Zend Framework: Adding XHTML within a form

I recently needed to add some custom HTML within a form. It proved to be easy but I did need to write some custom code to do it.

First, I had to create a HTML form element by subclassing Zend_Form_Element

class Misc_FormHtml extends Zend_Form_Element_Xhtml{
     * Load default decorators
     * @return Zend_Form_Element
    public function loadDefaultDecorators()
        if ($this->loadDefaultDecoratorsIsDisabled()) {
            return $this;

        $decorators = $this->getDecorators();
        if (empty($decorators)) {
            $getId = create_function('$decorator',
                'return $decorator->getElement()->getId()
                        . "-element";');
            $this ->addDecorator(new Decorators_Html())
                ->addDecorator('HtmlTag', array('tag' => 'div',
                    'id'  => array('callback' => $getId)))
        return $this;

Zend loads the decorators from the inside out so in order to wrap my HTML in a div tag, I need to add a custom decorator (new Decorators_Html() ) first and then add the HtmlTag decorator second

I wrote a very simple decorator.

class Decorators_Html  extends Zend_Form_Decorator_Abstract
    public function render($content)
       //return $content;
        $element = $this->getElement();
        $value = $element->getValue();
        return $content.$value ;


Then I set it up to be used:

... form code
 $html = new Misc_FormHtml();

Here is some text that we are really hoping will appear on the page without being messed up by Zend

') ->setAttrib('id','top_form_text'); $category_sub_form->addElement($html);