Yearly Archives: 2018

Pre-Populate URL Parameters with Embedded Forms

UPDATE: This feature has been added to Formsite! See the newer article for instructions. A common question when embedding forms is how to pre-populate URL parameters. For example, in this URL:
The URL parameters come after the question mark ‘?’ and multiple parameters are separated with ampersands ‘&’. This URL contains parameters ‘first’ and ‘second’ with the corresponding values ‘red’ and ‘blue’. Formsite Pre-populate URL Parameters Using the prePopulate value in the form’s embed code lets form owners pre-populate the embedded forms. A previous article shows how to accomplish that using the site’s back-end language (php, java, .NET, asp, etc.). For form owners without back-end knowledge or access, these are instructions for using basic HTML files and Javascript.
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Field Labels in Forms Affect UX & Completion Rates

Using Formsite’s drag-and-drop form builder makes for fast and easy forms. Adding form items provides the item’s structure automatically, and some options are available for more customization. For example, the default position of the field labels places them above and aligned to the left side of the field. For most forms (in left-to-right reading languages), this default placement proves to be the best.

Placement of Field Labels

The possible label placements are:

  • Top left, center, or right
  • Left, right
  • Infield (inside the field)

Formsite field labels

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Page Rules for Smart & Multi-page Forms

An essential tool for creating smart online forms is Formsite’s Rules. The Rules apply to either form items or pages and makes working with multi-page forms possible. Page rules apply their logic after each page and allow form owners to repeat or skip as needed.

The evolution of mobile apps has helped forms and other data collection methods with higher expectations for user experience. Examples include larger text, easier selections and answers, bigger buttons, and less on-screen information. A recent design style that is gaining popularity is the multi-page form, or showing one question at a time.

Formsite page rules

Multi-page forms are easily made with Formsite and page rules help to make them smart.

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Embedded Form Alignment and Other Formatting Tips

Embedded forms allow Formsite form owners to display forms in their own sites, which creates a more integrated and seamless user experience. The embed code offers variables for sizing the form, prePopulating the embedded form, and various other settings. Embedded form alignment can be tricky, however, and some style settings in the host site may be needed.

Formsite embedded form alignment

The most common way of embedding forms displays the form in the main content area on the host site. The form's width is set to 100% and the host site's code sets the container's position.

Sometimes the form owner wants to display the form smaller, aligned differently, or in a smaller container on the host site. Therefore, custom CSS changes the alignment and position of the form's container.

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Export Results Reports with Filters, Views & Labels

A new feature suggested by customers allows report users to export Results Reports. This new feature extends the download ability to report viewers and makes sharing results easy.

The Results Reports is the Formsite way to share results without giving access to the entire account. New form submissions save as results in the Results Table, and the reports feature allows form owners to create filtered reports with specific information. Reports are then shared through a unique URL.

Formsite export Results Reports

The new feature allows users of Results Reports to download the results in an Excel spreadsheet, using the filters, views, and labels.

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Restore Incomplete Results to Resume Completing Forms

Incomplete results occur when form visitors do not complete the form through the last submit button. Sometimes they experience technical trouble and lose their network connections, which cause the form result to be abandoned. Another possibility is that the form requires long answers that cause visitors to spend a long time on each page. Regardless of the reason, there are times when we need to restore incomplete results so the owners can resume editing them.

Formsite restore incomplete results

What causes incomplete results?

The system will create the result when these events occur:

  1. The form is submitted. The normal one-page form creates the result with a Complete status when submitted successfully.
  2. The multi-page form goes from page 1 to page 2. To save the answers from page 1, the system needs to create the incomplete result and saves the answers.
  3. A file or image is uploaded to the form. Uploading files creates incomplete results that contain the link to the file.
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Send Bulk Email to Entire Results Table

Many form owners ask how to send bulk email to the entire Results Table. Some also request the ability to include result values in the email to either personalize or provide more information in the email content. Our integrations provide easy ways to automate actions with every new form result and it’s possible to trigger integrations on individual results, but not the entire Results Table at once. Formsite send bulk email Results Table Exporting the results and using the data with the integration services requires some formatting in Excel or expertise with Formsite’s Results Filters, Views, and Labels. Example scenarios:
  • Collect results using a form or survey and email the entire list with a Pre-populate link to update their information.
  • Use a Results Filter to export results that include a specific item ordered to inform previous users of new related products.
  • Collect wait-list addresses and send bulk email when more spots are available.
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Sizing Images for Responsive Forms and Surveys

Forms that are ‘responsive’ means that they automatically resize themselves depending on the size of the window used to view them. If a form displays on a large monitor then it should appear differently than on a smaller device like a smartphone. Sizing images for responsive forms can be tricky so here are some tips and shortcuts.

Formsite sizing images iPad

Methods for Using Images

Images are added to Formsite forms in several ways, most commonly:

  • Image item
  • Formatted Text item (or text editor for Notifications, Success Pages, etc.)
  • Heading item
  • Image List item

Formatting images using these methods presents challenges for form owners in some cases. The application of CSS and/or other HTML code helps to optimize how the images appear on forms.

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Add Email Content using Rules and Results Views

Formsite account owners have the ability to send email notifications after each successful form submission. The default content for form notifications contains a table showing the form’s questions and answers. Customers frequently request a way to add email content to notifications in either the message or results.

The most common way to include additional content is to add a message to the email. Using the message area allows form owners to use piped values from the form. This method works for many customers, but some want to customize the values within the results area instead.

Formsite add email content

For example, consider a form with long descriptive text for each of the choices. Sending the notification to a fulfillment person doesn’t require the descriptive text, but only the choices’ item numbers.

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Rename Files Uploaded to Forms with Zapier

Formsite rename filesFormsite allows form owners at all service levels to use File Upload items on forms. Adding this item lets form visitors send a file attachment along with the form result. In order to prevent files with the same file name overwriting each other, Formsite adds some characters to the beginning of the file names. A frequent question we receive is how to rename files uploaded with the File Upload item.

Currently the files saved in the Formsite results are not able to be renamed, but using the Zapier integration with another service allows us to save or send a copy of the file using its original file name.

Zapier’s powerful tools help to work with the information in the form result. For example, using Zapier’s Formatter we can identify and extract the original name for uploaded files. Once the Formatter has identified the file’s name, form owners can continue using Zapier to send or store the file. Choices include sending via email, adding to Excel or Google Sheets, or copying the renamed file to Google Drive, Box, Dropbox, or any other supported file storage service.

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