I've custom fields defined using blogging platforms in which i've joined a chapter number for every publish I've written. I wish to make use of this value inside a form, but I have to keep your form code the same and merely refer to it as using shortcode in every publish since you will find too many posts edit by hand.

I've attempted

<input type="hidden" name="Episode" value="<?php the_meta(); ?>"/>

to create the need for Episode within the form because the value for your specific publish, however the php code continues to be capable of being seen around the page source code so it's not dealing with. It is possible to workaround?

You need to echo the response.

<input type="hidden" name="Episode" value="<?php echo the_meta(); ?>"/>

Obviously you can also employ print functions.

You have to echo the need for the_meta() for this to look in your page.

Do this

<input type="hidden" name="Episode" value=<?php echo "'" . the_meta() ."'"; ?>/>

Edit: I transformed the code slightly. Try that.

Even though above answer(by jjs9534) holds true, you normally have to echo the_meta, it's not the issue, however , your files aren't being parsed by PHP, you can either have to relabel your extensions to .php or fool around with .htaccess(on Unix) server web.config (on Home windows) to include the extension you're using for the pages to become parsed like a php file... so inshtaccess, to parse .htm or .html files as PHP you'd add:

AddHandler application/x-httpd-php .html .htm