Arbitrary elements in form_for?

I would like to use form_for in my project so that I can easily change
the style of many forms at once. However, it seems to me like
FormBuilders only support certain kinds of form elements(!). Surely
there must be a way to add arbitrary labels/form elements to a form.

Let’s say I had a form that looks like:

ID: (plain-text label)
Name: (text field)
Birthdate: (date chooser)
Picture: (picture)
Foo: (custom widget)

How can I use form_for to generate this and still have each row styled
by the FormBuilder of my choice? Do I need to extend each FormBuilder
with all of the methods that I might want to use?

I’ve been using the FormBuilders listed in the Rails Recipes book as
well as the LabeledFormHelper from

Speaking of LabeledFormHelper, this is listed in its README file:

<% form_for :person, @person, :url => { :action => “update” } do |f|
First name: <%= f.text_field :first_name %>
<% end %>

First Name


Can it really detect the random text “First name:” and wrap it in a
label? Seems unlikely to me.


-Eli Gordon

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