>$v) {
        $klen = strlen($k);
        if (($klen > $max_length) && ($klen < 40))
            $max_length = $klen;

    if ($is_ordered)

    // make output text
    $out = "";
    foreach ($vars as $k=>$v){
        $k = str_replace('_', ' ', $k);
        $k = ucfirst($k);
        $len_diff = $max_length - strlen($k);
        if ($len_diff > 0)
            $fill = str_repeat('.', $len_diff);
            $fill = '';
        $out .= $k."$fill...: $v\n";
    return $out;

function send_mail($vars){
    global $send_to, $send_cc;
    global $subject;
    global $attachment_enabled;
    global $REMOTE_ADDR;

    global $HTTP_POST_FILES;
    $files = array(); //files (field names) to attach in mail
    if (count($HTTP_POST_FILES) && $attachment_enabled){
        $files = array_keys($HTTP_POST_FILES);

    // build mail
    $date_time = date('Y-m-d H:i:s');
    $mime_delimiter = md5(time());
    $fields = _build_fields($vars);
    $mail = <<<EOF
This is a MIME-encapsulated message
Content-type: text/plain
Content-Transfer-Encoding: 8bit

You have feedback from
DATE/TIME : $date_time

    if (count($files)){
        foreach ($files as $file){
            $file_name     = $HTTP_POST_FILES[$file]['name'];
            $file_type     = $HTTP_POST_FILES[$file]['type'];
            $file_tmp_name = $HTTP_POST_FILES[$file]['tmp_name'];
            $file_cnt = "";
            $f=@fopen($file_tmp_name, "rb");
            if (!$f)
            while($f && !feof($f))
                $file_cnt .= fread($f, 4096);
            if (!strlen($file_type)) $file_type="applicaton/octet-stream";
            if ($file_type == 'application/x-msdownload')
                $file_type = "applicaton/octet-stream";

            $mail .= "\n--$mime_delimiter\n";
            $mail .= "Content-type: $file_type\n";
            $mail .= "Content-Disposition: attachment; filename=\"$file_name\"\n";
            $mail .= "Content-Transfer-Encoding: base64\n\n";
            $mail .= chunk_split(base64_encode($file_cnt));
    $mail .= "\n--$mime_delimiter--";

    //send to
    $_send_to = $send_to ? $send_to : "$vars[name_to] <".$vars[email_to].">";
    $_send_from = "$vars[name_from] <".$vars[E_Mail].">";
   //$_send_from = "";
    $_subject = $subject ? $subject : $vars['subject'];

    mail($_send_to, $_subject, $mail,
    "Mime-Version: 1.0\r\nFrom: $_send_from\r\nContent-Type: multipart/mixed;\n boundary=\"$mime_delimiter\"\r\nContent-Disposition: inline");

    foreach ($send_cc as $v){
      mail($v, $_subject, $mail,
      "Mime-Version: 1.0\r\nFrom: $_send_from\r\nContent-Type: multipart/mixed;\n boundary=\"$mime_delimiter\"\r\nContent-Disposition: inline");


function get_form_data(){
    global $REQUEST_METHOD;
    global $HTTP_POST_VARS;
    global $HTTP_GET_VARS;
    //strip spaces from all fields
    foreach ($vars as $k=>$v) $vars[$k] = trim($v);
    return $vars;

function check_form($vars){
    global $referrers;
    global $send_to;
    global $subject;
    global $HTTP_REFERER;

    $errors = array();

    // check from email set
    /* if (!strlen($vars['E_Mail'])){
        $errors[] = "<b>From Email address</b> empty";
    } else if (!check_email($vars['E_Mail'])){
        $errors[] = "<b>From Email address</b> incorrect";       
    if (!strlen($send_to) && !strlen($vars['email_to'])){
        $errors[] = "<b>To Email</b> address empty (possible configuration error)";
    } else if (!strlen($send_to) && !check_email($vars['email_to'])){
        //if to email specified in form, check it and display error
        $errors[] = "<b>To Email address</b> incorrect";       
    if (!strlen($vars['subject']) && !strlen($subject)){
        $errors[] = "<b>Subject</b> empty (possible configuration error)";
    foreach ($vars as $k=>$v){
        // check for required fields (end with _req)
        if (preg_match('/^(.+?)_req$/i', $k, $m) && !strlen($v)){
            $field_name = ucfirst($m[1]);
            $errors[] = "Required field <b>$field_name</b> empty";
        // check for number fields (end with _num)
        if (preg_match('/^(.+?)_num$/i', $k, $m) && strlen($v) && !is_numeric($v)){
            $field_name = ucfirst($m[1]);
            $errors[] = "Field <b>$field_name</b> must contain only digits or be empty";
        // check for number & required fields (end with _reqnum)
        if (preg_match('/^(.+?)_reqnum$/i', $k, $m) && !is_numeric($v)){
            $field_name = ucfirst($m[1]);
            $errors[] = "Field <b>$field_name</b> must contain digits and only digits";
    } */

    //check referrer
    if (is_array($referrers) && count($referrers)){
        $ref = parse_url($HTTP_REFERER);
        $host = $ref['host'];
        $host_found = 0;
        foreach ($referrers as $r){
            if (strstr($host, $r))
        if (!$host_found){
            $errors[] = "Unknown Referrer: <b>$host</b>";
    return $errors;

function display_errors($errors){
$errors = '<li>' . join('<li>', $errors);
print <<<EOF
    <head><title>aFormMail error</title></head>
<body bgcolor=white>
    <h3 align=center><font color=red>An Error Occured</font></h3>
    <hr width=80%>
    <table align=center><tr><td>
    <p align=center>
    <a href="javascript: history.back(-1)">Return</a> and fix these errors
    <hr width=80%>

* Check email using regexes
* @param string email
* @return bool true if email valid, false if not
function check_email($email) {
    #characters allowed on name: 0-9a-Z-._ on host: 0-9a-Z-. on between: @
    if (!preg_match('/^[0-9a-zA-Z\.\-\_]+\@[0-9a-zA-Z\.\-]+$/', $email))
        return false;

    #must start or end with alpha or num
    if ( preg_match('/^[^0-9a-zA-Z]|[^0-9a-zA-Z]$/', $email))
        return false;

    #name must end with alpha or num
    if (!preg_match('/([0-9a-zA-Z_]{1})\@./',$email) )                   
        return false;

    #host must start with alpha or num
    if (!preg_match('/.\@([0-9a-zA-Z_]{1})/',$email) )                   
        return false;

    #pair .- or -. or -- or .. not allowed
    if ( preg_match('/.\.\-.|.\-\..|.\.\..|.\-\-./',$email) )
        return false;

    #pair ._ or -_ or _. or _- or __ not allowed
    if ( preg_match('/.\.\_.|.\-\_.|.\_\..|.\_\-.|.\_\_./',$email) )
        return false;

    #host must end with '.' plus 2-5 alpha for TopLevelDomain
    if (!preg_match('/\.([a-zA-Z]{2,5})$/',$email) )
        return false;

    return true;


Here is the URL for the form:

here is the javascript I am using to validate:

I realize this is 'above and beyond', so if no one cares to pursue this further, I will understand fully and appreciate all that has been done for me
already :)



Sun Sep 18, 2005 10:11 am

PS For SOME unknown reason, the php file seems to have made the "pipe" | character the delimiter -- what's up with that?? :?

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