Posts Tagged ‘digital contract’

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.

How to Add a Waiver, Liability Release or Other Contractual Agreement to a Form

The Agreement form widget allows you to add a waiver, liability release, agreement, or any other contract (terms & conditions, privacy statement, policy) to a form.

Add a liability release, waiver or digital contract to a form

The Agreement widget is intended to be combined with a required checkbox and an e-signature to capture a person’s consent on an online registration form or any other digital contract. Please try this demo.

  • A user can read the agreement inline in a scrollable area
  • The text can be popped out to a larger window and even launched full screen
  • We provide print and download buttons in the pop-up window
  • The text shown in agreement widget allows links and basic formatting: bold, italics, underlining, ordered and unordered lists. Here is a waiver example with formatted text.
  • Agreements are currently limited to 20,000 characters, please contact us if you need more.

Agreements are only available with the new generation of FormSmarts forms. You can set your account to the new forms in the Settings tab of the Form Builder.

How to Add Headings & Text Blocks to a Form


Use headings to create logical sections within your forms. For example, you might want to split a job application form into a Contact Details and a Past Employment section.

To add a heading, select the Heading widget in the Fields tab of the form builder. Enter the text of the heading into the Text box and save.

Add headings to a digital form

Text Blocks

The Text Block widget that allows you to insert text anywhere on a form. Example uses include:

  • Providing directions to guide respondents and help them fill out the form accurately
  • Adding a short disclaimer or waiver at the bottom of a form
  • Specifying an amount of money on a payment form
  • Defining the terms of a digital contract e-signed by the user

Online form with a Text Block

Text blocks are limited to 2,000 characters (250 characters with Free/Basic accounts). To add a waiver, contract, or terms of service, use an Agreement widget instead.

To add a text block to a form, select the Text Block widget in the Fields tab of the form builder, as illustrated below.

Add text to an online form with the Form Builder

The form builder allows you to insert links, specify bold text, and italicize and underline text using either the formatting toolbar (screenshot above) or with the wiki-style formatting syntax below:

  Text with Commands Formatted Text
Web Link This is a [ link to FormSmarts]. This is a link to FormSmarts.
Email Link This is an [ email link]. This is an email link.
Bold This text is *important*. This text is important.
Italics So is **this one**. So is this one.
Underlining Use underlining __sparingly__! Use underlining sparingly!
Unordered List * red
* green
* blue
  • red
  • green
  • blue
Ordered List 1. red
2. green
3. blue
  1. red
  2. green
  3. blue

Links and formatting commands are supported in text blocks, agreements, form filling instructions, form submission confirmation messages, confirmation emails, auto-responder messages and checkbox labels. Check out this example.

Ordered & unordered lists are only supported in agreements/waivers at this time.

  • Links open in a new window
  • Email links are not supported in checkbox labels at this time

Should You Show Text Blocks in Form Responses?

If you use text blocks to create a digital contract between you and the form respondent, the terms of the contract may need to appear in the copy of the submitted data given to both parties.

Instructions for filling out a form are only needed on the form itself, so by default text blocks are not shown in form responses or confirmation emails/PDF receipts.

Toggle on Show in form responses (see screenshot above) to display text blocks in both form responses and the confirmation email or PDF receipt issued to the person who submitted the form.

This option is not available with all types of accounts.

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.