Frequently Asked Questions

Arclab® Web Form Builder

question_answer F.A.Q. Index

comment  How to unlock the Free Version


Please click on "Program Options", enter the license key and click on "Validate License":



comment  Where do I find the User Manual?


The user manual is available here.

comment  Setup Error: "Setup files are corrupted"


Please clear your browser cache and retry to download the software. 
It could be a transmission error over the net.

You can also use our alternate download (zip-compressed setup).
In some cases it also helps if you rename the newly download file, e.g. to awebform2.exe.

If you get this error message for every application you try to install, then the windows installer on your computer might be damaged.

comment  Can I edit the .php file in my HTML editor?


No, the .php file cannot be edited in a HTML editor!

Please open the project file (*.awfb) in Web Form Builder, make the changes and click on "Build Web Form" to re-create the form.
Don't forget the upload the newly created php file to your website!

comment  Error Message: PHP mbstring not enabled


This means the php extension "mbstring" is not enabled on your web server.
This cannot be fixed in the form - it's a configuration issue on the web server (php installation).

It should be possible to enable the extension in the web server config or in the php.ini file.
Please contact your web administrator if you are unsure how to enable it.

comment  Additional backslashs in backslashs, quotes and apostrophes


If you find additional backslashs on backslashs, quotes and apostrophes then magic_quotes might be turned on.
magic_quotes are DEPRECATED and should no longer been used.

Please disable magic_quotes in your PHP configuration to fix this issue.
Please take a look at the manual for details.

comment  Does the script (form) work with php7 and php8?


Yes, it works with php5.3.2++, php7++ and php8++.

comment  Web Form Builder 3.x / 4.x : How to format text in Label, Description and Error Messages


The text format options below are ONLY for previous versions of Web Form Builder (3.x and 4.x) !
Web Form Builder 5 (or newer) either allows HTML format or contains an option to change the style.


You can update to the latest version here.
Select your region and scroll down to "Updates" on the next page (Updates are 50% discounted).


Description, Label and Error Text will not accept HTML code, HTML entities like e.g. < will be transfered into &gt;
Please use the following format instead:


Format: Command: Sample:
Line break [BR] Hello world![BR]Some text
Text color [COLOR:color]Hello world[/COLOR]
(Color as HEX or HTML color)
[COLOR:#FF00FF]Hello world[/COLOR]
Text size [SIZE:size]Hello world[/SIZE]
(Size in pixel (px) or point (pt))
[SIZE:20px]Hello world[/SIZE]
[SIZE:12pt]Hello world[/SIZE]
Bold [B]Text[/B] [B]Hello World[/B]
Italic [I]Text[/I] [I]Hello World[/I]
Underline [U]Text[/U] [U]Hello World[/U]
Heading 1 [H1]Text[/H1] [H1]Hello World[/H1]
Heading 2 [H2]Text[/H2] [H2]Hello World[/H2]
Heading 3 [H3]Text[/H3] [H3]Hello World[/H3]
Heading 4 [H4]Text[/H4] [H4]Hello World[/H4]
Heading 5 [H5]Text[/H5] [H5]Hello World[/H5]
Link opened in NEW window [LINK:url]Anchor[/LINK] [LINK:]Click here to open[/LINK]

The link will be opened in a new window! The user will not leave the form!
Link opened in SAME window [LINKSAME:url]Anchor[/LINKSAME] [LINKSAME:]Click here to open[/LINKSAME]

The link will be opened in the same window. This means the user leaves the form! You can use this type of link e.g. on the Success and Error Pages after the user has completed the form.
Link opened in same window as TOP-frame [LINKTOP:url]Anchor[/LINKTOP] [LINKTOP:]Click here to open[/LINKTOP]

Use LINKTOP to open a link as new page in the current browser window when using an iframe or frames.
You can use this type of link e.g. on the Success and Error Pages after the user has completed the form.
Image [IMG:url] [IMG:http://www.yourdomain.tld/image.png]

comment  Can I install Web Form Builder 3/4 and 5 (or newer) on the same computer?


Yes. The new version will be installed into a different folder.
The folder name is "Web Form Builder 5".

comment  How to fix Microsoft .NET Framework error


Download and install Microsoft .NET Framework 4.5.2 (or newer)

comment  Error: Not a valid project file


The project file for Arclab Web Form Builder 5 has the extension .awfb.
You will get the error "Not a valid project file" when you try to open a file which is not a project file created with Web Form Builder 5.

Please note: You cannot open projects created with Web Form Builder 4 (or older). If you want to make changes to a form created with Web Form Builder 4, then you need to run Web Form Builder 4 instead. (You can install version 4 and 5 on the same computer!).

comment  I added the code to the host page, but the form is not shown


  • If the form is not displayed, please first check whether the form has been uploaded to the website.
    To do this, open the uploaded form file directly in your browser.

    If you get a 404 "Page not found" error message when opening the web page in your browser, the file was either not uploaded at all or was uploaded to a different folder. If you use a CMS system, we recommend uploading the form file to the root folder.

    The website must allow server-side scripts (*.php) to run.
    If you see the PHP source code instead of the form, contact your web administrator or provider to enable PHP.

  • You cannot open the *.php file on your local computer, because php is a scripting language, executed on the server.

  • Next, check that you have correctly inserted the code into the host page. Make sure, that filename/path of the php (form) file is corrrect.
    See also: Path Adjustment for different Folders

  • If you use a CMS system like Wordpress, Joomla, Typo3 or Drupal, make sure that you are logged in as "Administrator" or "Superuser".
    Restricted users are not allowed to insert custom code/scripts, so they can not insert the form.



error_outline If you are using an <iframe> and the form is not shown within the iframe

  • First, make sure that the form is shown when you open it directly.

  • A website can be configured so that iframes are completely forbidden (DENY) or only allowed if the form is on the same domain (SAMEORIGIN). This is to prevent the content of your website from being displayed within a third-party website.

  • If an iframe is only allowed if the host page and the form are on the same website or domain, the form may not be shown in the preview of your editor. Simply upload the host page and the form file to your website and it should work fine.

  • If the use of iframes on your website is completely prohibited, you can e.g. create a new directory for which these restrictions do not apply and upload the form (php) file to this directory. You can achieve this relatively easily by relaxing the restrictions in an additional ".htaccess" (Apache) file in the new directory. Having a separate directory with relaxed restrictions has the great advantage that the rest of your website is not affected. Please contact your web administrator if you cannot make the required settings yourself.

  • Of course, you can also integrate the form directly into a web page without using an iframe.

comment  Does the form use any external resources?


  • The form uses the "Material Icons" from Google.

    New in version 5.0.4: The icon font is integrated into the php file.
    This means that the font does not need to be downloaded from the Google server, nor does it have to be hosted locally.
    Everything needed is in the php file created by the program.

  • If you use Google reCaptcha, the Google reCaptcha library will be used:

    The program also includes an alternate, internal Captcha which does not require or use external resources.

comment  Missing line breaks in plain-text messages in MS Outlook


The line-breaks are not missing in the email, Outlook removes them because the "Remove extra line breaks in plain text messages" option is enabled in
Outlook > File > Options > Mail (this option is enabled by default in Outlook). It appears that this occurs with lines that contain more than 40 characters. For this reason it often looks like an error in the email, but this is not the case.


comment  Can I open the php file (form) directly in the browser?


(Version 5.09++)

Yes, the form can also be displayed without being integrated into a host page. To do this, you can upload the php file created by the program to your web server and open the uploaded php file in the browser. The script recognizes whether it is opened directly in the browser or integrated into a host page via the Javascript code. So it returns different code depending on how it is invoked or included.
The "direct open" is mainly used to test the form. The form corresponds exactly to the preview displayed in the program (by opening the form directly in the browser no CSS styles of the hostpage are applied). As a rule, the form should be integrated into a host page via the Javascript code displayed in the program.

Please note, php files are script files that have to be executed on the web server.
So you can not simply open the form on your computer like an HTML file. Upload the php file to your web server instead.

comment  Can I open/edit the php file (form) in a HTML editor?


No, you cannot edit the form in a HTML editor.
Please use the program to make the changes and click on "Build Web Form" again to re-create the form.

comment  Can I remove the default selection for a Radio Button Group?


Yes, simply remove the checked state of the item.
Important: Each item must have a value, otherwise the default value (empty) matches the item and the item will be checked.


Older versions (< 5.0.16): Yes, add a new item, remove the item "Value", set the item "Width" to 0 (or 0%) and move the item to the bottom of the item list.
Important: Move the item to the bottom of the item list, otherwise the "required" validation (if any) would fail.

comment  The "Success Page" is displayed, but I do not receive an email.


  • Please first check whether you have entered the correct email address as "Recipient".
    See also: Email Type and Recipient

  • Next, check whether the message may have been moved to the spam folder.

  • If you have used the internal send function of the web server "php Mail", please check whether the sender belongs to the domain of your website. If you have used a Freemail email address here, the email may be blocked because your web server is not authorized to send emails on behalf of the Freemail domain.
    See also: Server and Sender

  • It's also possible that the SPF record ("TXT" record in the DNS) does not include the web server!
    This can happen if the mail server and the web server use different hostnames.
    If you cannot fix it, either contact your web administrator or use "SMTP Server" instead of "PHP mail()".
    See also: Server and Sender

  • Some webhosting providers might also have simply turned off php mail without returning an error to the PHP mail() function.
    In this case simply switch to "SMTP Server" to send the email using SMTP instead of PHP mail().
    See also: Server and Sender

comment  How can I insert the "Error Code" back into the "Error Page"?


To do this, switch to the "Error Page" and insert the "Form Elements > Custom HTML Code" form element at any position.
Copy and paste the following code into the "Custom HTML Code" form element:

Error Code: <span id="awfb-errrorcode">?</span>

The content of the area <span id="awfb-errrorcode"> is automatically replaced by the respective error code when the "Error Page" is displayed in the browser.

comment  How to prevent users from submitting a form by hitting "Enter"


Add the form element: "Form Elements" > "Output Elements" > "Custom HTML Code" (above the "Submit" or "Next Page" button) to the form page.
Copy and paste the following code into the "Custom HTML Code" form element:

<button type="submit" disabled style="display:none;" aria-hidden="true"></button>

Now when the user hits "Enter" the default (first in order) submit button will be "pressed".
Since this button is disabled nothing happens when the user hits "Enter".

comment  Nothing happens when I click on the "Plus" symbol to insert an element in the editor.
comment  Nothing happens when I click on a form element in Design Mode.


The program uses the WebView Control (mshtml.dll) to view the form.
This is supplied with Internet Explorer under Windows 7.
With newer Windows versions like 10 or 11, this DLL is part of the operating system.


1. Open the "Internet Options" (Control Panel)

  • Either open a command-prompt and type in "inetcpl.cpl"
  • OR in the Taskbar, click on the search bar and search for "Internet Options"
  • OR open the "Internet Options" from the system "Control Panel"


2. Reset all zones to default level

  • Switch to the "Security" tab.
  • Click on the button "Reset all zones to default level".
  • Reboot the computer and retry.


3. If it still doesn't work after a restart of the computer, open the "Internet Options" again. (Repeat 1.)

  • Switch to the "Advanced" Tab.
  • Here you can reset the advanced settings or reset the Internet Explorer settings completely.
    Please note the displayed information when resetting the Internet Explorer settings.
  • Reboot the computer and retry.

comment  Error Message: "Error: PHP PEAR not installed!" or "Error: PHP PEAR::Mail not installed!"


Older versions used PEAR::Mail to send the email via SMTP.

As of version 5.4.4, PEAR::Mail is no longer required.
If you are using an older version, you can either switch to the web server's send function "PHP mail()" or update to the current version.

comment  How to enable PHP mail() for Your Website/Server


Please first check whether the use of a local sender and recipient solves the problem (as described here).
If this does not solve the problem:

  • Login to your website/server configuration and check the php settings.
    Some php installations require that you setup a default sender in the php configuration first.

  • If you are unsure how to do this, contact your web administrator or hosting provider regarding this issue.

  • If PHP mail() is not working at all, you can still use a SMTP server instead of the internal mail function.
    Click on "Edit Server and Sender" and use "Send the Email via an Email Account - SMTP Server" instead.

comment  The PayPal® Smart Payment button is not displayed in the form


If the PayPal Smart Payment button is not displayed, this is usually because the wrong ID was entered as "Client ID" in the program.
Enter the "Client ID" for the "REST API app" here.


  • Login to the PayPal® Developer Dashboard:
  • On "My Apps & Credentials", use the toggle to switch between live and sandbox testing apps.
  • You can get the "Client ID" from the section "REST API apps". Create a new "app" or use an exising "app" for your forms.
  • To test the form use the client ID from a "Sandbox" REST API app. To go live use the client ID from a "Live" REST API app.
  • Only the "Client ID" is required for the "Smart Payment Button". The "Secret Key" is not required.

comment  Multi-line text in Radio- and Checkbox-Group items


For radio or checkbox groups, the texts next to the icons are formatted as single-line text. However, you can change this by using HTML code instead of plain text.


For example, enter the following HTML code for “Item Text” (Text/HTML):

<div style="line-height:1.25;">Line 1<br>Line 2<br>Line 3</div>

Important: Only use HTML for "Item Value", no HTML code may be used for "Item Value"!

comment  Google Ads Conversion Tracking


In the following example, the form submission should be tracked using Google Ads Conversion Tracking.
See also: Use the Google tag for Google Ads conversion tracking


First, add the script to load the "Google Tag" into the <head> section of your host page. (The host page is the page into which you insert the form.)


<!-- Google tag (gtag.js) - Google Ads: TAG_ID -->
<script async src=""></script>
window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || [];
function gtag(){dataLayer.push(arguments);}
gtag('js', new Date());


If you already use the Google Tag from Google Analytics, you must adapt the tag accordingly.
See also: How to adapt an existing Google tag for your Google Ads account


To track the submission of the form, add the “Event snippet” to the form.
Go to "Form Properties" > "Custom Javascript Code" and enter the event code in "Javascript Code executed after Form Submission":


gtag('event', 'conversion', {'send_to': 'AW-CONVERSION_ID/CONVERSION_LABEL','value': 1.0,'currency': 'USD'});

Important: Only enter/copy the event function here, without <script> and </script>, etc.!

comment  The program suddenly no longer starts


This appears to be a rare problem which, according to information from our users, is caused by a Windows or .net update.
However, we cannot recreate this ourselves.


  • Uninstall all versions of "Arclab® Web Form Builder" software from your system.

  • Delete all subfolders named "Awebform.exe_Url_..." in the folders:

    C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData\Local\Arclab (for old installations < 5.5.2)

    Please note that the "C:\Users\USERNAME\AppData" folder is a hidden system folder in the user folder: "C:\Users\USERNAME\".
    If you don't see the "AppData" folder, click on the path or address bar (in Explorer) and add "\AppData" to the current path.

  • Restart the computer.

  • Download and install the latest version.

Please contact us if you cannot find an answer to your question in the F.A.Q. or user manual./p>

Contact Arclab Support   Updates and Fixes