I have a series of records, each of which has the same fields. I’d like to build a form interface to start editing these records, as managing them in a text file is unwieldy. Simply having a few different field types to pick from (text, number, image) and basic validation is all I’m looking for.

Similar pieces of software are InfoPath, Access, and FileMaker. Unfortunately, they don’t meet my criteria:

  • Licensed for personal use (need not be libre-free or free-beer-free)
  • Local data storage option
  • Compatible with Mac (browser-based is fine)

Google Forms is ineligible because it’s intake only; you can’t edit in the form interface. I know software like this has come and gone over the years, but I can’t find any options today.

  • 2
    Why doesn't FileMaker qualify? You can run it locally.
    – Eric S
    Jul 3, 2017 at 14:24

4 Answers 4


I would suggest that you take a look at python & either iPython or wxPython to roll your own.

  • All are free in every sense.
  • All are cross platform including OS-X
  • You can have virtually any back-end or multiple ones including databases
  • You can do very sophisticated validation if necessary
  • You will find lots of on-line tutorials, help groups including stackoverflow, etc.

If you were to consider wxPython you will find that the demo available for download includes several possible interfaces, (freely usable). While iPython notebooks starts a web server running on your local machine that gives you a web interface.


OpenOffice Base. It's clunky, but it hits all the requirements. The documentation is poor, but the support forum is a good resource.

Update: Never mind. After a couple weeks using Base, I’m reversing myself. It crashes often, has some gnarly bugs, a few very quirky UI decisions, and beachballs for 10-30 seconds regularly. It “works,” but it’s too painful to use regularly.

  • 1
    Have you tried if LibreOffice Base works any better? Supposedly LibreOffice is the better maintaned fork of OpenOffice
    – ptman
    Apr 14, 2015 at 5:58
  • Good suggestion. I gave LibreOffice a shot, but it crashes when making form fields.
    – duozmo
    Apr 14, 2015 at 14:59

You could try a tool like Smartclient connecting it to a local SQL database (e.g. Postgres.app). This may be a steep learning curve to be worth it, but in principle, you could just grab one of their examples. Also, don't think their LGPL version has enough features and their Pro version isn't cheap.


If you are ready for a learning curve, I would suggest PHPMailer. You will need some time to find out how to integrate it but it is highly customizable and free.

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