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Human readable captcha for z3cform

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collective.z3cform.norobots provides a “human” captcha widget based on a list of question/answer(s).

This captcha can be used :

  • as a (Plone Discussions) captcha plugin

  • as a z3c form field

  • as a macro in a custom form

  • as a PloneFormGen field with collective.pfg.norobots

The widget is based on z3c.form.TextWidget.

Since version 1.4, questions configuration uses a dedicated control panel (using instead of a simple properties sheet. An upgrade step provides migration from earlier versions.

Interface is translated in the following languages: Czech [cs], Danish [da], German [de], Basque [eu], Spanish [es], Suomeksi [fi], French [fr], Dutch [nl], Simplified Chinese [zh_CN], Italian [it] and Russian [ru].


I have tested this release with Plone 4.3.10, Plone 5.0.5. Since version 2.0 Plone 6 is supported.

See previous releases for old Plone versions.




Getting the module

Add collective.z3cform.norobots to your plone.recipe.zope2instance buildout section e.g.:

eggs =


zcml =

Or, you can add it as a dependency on your own product


Enabling the module

In the Addons control panel, install “Norobots captcha field (collective.z3cform.norobots)”.

Add a new question

In the “Norobots widget settings” control panel, add a new line in the field “Norobots question::answer”:


Example : What is 10 + 12 ?::22

Answer can contain multiple values delimited by semicolon:


Example : What is 5 + 5 ?::10;ten

Quickly test ?

Download collective.z3cform.norobots and use virtualenv and buildout to test the module:

easy_install virtualenv
cd collective.z3cform.norobots
virtualenv .
source bin/activate
(collective.z3cform.norobots) easy_install zc.buildout
!!! check the buildout config file ``test-plone-base.cfg`` before running !!!
(collective.z3cform.norobots) ln -s test-plone-5.0.x.cfg buildout.cfg
(collective.z3cform.norobots) python
(collective.z3cform.norobots) bin/buildout
[...] be patient... [...]
(collective.z3cform.norobots) ./bin/instance fg

Go to http://localhost:8080, add a new Plone Site and install collective.z3cform.norobots (see above).

Launch tests:

(collective.z3cform.norobots) pip install unittest2
(collective.z3cform.norobots) ./bin/test -s collective.z3cform.norobots

Launch code coverage:

(collective.z3cform.norobots) bin/coverage
(collective.z3cform.norobots) bin/report
And open with a browser htmlcov/index.html

Usage as a (Plone Discussions) captcha plugin

In the Discussion control panel, activate anonymous comments then select “Norobots” for the captcha. This enable the captcha for anonymous users.

Usage in a z3c form

You can use this widget setting the “widgetFactory” property of a form field:

from zope import interface, schema
from z3c.form import interfaces, form, field, button, validator
from import wrap_form

from collective.z3cform.norobots.i18n import MessageFactory as _
from collective.z3cform.norobots.widget import NorobotsFieldWidget
from collective.z3cform.norobots.validator import NorobotsValidator

class INorobotsForm(interface.Interface):
    norobots = schema.TextLine(title=_(u'Are you a human ?'),
                               description=_(u'In order to avoid spam, please answer the question below.'),

class NorobotsForm(form.Form):
    fields = field.Fields(INorobotsForm)
    fields['norobots'].widgetFactory = NorobotsFieldWidget

# wrap the form with's Form wrapper
NorobotsFormView = wrap_form(NorobotsForm)

# Register Norobots validator for the correponding field in the IContactInfo interface
validator.WidgetValidatorDiscriminators(NorobotsValidator, field=INorobotsForm['norobots'])

For more information see in the plone_forms directory.

To activate this example, add <include package=".plone_forms" /> in the package’s configure.zml file and open http://localhost:8080/Plone/@@z3cform-contact-info

Usage as a macro in a custom form

See browser/ available through @@norobots_macro browser page.

Possible problems

  • In a fresh Plone 5.0.5 the captcha widget does not appear in the comments form even if Norobots is the selected captcha. Installing an other captcha like plone.formwidget.captcha solve this problem (sic!). In my website, updated from Plone 5.0.4 to 5.0.5, all is ok.

  • I have the following error when launching the tests: “ImportError: No module named lxml.html” => In order to run the tests you need lxml. You can add for example “z3c.form [test]” to your buildout. See for more details.


Source code

Source code is hosted on Github.

How to contribute and submit a patch ?

Source code and an issue tracker is hosted on Github.


  • Sylvain Boureliou [sylvainb]

  • Mikel Larreategi [erral]

  • Aijun Jian

  • Radim Novotny [naro]

  • Thomas Clement Mogensen [tmog]

  • Peter Mathis [petschki]

  • Petri Savolainen [petri]

  • Helmut Toplitzer

  • Luca Fabbri [keul]

  • Andrea Cecchi [cekk]

  • [serge73]


2.1 (2022-08-18)

  • Add an adapter to show the controlpanel in Volto [erral]

2.0 (2022-03-21)

  • Add Plone 6 support, remove <includeDependencies />

  • Update test

  • Housekeeping Code

  • Update setup, tox.ini [1letter]

  • Remove Plone 5.0 classifier as this version is not tested anymore. [thet]

  • Format code according to Plone standards: black, isort, zpretty. [thet]

  • Add uninstall profile. [thet]

  • Update to Python3 [1letter]

  • Add plone.autoform.directives Support for Widget

  • Add css klass to Widget [1letter]

  • Add missing english translation file [thomasmassmann]

  • Update translations. [thomasmassmann]

1.4.4 (2016-07-20)

  • Add Russian translation [serge73]

1.4.3 (2016-07-08)

  • Add macro for html forms [cekk] (2013-04-25)

  • added italian translation [keul] (2013-01-17)

  • add Dutch Translations [maartenkling]

1.4.2 (2012-10-03)

  • Add compatibility for collective.pfg.norobots : allow to use the Norobots captcha with PloneFormGen. [sylvainb]

  • Fix widget template to allow good redirection when the answer is bad in forms. [sylvainb]

  • Move source code in “src” directory. [sylvainb]

  • Update tests, buildouts and add test coverage. Plone 4.0 is no longer supported. [sylvainb]

  • Change MessageFactory name to get translations picked up by Plone [erral]

  • Updated basque translation and added Spanish translation. [erral]

1.4.1 (2012-07-02)

  • Fix Unicode error when a question contains non-ascii char. [sylvainb, Helmut Toplitzer]

1.4 (2012-06-22)

  • Use instead of a property sheet for the questions configuration. Questions can now be added using a dedicated control panel. [sylvainb]

  • Add an upgrade step (1 -> 2) to copy questions from the old properties sheet to [sylvainb]

  • Fix the widget template for use with (there was no redirection to the comment form when only the captcha is wrong). [sylvainb]

  • Update translations (some new strings added). [sylvainb]

  • Add Basque translation [erral]

1.3.1 (2012-03-28)

  • Add simplified chinese translation [Aijun Jian]

1.3 (2012-02-27)

  • Allow multiple answers for a question [naro]

  • Added danish translation [tmog]

1.2.1 (2010-11-05)

  • Added german translation [petschki]

1.2 (2010-10-31)

  • Fix tests for Plone 4 [sylvainb]

  • Added Czech translation [naro]

1.1 (2010-09-15)

  • Support for using as a captcha plugin (Plone 4) [Petri Savolainen]

  • Finnish translations [Petri Savolainen]

1.0 (2010-01-13)

  • Initial release [sylvainb]

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