InfoPath 2010 features unavailable in Web browser forms

Microsoft InfoPath 2010 forms can be either Web browser forms or Filler forms. Web browser forms, which are the default form type, are available for more users to fill out, as they can be filled out in multiple Web browsers. However, not all InfoPath features and controls are supported in browser forms. Filler forms support the full set of InfoPath features, but Microsoft InfoPath Filler is required to fill them out.

When designing a form, you can change the compatibility setting at any time during the design process. For example, if you started out with a Web browser form, but then later decide that you need to use controls that are not available in a Web browser form, it can be changed to a Filler form. For more information regarding how to select a form type, or change a form from one type to another, see Overview of form templates and modes.

In this article


Controls compatibility

It is important to remember that different controls are supported by different form types when designing a form template in InfoPath 2010. As a result, it is best to keep the compatibility issues in mind before you begin designing a form template. For example, you can encounter compatibility issues when changing one form type to another after you have already started designing the form, such as going from a Filler form to a Web browser form.

 Note    InfoPath automatically checks for compatibility errors when you open, change the compatibility setting, save, or publish a form template. To resolve compatibility errors, the Design Checker task pane opens. For more information on the Design Checker task pane, see Verify the design of a form.

The following table lists each of the available controls in each compatibility mode:

Control 2010 Browser 2010 Filler 2007 Browser 2007 Filler 2003 Filler

Text Box

X X X X X

Rich Text Box

X X X X X

Drop-Down List Box

X X X X X

Combo Box

X X X

Check Box

X X X X X

Option Button

X X X X X

Date Picker

X X X X X

Date and Time Picker

X X X X X

Multiple-Selection List Box

X X X

List Box

X X X X X

Bulleted List

X X X X

Numbered List

X X X X

Plain List

X X X X

Person/Group Picker

X X X X

External Item Picker

X X

Button

X X X X X

Picture Button

X X

Calculated Value

X X X X X

Vertical Label

X X X

File Attachment

X X X X X

Picture

X X X X

Ink Picture

X X X

Hyperlink

X X

Signature Line

X

Section

X X X X X

Optional Section

X X X X X

Repeating Section

X X X X X

Repeating Table

X X X X X

Scrolling Region

X X X

Horizontal Region

X X

Repeating Recursive Section

X X X
Horizontal Repeating Table X X X

Master/Detail

X X X

Choice Group

X X X X

Repeating Choice Group

X X X

Choice Section

X X X X

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Features compatibility

Most InfoPath features are supported in both Web browser and Filler forms. These features include rules, calculations, data validation, and other business logic features. Some features, however, are only supported in Filler forms. While InfoPath 2010 has been designed to try to prevent validation errors, when one is encountered InfoPath uses the Design Checker task pane to notify you of the error or potential problem with the form.

InfoPath indicates problems by displaying them in the Design Checker task pane. For more information on the Design Checker task pane, see Verify the design of a form. InfoPath detects and notifies you about the following three types of problems:

Icon Type Description
InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms Save Blocking Error Incompatible errors are present and you cannot publish or save the form until they are fixed. These errors occur when saving for an older version of InfoPath that doesn’t support a control or feature.
InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms Error The form template doesn’t function correctly. You should fix errors before publishing the form template.
InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms Warning The form template might not function as expected. Warnings are less serious than errors. You can choose whether to address the messages before you publish the form template. These often are optimization warnings from the server and can help you make decisions that are designed to improve form performance in a Web browser.

The following table lists features that produce errors in the Design Checker task pane and are not supported in Web browser forms.

Feature Problem type Details
Controls that repeat horizontally InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms A horizontal repeating table consists of a repeating section inside a layout table. The repeating section is set to repeat horizontally, which simulates a column in a table. If a form template contains a horizontal repeating table, an error appears in the Design Checker task pane. Remove the horizontal repeating table from the form template or set the section to not repeat horizontally before you publish the form template to a SharePoint server.
Text that displays vertically in an expression box InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms Vertical labels are calculated value controls that are set to display text vertically. This setting is not supported in Web browser form templates. If the text in the calculated value control is set to display vertically, an error appears in the Design Checker task pane.
Submitting data to a database InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms In Web browser form templates, data connections are not allowed where users to submit data directly to a database. To fix this problem, open the Data Connections dialog box, and then modify the data connection so that the form submits data to a location other than a database. For example, choose to submit data to a Web service. Data connections to databases are limited to read-only access to Microsoft SQL Server databases.
Submitting change information to a Web service InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms The submit data connection in a Web browser form template cannot allow users to submit change information along with their form data to a Web service that accepts a Microsoft ADO.NET DataSet. Change information consists of the modifications that a user makes to the data saved in a database. The database uses a Web service to connect users to the database. ADO.NET can use change information to determine how to update the data in the database.
Restricted security level InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms A form that is running at the Restricted security level can access only content that is saved in the form itself. To publish the Web browser form template, select a less restrictive security setting in the Form Options dialog box.
Alerts (dialog boxes) that display immediately after users enter invalid data in a control InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms Some data validation features work differently in a Web browser than they do in InfoPath. For example, when you add data validation to a control, you create explanatory text that is displayed when a user enters invalid data into that control. You can choose to display this explanatory text in a ScreenTip, and optionally allow users to display an alert that contains additional information, or you can choose to display the alert automatically when a user enters invalid data. Alerts cannot be displayed automatically for forms that are viewed in a Web browser, but users can still view the ScreenTip and optionally display the alert that contains additional information.
Rules to open a new form InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms

If a rule includes the Open a new form to fill out action, you must modify or delete that rule in the Rules task pane before you publish the form template to a SharePoint server.

 Tip    If you want users to be able to easily open another form, use a hyperlink to link to the other form instead of using a rule to automatically open the form.

Digitally signing an entire form InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms

Enabling users to digitally sign an entire form is not supported in Web browser form templates. Before you publish the form template to a SharePoint server, disable this setting option in the Form Options dialog box.

 Tip    If you want users to be able to sign specific sections of a form, add a section to your Web browser form template, and then enable digital signatures for it by using options on the Digital Signatures tab in the Section Properties dialog box.

Specifying relative links to data connection libraries in more than one site collection InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms In Web browser form templates, relative paths to data connection libraries on different site collections are not allowed. To fix this problem, open the Data Connections dialog box, and then change the data connection so that the relative link points to a single site collection.
Custom code used to save forms InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms In a Web browser form template, code that runs when a user saves the form data is not allowed. If your form template contains this type of code, remove the code before you publish the form template to a SharePoint server. To remove the code, open the Form Options dialog box, clear the Save using custom code check box, click Edit, and then remove all of the related code.
Custom code used to merge form data InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms The Merge using custom code feature is not supported in Web browser form templates. To publish the Web browser form template to a SharePoint server, remove any code associated with merging forms, and then clear the Merge using custom code check box.
User roles InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms User roles only can be used in form templates that are designed to be filled out in InfoPath. If your form template contains user roles, remove all of the roles before you publish the form template to a SharePoint server. Any conditions with XPath expressions that reference user roles must also be removed.
XPath xdXDocument:get-Role function InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms The XPath function for retrieving the user's current role is not supported in a Web browser form. The function occurs in the context of a particular XPath expression. To publish the form, modify the expression by removing the reference to the unsupported function.
XPath position and last functions InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms The position and last functions are not supported in a Web browser form. These functions generally occur in the context of a particular XPath expression. To publish the form, modify the expression by removing the reference to the unsupported function.
ActiveX Control InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms ActiveX controls are not supported in a Web browser form. ActiveX controls are generally used in Filler forms, where InfoPath provides support for controls that use COM and ActiveX technologies. ActiveX controls must be installed on each user’s computer.
Placeholder text in controls InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms Placeholder text is text that appears inside a control on a form template. An example of placeholder text is "Click here and type." Although you can leave placeholder text settings enabled for Web browser form templates, the placeholder text will not appear in the browser.
Custom task panes InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms Custom task panes are not supported in a Web browser form. Although you can leave custom task pane settings enabled in Web browser form templates, the custom task pane doesn’t appear when users fill out the form in a browser.
Prompting users to save changes before closing their form InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms You can create a rule that automatically closes a form after a certain condition is met. However, a dialog box that prompts the user to save changes before closing the form cannot be displayed because this feature is not supported in Web browser form templates. If you leave this setting selected, the dialog box message appears only when users fill out the form in InfoPath Filler.
Rules to display a dialog box InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms

You can create a rule that uses a Show a message action to automatically display a dialog box after a certain condition is met. However, this action is not supported in Web browser form templates. The message only appears when users fill out the form in InfoPath Filler.

 Tip    To achieve a similar effect in Web browser forms, consider using conditional formatting to show and hide a section that contains the text that you want the user to see.

Protected views InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms Advanced form designers occasionally use protected views to take advantage of XSL features that are not directly supported in design mode. Although you can leave protected views enabled in your Web browser form template, the view doesn’t appear in the browser.
Word-based print views InfoPath 2010 features that are unavailable in Web browser forms Microsoft Word print views are not supported in a Web browser form. Although you can leave settings for a Word print view enabled in a Web browser form template, the view is ignored when users print the form.

The following table lists features that, while not supported in Web browser forms, do not result in errors or messages in the Design Checker task pane.

Feature Details
Tablet PC and ink features

Inking is not supported in Web browser form templates. As a result, users cannot use a tablet pen or other device to write or draw in fields on the form.

 Note    If you have an InfoPath Filler form template that contains an ink picture control, and you turn that form template into a Web browser form template, an error appears in the Design Checker task pane. You must remove the control before you publish your form template to a SharePoint server.

Caching data from a secondary data source To allow users to fill out forms regardless of whether their computers are connected to a network, or when the form cannot connect to an external data source, configure the form template to cache (save) form data on the users' computer. Although you can leave caching settings enabled in a Web browser form template, only forms that are filled out in InfoPath Filler can actually cache the data.
Certain date picker settings Although date pickers are available when designing a Web browser form template, the calendar icon and pop-up calendar functionality appear only in supported versions of Windows Internet Explorer. In other Web browsers, the date picker appears as a text box where date formatting options are supported.
Undo and Redo Users cannot undo or redo an action while they are filling out a Web browser form.
Check spelling Users cannot check spelling in a control in a Web browser form, even if the Enable spelling checker check box is selected for the control.
AutoComplete By default, the AutoComplete feature is enabled for text boxes on a form template. When users type the first few characters in a text box on a form, they see a list of possible matches from among entries that they have typed before. Users can then select the entry that they want, or if none of the suggestions match what they are typing, they can continue typing in the text box. In browsers other than Windows Internet Explorer, the AutoComplete feature is unavailable, even if the Enable AutoComplete check box is selected for the control.
Information Rights Management (IRM) In InfoPath, use IRM to restrict permission to a form template and to forms that are based on that form template. IRM is not available in a Web browser form template. If you have an InfoPath Filler form template that uses restricted permissions, and you want to convert it into a Web browser form template, you must clear the Restrict Permission to this form template check box in the Permission dialog box before you can successfully change the compatibility setting.
Send to Mail Recipient command In Web browser forms, features that are related to integration with Microsoft Outlook are unavailable, such as the Send to Mail Recipient command.
File recovery features The AutoRecover and AutoSave features allow users to recover files when InfoPath closes abnormally. In Web browser forms, these settings are ignored.
Merge Forms command In an InfoPath form, the Merge Forms command enables users to combine data from multiple forms. The Merge Forms command doesn't appear in a Web browser form, even if you selected the option to merge form data in the Form Options dialog box.
Export to Microsoft Excel command In an InfoPath form, the Export To Microsoft Excel command allows users to export data to a Microsoft Excel workbook. The Export To Microsoft Excel command doesn't appear in a Web browser form, even if you selected the option to export form data in the Form Options dialog box.
COM Add-Ins InfoPath provides support for creating and registering Component Object Model (COM) add-ins, which are supplemental programs that add custom commands or specialized features to InfoPath. COM add-ins are not available in Web browser forms.

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Applies to:
InfoPath 2010