Persuading WTForms to Generate Checkboxes

WTForms takes the pain out of handling forms and validation, you define your form, tell it what validation checks the data needs to pass, then WTForms uses it's widgets to generate the html.

A common problem you'll face is "Mutiple select fields suck, they are confusing— how can I show the user a nice list of checkboxes instead?"

The answer is to tell WTForms to use a different widgets to render it's html. Lets first show how we'd render a simple SelectMultipleField form:

from flask import Flask, render_template_string
from wtforms import SelectMultipleField, Form

app = Flask(__name__)

data = [('value_a','Value A'), ('value_b','Value B'), ('value_c','Value C')]

class ExampleForm(Form):
    example = SelectMultipleField(
        'Pick Things!',

def home():
    form = ExampleForm()
    return render_template_string('<form>{{ form.example }}</form>',form=form)

if __name__ == '__main__':

Voila, we have a basic horrible to use multiple select field, now we just need to change how WTForms renders that SelectMultipleField by telling it to use a couple of different widgets to produce our checkboxes

from wtforms import widgets

class ExampleForm(Form):
    example = SelectMultipleField(
        'Pick Things!',

And that's it-- you'll be rendering check boxes for each of the sets of data, congratulations!