Archive for the ‘form builder’ Category

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Enhancing Your Reporting Experience: New Features in the Report Generator

We’re excited to announce two additions to our Report Generator, designed to empower our users to create custom Excel reports according to their unique needs.

Choose the Fields (Columns) Shown in Excel Reports

Select fields/column included in the spreadsheet

Our Excel reports now offer even more flexibility by allowing you to customize the displayed fields/columns. By default, reports include essential information like form fields, submission reference numbers, submission links, submission timestamps, payment details (for payment forms), and contextual information passed during submission.

However, we understand that your reporting needs may vary. That’s why we’ve introduced the ability to create tailored reports, that include only the specific fields relevant to your analysis. Simply navigate to the Fields section in the Settings and check/uncheck the desired fields and metadata items to include/exclude them in your report. It’s that simple!

Filter Form Responses by Tags

Filter fields by tags

We’ve taken customization a step further by introducing the option to filter form responses based on tags. If you’ve assigned tags to form responses or if our system has automatically tagged submissions, you can now generate reports that exclusively include submissions matching specific tag criteria.

For instance, imagine creating a report highlighting all event attendees who not only registered but also checked in. This can be achieved by filtering submissions with the “checked-in” system tag, added when the event organizer scans QR codes from FormSmarts confirmation emails or PDF receipts.

These new features are designed to enhance your reporting experience, providing you with better control over the information presented in your Excel reports. We believe that by offering these customization options, we’re empowering you to extract precisely the insights you need.

We’d love to hear your thoughts—share your feedback with us!

How to Create a Digital Contract with Agreements

You can add a digital contract to a form with the Agreement form control. An Agreement allows your customers to read and keep a copy of contracts included on a form.

Forms that allow people to register for an event or purchase a service online invariably require the seller to describe the terms of the service provided in a contract and ask the buyer to read and accept the agreement before proceeding with their registration or purchase.

Form with a digital contract, liability release or waiver

Contractual agreements binding both parties often include a liability release or waiver, terms & conditions and a privacy statement.

The Agreement (shown above) is a form control dedicated to this purpose. It allows:

  1. The form owner to edit and publish a contract with automatic versioning
  2. Form respondents to comfortably read the contract and keep a copy of it

Try an E-Signed Contract Demo

Publishing a Contract

To create or edit an Agreement, visit to the Fields tab of the form builder. The text of an agreement supports links and basic formatting: bold, italics, underlining, and bullet points.

Updating an Agreement: Versioning

When you update an Agreement, one of two things happens depending on whether it has binding parties. An Agreement has binding parties if at least one person submitted the form that holds the Agreement.

  • If the contract already binds you with at least one form respondent, a new version of the contract/agreement is automatically published. Subsequent form submissions will use the new version of the contract, while previous versions still apply to past form responses.
  • If the contract is not binding you with any customers, for example because you are still working on the form design and it isn’t live yet, you can update it without publishing a new version.
  • All versions of an agreement with binding parties are kept online for the lifetime of the form, even if the agreement is deleted. They are removed if the form is deleted.

Agreements are currently limited to 20,000 characters, please contact us if you need to add longer contractual documents to a form.

User Perspective

Comfortable Reading

Users can read the contract in a scrollable area of the form, open it in a larger window for comfortable reading (using the Pop Out button), and also view it full screen.

Keeping a Copy of Contracts

Form respondents can download a copy of the agreement for their reference or print it in the dialog accessible with the Pop Out button.

In addition, opt-in and automated confirmation emails and payment confirmation emails contain a link to the permanent URL of the version of the agreement that applied when the person submitted the form. PDF receipts and printouts also show the shortened URL of the agreement.

Digital contract permanent URL in form response with signature

The URL and shortened URL of each version of an agreement are valid for the lifetime of the form.

Signing Digital Contracts

A signature captures a person’s consent and agreement to a contract.

You can allow your customers to sign a digital contract with an E-Signature, as illustrated above. Please feel free to try our demo:

Try an Agreement Demo

Including a Contract in Printed & PDF Form Responses

FormSmarts doesn't provide the body of contracts in the email notification we sends to form recipients for clarity. We show a link and a shortened URL (useful if the message is printed) instead.

Customers can access form submissions online and show agreements inline with the Expand button (screenshot below).

Form submission with digital contract

How to Add Text to Form Responses

As online forms evolve to become digital contracts and documents e-signed online, we've updated Text Blocks to give customers more control over what to display in form responses, confirmation emails, and PDF receipts.

Adding Text & Links to a Form

You can insert chunks of text on a form with two form controls: Text Blocks and Agreements. Text Blocks let you to give directions and specify contractual statements on the form itself, while agreements provide a dedicated form control to allow users to view larger contracts in a scrollable section of the form and keep a copy of it.

Choosing the Text Shown in Form Responses

When we introduced Text Blocks in the early days of FormSmarts, the main purpose was to allow customers to provide instructions and comments on their forms. Form respondents only needed directions while they were filling out a form, so we didn't provide a way to show text blocks in form responses sent to form recipients and available online or in confirmation emails and PDF receipts.

Online Form Builder with a Text Block

Today, many customers use forms as fillable digital contracts with online signatures, so we've updated Text Blocks to allow members to pick which sections of text they want to display and which ones are just directions for the user that don't need to appear in form submissions.

When you create or edit a text block, toggle on Show in form responses (see screenshot above) to display text blocks in the copy of the submitted data given to both parties:

Form Respondents

Form Recipients

This option is not available with all types of accounts.

Setting a Pricing Rule with a Text Block

Online Form with Quantity Box

One use of text blocks is to specify a pricing rule on PayPal forms. Text blocks provide an easy way to set a single registration fee on a form and to allow users to enter an item quantity with a Quantity Box.

Unlike other text blocks, those specifying a fee or amount of money are always displayed, for all types of accounts that support payment integration, even if Show in form responses is toggled off.

Let Users Choose to Whom a Form Is Sent

FormSmarts allows you to set up a form so the response is sent to a different person depending on the option the respondent picks on the form.

Consider the following scenarios:

  • A business has three locations and wants to allow customers to contact or submit an application to any of them
  • A non-profit would like to set up the contact form on their site so people can send a message to the relevant officer like the treasurer or chairperson.
  • A company needs to allow clients to submit a Sales and Customer Support inquiry on the same form

When someone submits a form, FormSmarts usually sends a notification to all email targets of a form, but you can change this behavior with a message routing rule. Let's use the first example to illustrate how to do this.

Create a Form

We've created the simple form shown below to support this example. Feel free to try it.

User Selects Recipient on Form

Add Emails to the Form Builder

Sign in the form builder and add the name and email address of each location in the Email Accounts section of the Settings tab. Make sure you name locations exactly as you want them to appear on the form.

Form Target Emails in the Email Accounts pane of the Form Builder

Change the Target Emails of the Form

Once all email addresses are verified, use the icon showing a pen in the Forms tab to edit the form. Select all three email addresses in the dropdown in the Submit Actions panel and save.

Update the Notification Routing Rule

Check the Email Addresses Where You Want to Send the Form

Edit the form again and click Update email routing policy to open the Routing Policy dialog. Select User-Selected Recipient and save changes.

Turn On User-Selected Recipient Routing Rule

You'll notice that a new dropdown list was added to the form to allow from respondents to select who they want to send their inquiry to.

We've renamed it to Select a Location and moved it to the top of the form. You can also change the form control to radio-buttons if you want to draw users attention to the selector and ensure respondents choose the correct location. Try the resulting form here.

Automated Form Confirmation Email

FormSmarts autoresponder allows you to send an automatic email confirmation when someone submits one of your forms.

Toggle on form email confirmation in the Submit Actions tab of the Form Builder

To start sending a confirmation email to form respondents, sign in to the form builder, edit the form, and toggle on Send confirmation email in the Submit Actions tab shown above.

Form Confirmation Emails

The confirmation email option is only available with the default Show confirmation message Submit Action and when you redirect form users to your site. Other types of email confirmations are sent with other submit actions.

Payment Forms

When someone submits a registration form or any other form that involves a payment, FormSmarts sends instead a payment & submission confirmation email. A payment confirmation email is always sent as soon as the payment goes through, there is no need to set it up. You can customize the message text as discussed in the section below.

“Opt-in” Confirmation Email on the Summary Page of a Form

When someone submits a form, FormSmarts shows a confirmation/thank you page with the Confirmation Message you've set or a default message. You can also set up a form to allow the person to keep a copy of the information they have submitted.

The Summary Page mode (Show summary with print, email & PDF options in the On Submission drop-down list) allows users to download a PDF receipt or request a confirmation email.

Edit the Message Body

FormSmarts allows you to modify the text in the body of the message.

The confirmation email also includes a copy of the information submitted (this is optional for auto-responder messages) and a QR code. You can scan the QR code with your phone to check in attendees at an event or access the form response on FormSmarts to review its payment status and associated notes, check its authenticity, etc.

Customize the Greeting Line

You can customize the greeting line at the top of the message.

The greeting line may include numbered placeholders like $1 that are replaced by the value of the corresponding input field. For example, if the first field of a form asks the submitter's first name, set the greeting line Dear $1, to greet the person's by first name.

Calendar Invite for Event Registration Forms

ICS iCalendar invite email attachment

When you create an event registration form, please remember to add the details of the event to your form so FormSmarts can include a calendar invite in the email notification.

A calendar invite is an email attachment in a standard format (ICS) that allows the email recipient to easily add the event to their calendar. Invites are supported by Outlook on Windows, Apple mail and Calendar on Mac OS X, and the Gmail (pictured above) and Google Calendar apps on iOS and Android. Feel free to try this demo.

Note: Payment confirmation emails will only support calendar invites from mid-May 2021. We will announce the release on Twitter and Facebook, please follow us for updates.

Reply-To Email Address

You can designate a public email address in the Contact Info section of your account.

If set, we use your public email as the Reply-To address of confirmation emails. This allows recipients to reply directly by clicking the Reply button of their email app.

Public email address changes may take up three hours to propagate to all your forms.

Email Sender Name

The name of the sender is derived from the company or organization name set in your account.

Changes may take up three hours to propagate to all your forms.

How to Share a Form with Others

If you ever shared your password with a collaborator so they can download form attachments or view a report, read on. You should instead invite them to your account and share the form with them.

Create a user in your account for each collaborator in your organization
Create a sub-account for each user, don’t share your admin password with others

How Do I Invite Someone to My Account?

You invite others to join your account by creating a user for them. Once someone has joined your account, you can share a form with them and allow them to perform actions like:

To create a user, first add the person’s email address to the Settings tab of the form builder. Once they’ve verified their email, head to the user management dashboard of your account.

Enter the user’s first and last name, select their verified email address, and click Create User. We’ll email them to let them know they can now log in to FormSmarts, but we won’t give them their auto-generated password: please send it either by IM or voice call.User Management Dashboard

How Do I Share a Form With a User?

To share a form with a user, tap Edit Permissions in the Actions menu corresponding to the user, as shown on the screenshot above.

Select the form you want to share at the bottom of the Edit Permissions screen (shown below) and click Share.

Toggle permissions on/off as needed to allow the user to perform specific actions only.

Share Forms with a User and Set Permissions

How Can Users Sign In?

To sign in to your account, a users must select Log in as Invited User on the log in page and enter your Account Alias in addition to their email and password.

Your Account Alias uniquely identifies your account on FormSmarts. You need to create an account alias to allow users to log in.

Enable or Disable a Form at a Scheduled Date

The form builder allows you to configure a date and time in the future when a form will be enabled or disabled.

Click the ‘pause’ or ‘play’ icon corresponding to the form you would like to suspend/restore. Select the Schedule option:

  • Choose whether you want to enable or disable the form
  • Set the date and time when you want to the form to be enabled or disabled (form changes can only be scheduled at the top of the hour)
  • Select a timezone if the date & time you’ve entered are in a timezone different from the timezone of you account. You can update your timezone in your account.

Schedule Form Suspension/Restore

A few uses for this workflow:

  • Configure a registration form to open and close registrations for an event at a preset date and time
  • Specify an application period for an application form
  • Set up a form so it is only available online at specific hours (e.g. weekdays 9am-10am) or days (e.g last day of the month) to support workflows, policies, and internal reporting requirements within your organization

The form builder interface currently only allows us to schedule events at a specific date and time, but FormSmarts also supports recurring scheduled actions. Consider a policy that expense claims must be submitted weekly every Friday from 12pm to 5pm. We can configure the expenses claim form to be enabled every Friday at noon and disabled at 5pm via the API Console. If you need help with this, please contact Support.

How to Capture a User’s State or Province on a Form

FormSmarts' Country Subdivision selector allows you to easily capture a visitor's state, province or other administrative country subdivision on a form.

  • The person's state, province, county, etc. is automatically preselected from their approximate IP address location, so the form control requires no or minimal action from the user
  • The Country Subdivision (CSD) selector works in all countries and territories worldwide
  • The country subdivisions listed are those in use in each country: state in the US, India and Australia, province in Canada, prefecture in Japan, land in Germany, county or borough in the UK, …
  • Please try this demo.

How to Select a Subdivision of Another Country

When we ask a user to provide their state or province on a form, we usually want to collect their state or province of residence, which is most likely (but not always) a subdivision of the same country they are submitting the form from.

For instance, if we need to get a visitor's country of birth or travel destination, this might not be the case, so we need to allow users to select an administrative subdivision in another country. We do this by adding a Country Selector before the Country Subdivision selector, as illustrated below.

User Management Dashboard

If a user changes the country selected, the list of subdivisions is updated accordingly. To allow more than one set of country & subdivision selectors on a form, a country selector is associated with the closest country subdivision selector it precedes.

For example, if a user changes their Country of Birth above, only the country subdivisions in the State/Province of Birth selector will be updated, those in the State/Province of Residence won't be affected.

To ensure a form works in all scenarios, we recommend you always add a Country Selector on a form whenever you include a Country Subdivision selector. Remember: because the country is automatically preselected, adding a Country Selector adds little if any friction/complexity to a form.

Introducing the New Account Dashboard

A major refresh of the account section of the site introduces several new tools and capabilities:

  • Easily create sub-users and share forms with them with the User Management dashboard
  • Review activity in your account in the new Account Activity pane
  • Invited users now have their own account dashboard

User Management Dashboard

Contact Information

Many customers rely on FormSmarts to receive timely form notifications critical to their organization. Unfortunately, we’ve been in the past left without any ways to contact some members after all email addresses in their account bounced our emails.

The Contact Information panel of the account dashboard now allows you to set a secondary email address and mobile phone number we will use in situations were we are unable to contact you via the primary email address associated with your account (i.e. your login email).

To set a secondary email, select one of the verified email addresses in your account, or add a new email in the Settings Tab of the Form Builder, verify it, then go back to the account dashboard to set the new address as your secondary email.

If your organization gets its email service as part of a web hosting package, we recommend using your personal email (e.g. Gmail account) as a secondary email.

To set a phone number, enter your cell phone number including the international dialing code (e.g. +1, +44,…). FormSmarts will send you a text message with a code to verify your number. Enter the verification code in the space provided and tap Verify to verify your number, then Update Contact Info to save the new number.

User Management Dashboard

The User Management Dashboard illustrated above allows you to view and manage existing users in your account, create new ones, and change their permissions on individual forms.

Click the button showing a vertical ellipsis to access the Actions menu for the corresponding user.

You can:

  • Edit a user’s permissions on your forms and share new forms with them
  • Change the email address associated with a user
  • Reset a user’s password
  • Turn off a user’s two-factor authentication
  • Suspend a user
  • Permanently delete a user
Security Note: You can sign a user out and view their recent session history in the Account Activity panel.

Create a User

To create a new user, enter their name and select their email address in the list of verified emails in your account. If needed, click the button showing a plus sign to add and verify a new email address.

Click Create User button.

The newly created user doesn’t have any permissions on any of your forms but has implicit permissions. They can, for instance, submit Private Forms.

Share a Form with a User & Edit Form Permissions

Tap the Edit Permissions option in the Actions menu of a user to launch the User Permissions settings.

Share Forms with a User and Set Permissions

To allow a user to access submitted data for a form, first share the form with them: select (or search for) a form in the list and click Share.

FormSmarts will give the user the necessary permissions to view a single form entry online, download a copy in PDF, view uploaded documents (form attachments), and add notes and tags to a form entry.

You can adjust permissions to additionally authorize the user to edit a form submission and generate a spreadsheet with aggregated form responses.

Account Activity

The new Account Activity panel allows you to review and audit the session history of all users who have accessed your account in the last thirty days.

A separate table lists Administrator Sessions and User Sessions.

Sign a User Out

Should you suspect or become aware of an unauthorized access to your account while it is still taking place, you can immediately sign the user out and invalidate their session with the Log Out of Other Sessions and Log User Out buttons.

  • Click Log Out of Other Sessions to immediately invalidate all administrator sessions other than the one you are currently using
  • Select a user in the list of users with an active session and click Log User Out to immediately log them out

Invited User Dashboard

FormSmarts sub-users can also access the account dashboard to perform actions and view information relevant to them:

  • View a list of forms you’ve shared with them and actions you’ve allowed them to perform
  • Review their recent account activity to check no one else has accessed their account
  • Change their password
  • Set up two-factor authentication

How to Set Up a Conditional Form Notification Email Based on a User’s Answer

Conditional Notifications allow a form owner to choose when to receive an email notification based on the value of a field or other conditions on the answer the user provides on a form.

Let’s see how we can benefit from this feature in practice with two examples.

First, consider a questionnaire where we ask customers to rate and give feedback about their experience with various aspects of a service. We’re going to send out invitations for customers to take part in the survey and collect their responses on the cloud. When the survey period is over, we’ll generate an Excel report with the aggregated answers of all participants for analysis. In this scenario, there is clearly no point in sending an email for each and every form submission.

Send form notification email based on answers on the form

But we wouldn’t want to miss an opportunity to talk to a customer promptly if they indicate on the form they have unfulfilled needs or concerns to address. This is where Conditional Notifications come handy: we want to send an email notification to the Customer Support team only when a customer indicates they need to speak to someone.

Email notification conditional to field value

We can define the Conditional Notification rule to send an email if a specific checkbox is checked as illustrated above, or when at least one aspect of the service is rated ‘Bad’.

When Should You Use Conditional Notification?

Online forms typically support one of two workflows:

  1. Form responses are collected “unsupervised” then the aggregated data set is processed or analyzed: this workflow relies on FormSmarts’ Excel report feature to generate a spreadsheet, it doesn’t involve email notifications
  2. Someone needs to attend to each and every form response, which is time-sensitive, must be processed individually and for which a reply must be sent to the submitter.

Conditional Notification allows FormSmarts members to add an exception to the first workflow by specifying a set of situations where a notification is sent, providing a bridge to the second workflow.

Rules can apply to any properties of a form response: value of input fields, type of form control (e.g. ‘radio button’), field ID, etc and may include logic operators, conditions, boolean operations,… to support a wide range of use-cases.

Second Example: A Screening Questionnaire

In the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic, an employee screening questionnaire provides us with another practical example of a situation where we can use a Conditional Notification to help screen employees prior to returning to work.

The screening questionnaire lists a number of questions describing COVID-19 symptoms to which employees have to reply by ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. All employees have to submit a screen questionnaire, but the sponsor of the questionnaire should only by notified by email if an employee replies ‘Yes’ to any of the screening questions.

When an employee submits their screening questionnaire, the Conditional Notification rule checks the value of all radio buttons on the form and sends a notification if at least one has the value ‘Yes’.

How to Set Up a Conditional Notification

To set up a Conditional Notification:

  1. Define a Rule: Conditional Notification rules are defined with a formal language for which there is currently no visual rules builder. Until we provide such a tool, contact Support with details of the precise conditions under which you want to receive an email notification so we set up the conditional notification rule for you. Please remember to provide us with the URL of the form.
  2. Enable conditional notifications: Once we’ve set up the rule for you, edit the form and tap Update email routing policy in the Submit Actions tab of the form builder. Select the Conditional Notification routing policy and save.

Set up a conditional notification rule

Other Email Routing Policies

By default, all destination emails you’ve set up for a form get a copy of every form response. You can change this behavior by setting a different email Routing Policy.

FormSmarts currently has the following Routing Policies:

  • Multicast: Every email subscriber gets a copy of every form entry (default).
  • User-Selected Recipient: User selects the recipient on the form. Typical use: sending customer inquiries to the relevant person or department.
  • Round-Robin: Each subscriber receives form entries in turn. Typical use: sharing workload between collaborators.
  • Conditional Notification: Only send a notification if conditions you’ve set on form data are satisfied.

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About the Form Builder Blog

The Online Form Builder Blog is published by FormSmarts, a web form service providing all you need to create a form and publish it online in minutes. FormSmarts makes it easy to build a form and embed it on your site. You can then get form submissions by email or store them on FormSmarts and download an Excel report. Learn more about the many other benefits of FormSmarts.