Add Additional text Fields to Paypal Buttons

I’ve just designed a site for a client where three optional pieces of information were required when processing an order via a Paypal button.

For those of you familiar with adding buttons you may be aware that the standard process allows the addition of only TWO additional text fields. These can be added by creating a button via the Merchant Services tab…




… followed by customising the button and adding the additional text fields








However, what is not so well known is that you can add additional text fields by entering HTML code.

The first two lines are the lines created in the button code using the on-line button function. The third line below, for Telephone has been manually entered.
Notice the numbering sequence of the on1, on2, on3 and os1,os2,os3 fields shown in red.

<tr><td><input type="hidden" name="on1" value="Child's name">Child's name</td></tr><tr><td><input type="text" name="os1" maxlength="200"></td></tr>
<tr><td><input type="hidden" name="on2" value="Child's Date of Birth">Child's Date of Birth</td></tr><tr><td><input type="text" name="os2" maxlength="200"></td></tr>
<tr><td><input type="hidden" name="on3" value="Telephone">Telephone</td></tr><tr><td><input type="text" name="os3" maxlength="200"></td></tr>

Taff Lovesey


About taffybach

Author of the young adult fantasy novel series, The Portal Chronicles, including The Spider Gem and The Shimmering Gate. When not writing and promoting Taff runs a small IT support company, LITES PC based in Bourne UK.
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17 Responses to Add Additional text Fields to Paypal Buttons

  1. How can you make the text fields required? My customers are able to bypass this as it is not required

  2. Mr. Webguy says:

    nice.. this solved a big issue for me with a client site!!! thanks you google gods

  3. David H. says:

    Hey, this is great info! I’m playing around with this myself and I’ve noticed that the additional options are not available as part of the transaction history download. They show in the details of the transaction, but It seems that only the original two fields are included in the spreadsheet. Have you noticed the same thing?

  4. hugh says:

    How can we view what the customer writes in the text fields? It doesn’t come through on the payment email.

    • taffybach says:

      Curious – it did when i tried it a few months back.
      May be one for Paypal unless anyone else can advise.

      • hugh says:

        I know, really odd! It’s not on the transaction details page too. Annoying having to email the customer to see what they wrote!

      • hugh says:

        I’ve found it! For subscriptions, you must log into paypal and click on ‘details’ next to the relevant subscription in the activity, NOT the payment. Hope this helps someone out 🙂

      • taffybach says:

        Excellent. Many thanks for sharing the solution.
        Take care

    • Morag says:

      Hugh, I see your comment below saying you found the extra fields, can you describe a little more about how to find them. I’m new to Paypal so I don’t know what a subscription is. When I click on ‘details’ next to my transaction I still don’t see the extra fields I have defined.

      • Hugh says:

        For subscriptions, there should be two items in the PayPal activity. One is the payment, one is the notification of a new subscription. You want the latter. Hope that helps!

      • Morag says:

        Hi Hugh, thanks for the answer. I don’t think I have a subscription though. I want to find these fields that were part of a transaction, a purchase if you will. I can see that all 5 fields (os0 – os4) made it to the PayPal website when I make the test purchase, but they don’t come over in the e-mail that I am sent to notify me of the payment. I was hoping your post meant that they could be found somewhere else?

  5. Steve says:

    Thanks for the info…quick question: Can any number of additional fields be added? i.e. on0/os0, on1/os1….on10/os10 if an item has that many options to be customized?

  6. Ian bandy says:

    Great, just what I was looking for 🙂 how would I use these value to produce a text field with the contents of the fields in it? Sorry if this is a really basic question, I’m just learning 🙂

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