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I am trying to add custom fields to the customer create form but I am having some trouble (in Magento 1.7.2).

so, I added the custom attribute and it shows up fine on the adminhtml/customer/edit but it doesn't show on the create customer form (register) knowing that I included it in the forms for the field, and when I made it required I found out that the form controller is looking for it's value but it doesn't find it. So I figured I have to add the field manually to the template of the form.

So my first question is : is my process correct (is this the right way to do it)?

my second question is : why the registration form template is under /persistent/customer/form and not under /customer/form ? what is the difference between them ?

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I believe you are going about it correctly, yes. The forms aren't used everywhere they should be to generate the markup for the form sent to the browser.

The persistent/customer version of the template contains a small amount of additional code to support the persistent sign-on functionality when enabled. However, unless the persistent module itself were forcefully disabled at a code level, it's templates are always used vs the ones provided by the customer module since it straight up overrides them regardless if whether persistent sign-on is used or not.

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