Jay Hoffmann

Books, movies, and code

Using Gravity Forms with Bootstrap Styles

I use Bootstrap as a starting point for a lot of the themes that I build as a great starting point for reusable components. But one of the problems I’ve run into is trying to integrate Gravity Forms with Bootstrap. By default, Gravity Forms does not include Bootstrap classes, so the two don’t end up working very well together.

Fortunately, with a little bit of elbow grease, there’s a way to tweak Gravity Forms markup and styles to match a default Bootstrap form. The solution I’ve found is a combination of a single hook and some SASS / CSS tweaks to get everything off the ground.

For reference, a typical Bootstrap form should be marked up something like this:

[snippet slug=bootstrap-form-default-markup lang=html]

I’m using version 4 of Bootstrap, but things are pretty much the same in older versions of Bootstrap as well. There are really two things that are important in this markup. The first is that a class of form-group is used on an input’s wrapper element (fieldset in this case). The second is that a class of form-group is added to each input. Cool, let’s step through this.

The first step is to wrap inputs in an element with a class of form-group then. That’s actually pretty simple. There’s a Gravity Form filter called gform_field_container that can be used to change the markup of the list item for each input. So all we have to do is ensure that the form-group class is added here, which we can do with a simple one-line function:

[snippet slug=gravity-forms-filter-input-wrapper lang=php]

Now each input will be wrapped in the proper form-group class, along with any classes Gravity Forms wants to add.

The second part, adding a form-group class to every input element, is a little trickier. There are actions that let you edit the actual markup of inputs, but there’s nothing that just lets you filter input classes, which means you’ll end up rewriting the entire input function. Things get complicated fast, and I just haven’t found that to be a very smart way to go. Here’s the solution I’ve found works best: Instead of adding Bootstrap classes to Gravity Forms, we customize Gravity Forms classes to match Bootstrap classes.

If you’re using SASS, this is super easy thanks to @extend, which allows you to apply styles from one class to another. So we just need to extend Bootstrap styles to the Gravity Form’s CSS. Which looks like this:

[snippet slug=gravity-forms-bootstrap-sass lang=bash]

This will apply the styles from Bootstrap classes to the proper elements inside of Gravity Forms and make everything look just as it should. You may need to tweak a bit here and there on individual elements but this tends to get things working pretty well.

Looking for the fully compiled, vanilla CSS version of this? I set up a gist for you to drop into your project.

Note: Updated on August 22, 2016. Thanks to Josh Cranwell for some much-needed additions!

17 responses to “Using Gravity Forms with Bootstrap Styles”

  1. Ryan Brown Avatar

    Thanks for this it’s given me a head start 🙂

  2. Josh Cranwell Avatar
    Josh Cranwell

    This is great. Thank you so much for this. I’ve extended the use of it a bit more, as it didn’t work straight away for me. https://gist.github.com/jcranny/6657e401bab0e1f499601c202bdc5ee1

    1. Jay Avatar

      Thanks! Your additions look good, I will add them to the sample SASS file soon.

  3. gomarketwp Avatar

    Hi there, congrats for great article.

    I wasn’t able to make it work, I’m unfamiliar with this SASS. I don’t think I’m able to use it. Should I just add CSS on the theme options for example?

    Did you guys tried to use the Boostrap Style on inputs like this example with URL Address? I’m unable to reproduce it on my website. :/


    1. Jay Avatar

      Unfortunately, to do it the way I’m proposing requires SASS for now. I’m thinking about publishing a compiled version of that CSS here as well.

      “Did you guys tried to use the Boostrap Style on inputs like this example with URL Address?”
      — The problem with this is Gravity Forms doesn’t let you edit the styles of the inputs themselves, just the style of the wrapper element. So there’s no way to apply the default Bootstrap styles, which means you have to take Bootstrap CSS and apply it to default Gravity form classes.

      1. gmorris2016 Avatar

        I would really love to see the CSS without sass! Currently using some bootstrap 3 classes but it’s fairly outdated.

        1. Jay Avatar

          Finally got a chance to set this up. You can see the full CSS without SASS here: https://gist.github.com/JasonHoffmann/20496f5801ddba58d101bc1e88e16771. Can’t guarantee it’ll have everything, but it should get you most of the way there 🙂

          1. Urbano Antunes Avatar

            Really glad to hear, I’m going to test it later.

            Could you please confirm if it’s possible to recreate the vanity url input example shown here? This is what I’m trying to achieve.

            Thanks for you help! 🙂

      2. gomarketwp Avatar

        Bring it on and let me know if I can help! 🙂

  4. Jonathan Clarke Avatar

    Any plans to release this as a plugin?

    1. gomarketwp Avatar

      Guess not 🙁

    2. Jay Avatar

      If I had the time I totally would. But there’s be some kinks to work out first.

      1. Jonathan Clarke Avatar

        I would donate for something that solved the problem once and for all.

  5. Samuel Avatar

    Thank You Very much! So nice!

  6. rynokins Avatar

    I had edited your filter function to switch out the field sizes using Bootstrap’s columns for my form, and found that it was replacing the classes of my admin-side Gravity Forms editor. So I added a check to make sure that the admin side always displays exactly what Gravity Forms expects:


    (I’m doing all my gform class overrides in SASS with Bootstrap loaded locally, in case you’re wondering why I removed the ‘form-group’ class)

    Thanks for your post – really helped me out!

  7. Mark Hewitt Avatar

    Thanks for this. I made a filter to apply Bootstrap 4 custom checkboxes and radio buttons to Gravity Fields generated forms. https://gist.github.com/yayMark/a1f92090aa04e24efdab55fa0ea04f36

  8. HughC Avatar

    Overall, the SCSS stuff works reasonably well, but with the `add_bootstrap_container_class` hooked in, I found that conditional logic on the form stopped working completely. Took a moment to work out what had borked it.