The Build Forms tab is where you:
- Create & Layout the structure of your form
- Add & use an existing industry form templates
- Add resources like:
- Setup report templates
- And so much more...
The toolbar is located on the left hand side of your build form screen and consists of the tools used for building your form. They enable you to ask the questions that allow you to populate your form.
There are different groups of tools: Containers are used to frame portions of a form Input Tools is what is used to collect the information from the users. Actions are triggered events that process or causes activity on the forms. Media are special types of inputs used that is not textual, for example Audio or Sketches.
The Form's Canvas area is center of the page, where you may use tools to build your forms. By selecting a tool, from the toolbar, you can drop it on the canvas, set its properties and preview its before publishing the form to your workforce.
Using the various tools, you can layout your form, make it smart, and help get the answers to the questions you need answered.
Copy, Paste, Redo, Undo Options
The copy and paste feature is available in all forms and allows you to quickly select a single field or group of fields and either move or copy and paste them. Copy and pasting is also supported from one form to another form.
Copying and pasting a single field
- Select the field in build forms and click the copy button under the Jump to bar in the build screen.
- Select the field above where you want the field to be pasted and then click the paste button.
- Once paste is clicked it will add a duplicate field under the field that was selected when the user clicked paste.
Copy and pasting a set of fields that are in order in build forms
- Select a starting field in build forms screen.
- Find the last field in the set that you wish to copy. For example, if I have Fields 1-5 in my form, I would select Field 1 then scroll down to Field 5.
- Hold the shift button and select the last field in the set .For example, once I scrolled down to field five I would hold shift and select Field 5 which would then highlight Fields 1-5.
- Click Copy.
- Select the field above where you want the field set to be pasted and then click the paste button.
Copy and pasting a set of fields that are not in order in build forms
- Select a starting field in build forms screen.
- While holding the CTRL key select any field you wish to include in the copy.
- Click copy.
- Select the field above where you want the field set to be pasted and then click the paste button.
Moving a group of fields
- Select a starting field in build forms screen.
- While holding the CTRL or SHIFT key select any field or group of fields you wish to move.
- Once all of the necessary fields are selected, click and drag any one of the selected fields up or down the form to the area of your choosing. Once you release the click and drag the fields that were selected will now be moved the area in which you dragged to.
Undo- The Undo button will undo the last change the user pasted, moved, deleted, etc. The redo button will undo the undo button. This button is a way for users to redo an undo they recently did.
Redo- The Redo button reverses the last action you performed.
Delete- The Delete button allows users to select a single field or multiple fields and delete them. This is useful for situations where large chunks of a form need to be deleted.
File : provides the ability to save your form New form Open an existing form Publish & Unpublish a form Create a report template Export your structure. Load an industry based template Publish your form as a template
Settings : helps set form icon used on the mobile device
Managing Form Icons - Options Menu
The toolbar shown on the left side of the screen allow you to setup the fields for the form.
The Build Forms tab consists of two sections that work together as an easy-to-use, but very sophisticated, form creation tool.
In addition to building a form from scratch, you use our Forms Library. Forms from the Library can be used directly or as a starting point for customization.
Form Canvas The left hand side of the page provides a form canvas that illustrates the form. The “selected” question is highlighted in green.
Properties – The properties area on the right hand side of the page allows you to customize the “selected” question. Note that the available properties vary with the question type (see below).
Creating a Form
When you start the form builder, a blank canvas will be displayed with an untitled form. You may also use the File menu to select a form from the Forms Library which you can use as a starting point for further customization.
Note that all forms have two possible states:
Draft – This indicates that the form is a “work in progress” and not available to any mobile units.
Preview – This allows you to see what the form will look like before publishing to your mobiles. This is great for usability testing and ensuring your ideas are implemented as you need them to be.
Publish – This indicates that a form is complete. This indicates that a form is complete, and ready to be assigned. Published forms are automatically added to the Main Project which is subscribed to by all mobile units automatically.
doForms provides the ability to control most aspects of the mobile app user interface (UI); including company logo, form icons, menu bar layout, background and text colors, and more.
This allows the user to create a mobile app UI that is specific to their own business applications, like the one illustrated below.
An important element of UI customization is what icons and text are displayed to represent each form to the mobile user. You can control this display in the form building menu by selecting Options> Form Icon.
To change the form icon settings:
- Open the desired form in the Build Forms tab (you can use the Open: HYPERLINK TO OPEN or Open Special: HYPERLINK TO OPEN SPECIAL buttons)
- Click on the Options menu
- Select Form Icon
In the graphic on the left, we have opened a form named “13 ROI Calculator 1.0”. Note that this simple “Standard Icon” graphic is assigned as default icon to new each form (this is what we will change). Also, note that the default text under the icon is the same as the form name (we will change this as well).
After you are done with your changes, you will need to update the form. If you used the Open button to open the form, then use the Publish button to save your changes. If you used the Open Special button to open the form, then use the Save button. After you do this, your mobile units will receive the UI changes the next time an Update function is performed on a device.
TIP: If you wish to control the order in which form icons are displayed in the mobile app UI, you can do this with clever assignment of form names. Forms are always ordered alpha-numerically by their form names when displayed in the UI. A simple trick is to use a number prefix with each form name to control the order. Number prefixes my not be desirable in the text under the icon, but you can rename the text under the icon to something more pleasing. Remember - its the form name that controls the icon order placement, not the text under the icon (which can be anything you choose).
Form Sequence number: Forms in the mobile app appear in alphabetical order by default. With this enhancement you will be able to change the order in which your forms are listed by adding a numerical priority number. Forms with 1 as their priority will appear before forms with 10 as their prioity. Use this settings to fully cusotmize the order in which the forms are displayed to your mobile users.
Form Basics - New,Open, Insert, Save, Delete
The Build Forms tab consists of two sections that work together as an easy-to-use, but very sophisticated, form creation tool. In addition to building a form from scratch, you can use our Forms Library. Forms from the Library can be used without change, or as a starting point for customization.
Tools/Functions – The toolbar on the left-hand side of the page provides a list of available question and container Tools/fuctions. To add a widget/fuction to your form, simply click on it.
Form Canvas – The center page provides a form canvas that illustrates the form in it’s editing process. The “selected” function (which you can now edit) is highlighted in green. To view the form in non-editing mode, you can click the preview button in the upper left-hand corner.
Properties – The properties area on the right hand side of the page allows you to customize the “selected” function. Note that the available properties vary with the question type (see below).
Menu Buttons - Menu Buttons in the upper right of the Build Forms tab provide quick access to the most commonly used functions.
Adding, Moving, Duplicating & Deleting Questions
Adding a Question – There are two ways to add a question to the canvas: click the desired question type from the function toolbar and it will be appended to the form; or use a “drag and drop” motion to place the question anywhere on the canvas.
Moving a Question – To move the position of a question, drag and drop it to the desired location.
Duplicating a Question – To duplicate a question, click on the duplicate icon in the upper right corner of the highlighted question. This is very handy when creating a form with a list of similar questions.
Deleting a Question – To delete a question, click on the delete icon (trash can) in the upper right corner of the highlighted function. You will be asked to confirm the delete.
IMPORTANT: The “drag and drop” motion is only supported by the newest versions of most popular web browsers. Please make sure your browser is up-to-date for the best experience in the Build Forms tab.
Creating a New Form
When you start the form builder, a blank canvas will be displayed with an untitled form. If a form is already open, you can use the New button to start a new form. Note that all forms have two possible “states”:
Draft – This indicates that the form is a “work in progress” and not available to any mobile units. Draft – This allows you to see what the form will look like before publishing to your mobiles. This is great for usability testing and ensuring your ideas are implemented as you need them to be. Publish – This indicates that a form is complete, and ready to be assigned. Published forms are automatically added to the Main Project which is subscribed to by all mobile units automatically.
See the Deploying Forms for more information.
Opening an Existing Form
To open and edit an existing form, click the open button, then select the form you want to open. You can also open a form by selecting File>Open. If you wish to view a form without editing, you can go to the Manage section (in the main toolbar), and select Forms.
Public & Template Library
The “Public Library” is a place where doForms users can share the forms they create.
: You can use these forms directly, or as starting points for customization.
To open a form from the Public Library, click the Open button.
A small button entitled “Select a form from the doForms Public Library” will appear at the bottom of the screen.
The “Template Library” is a place where doForms Mobile Forms Consultants (MFCs) post official doForms forms.
: You can use these forms directly, or as starting points for customization.
To open a form from the Template Library, click the Template button.
Saving a Form
Always be sure to save changes to your form before navigating away from the Build Forms tab.
To Save a Draft form under the same name, click the Draft button. You will be provided with an opportunity to name/rename the form if you wish.
Publish - To Publish a form, click the Publish button. When published, the form will automatically be added to the Main Project, and will be available to all mobile devices that subscribe to this project.
IMPORTANT: Once a form has been published under a certain name (ex. “Timesheet”), then that name cannot be used again in your doForms account (unless “Timesheet” has been deleted). This restriction is in place to prevent confusion about which data came from which version of a form. Therefore, when publishing an update to a form, you will need to use a different name (we recommend appending a letter or number to the form name, e.g., Timesheet-2 or Timesheet-B). The only exception to this rule is the Open Special option described below.
IMPORTANT: Once a form has been published, please be sure to notify your mobile users that they must “Update” forms in their doForms mobile app. Otherwise, they will receive the published form until the next time they exit and restart the doForms mobile app (when the update happens automatically).
As described above, if you use the Open button to make edits to a form and then publish, a new name will need to be assigned to the form. This is because every version of a form corresponds to a specific data table structure. So, for example, if you add or delete questions, or change a Repeatable Section, the underlying data table structure changes, and hence a new data table needs to be set up in which to store the data.
However, there are instances where very minute edits can be made to a form without affecting the data table structure. This may be done using the Special button. Here, light edits may be performed, to the same form. In these cases the collected data will continue to be stored in the same data structure and same data table.
Light edits are defined operations that DO NOT:
- Change the “data_name” of any existing question
- Add new questions
- Delete questions
IMPORTANT: If you open a previously published form with the open Special button, then be sure to use the **** button to save the changes using the same form name and same data table.
The Build Forms tab allows you to insert a pre-existing form into one that you are working on. This is very handy if you have form elements which you use repeatedly. To insert a form:
- Open the form that you are working on.
- Click the Insert button (In the Menu Buttons). A list of available forms will be displayed.
- Select the form that you wish to insert, and click Insert.
- The selected form will be inserted at the bottom of the form that you were working on. From here you can rearrange them functions as desired.
IMPORTANT: After inserting a form, you may need to edit the “Data Name” property of some of the questions to ensure that there are no duplicates. If you do so, you will also need to review and possibly edit any relevance and skip conditions which use these data names - likewise any affected destination fields in Lookup questions.
Deleting a Form
To Delete a form from the Build Forms tab, first open it in the Build Forms tab, then click the Delete button. Note that doing this only deletes the form, NOT the data in the View Data tab that might have been collected using the form. Alternatively, you can go to the Manage > Forms tab and delete unwanted forms and their data from there. This is the preferred method if you with to delete more than one form at a time.
Form Basics-Deploying and Updating Forms
Deploying Forms to Your Mobile Devices
There are a number of ways to deploy your form to your mobile devices:
There are two ways to deploy your form to your mobile devices:
Deploy to the Main Project - The simplest and fastest way to deploy a form is to press the Publish button. This will change the form to a Published state and automatically add it to the Main Project. Note that all mobile units are subscribed to the Main Project by default. You can manually unsubscribe them in the Mobile Units tab.
Deploy Using the Projects tab – This method provides the greatest control over who gets what form. First, you will need to publish the form using the Publish button. Next, go to the Projects tab and manually select which projects the form is added to. Just those mobile units that subscribe to those selected projects will receive the form.
In either case, your form will automatically be pushed out to all mobile devices that subscribe to the corresponding projects. This will occur the next time the mobile user starts the doForms mobile app, or when he or she uses the “Update Forms and Notices” function.
Updating Previously Deployed Forms
If a form is Published and assigned to a Project, future updates to that form will also be pushed out to the mobile devices that subscribe to that Project. Reminder that this only applies when you use the Special editing tool. Updates will be sent as soon as you hit Save. Remember, that if you use the Open button to make edits to a form, then use the Publish button, a new form name will need to be assigned to the form. Click here for a refresher on why.
Question and Container Tools
Each doForm is constructed out of four types of building blocks in the Widget Toolbar:
Actions- Think of these as the Tools that “do things on their own:” the Tools that generally don’t require much user input. These are the actions that make communicating with other coworkers, instant payment, and app-like features possible, and are one of the many reasons why doForms makes forms so much easier. Actions are comprised of: + Action Buttons + Auto-Number + Barcode + Calculation + Email + Forward + NFC + Payment + Score Summary + Trends Containers- Containers are here to help you organize and customize your form. Containers allow you to create tables, questionnaires, and instance-specific grids that contain other Tools. To add a widget to a grid, simply drag it inside. Click here to learn about which to use, when. Containers include: + Button Grid + Layout Grid + Page + Questionnaire + Repeatable + Table Input- These are the features that require user input, and help optimize your form. Input Tools include: + Choose One + Counter + Data Lookup + Date/Time + GPS Location + Numeric + Score by Category + Select Multiple + Signature + Text Media- Media Tools take full advantage of the device you’re using, by allowing you to use the camera, audio features, and more. They include: + Audio + Image + Label + Sketch + Video
Relevance and Skip Logic
The “Advanced Properties” area in the Build Forms tab provides “skip” and “relevance” options which can be used for applying very sophisticated logic to the behavior of your form.
When to Use Relevance Logic vs. Skip Logic
Both relevance and skip logic can be used to control the navigation of a form. But there are some very noticeable differences in how the work in particular situations.
When to use relevance logic:
When you want to control if questions are visible or not depending on the condition. Questions with relevance logic will be invisible in a form until the relevance condition is met.
When you want to control is a question will be required. Then a question is invisible, doForms does not check its required status. Only after the relevance condition is met, and the question is displayed, will doForms check the required status.
When to use skip logic:
- When you wish to jump over large parts of a form using just one condition.
- When you do not need to hide questions (just skip over them)
- When there are no required questions that will be skipped over. Even when skipped over, doForms will evaluate the required status of questions.
In most cases using relevance logic is preferable to skip logic because to the greater control it provided over if a question will be visible and if its required status will be checked.
Adding Skip Logic
You can apply skip logic to jump from one question to any other question below it (or to the end of the form). This is done by evaluating the answer to the original question based on a condition, and then jumping to the destination question if that condition is met.
In the example below, the skip condition can be interpreted as “skip to the end of the form if the answer to the current question is A”.
You may also use “compound” skip logic to evaluate two or more skip conditions using AND/OR logical operators (see section below).
Note that you cannot use skip logic to create loops. Use Repeatable Sections for looping.
IMPORTANT: Skip logic is automatically cleared whenever the properties of any of the questions involved are altered. For this reason, we recommend adding skip logic last and always checking it prior to saving a form as Published.
Adding Relevance Logic
You can apply relevance logic to ignore a question based on the answer to any question above it. This is done by evaluating the answer to the prior question based on a condition and ignoring the current question if that condition is not met.
In the example below, the relevance condition can be interpreted as “if the answer to the media image capture question above was ‘no_media’, then display the current sketch question.” Otherwise, the current sketch question would be ignored.
The example below also illustrates how relevance logic can be used to make robust forms that contain alternative questions when a certain type of hardware input is not available. In this example, if the mobile device does not possess a camera, the previous image capture question would have been skipped over automatically, and the value “no_media” assigned to that image capture question would have been used to trigger the current sketch question as an alternative.
Another useful tactic is to use the “not equal” operator with a “blank” answer value. The example below would cause the relevance logic to trigger if any one of the answers to the select multiple question is checked. The alternative for achieving this result would be to use the “equal” operator in multiple compound logic statements (see next section).
You may also use “compound” relevance logic to evaluate two or more relevance conditions using AND/OR logical operators (see section below).
IMPORTANT: Relevance logic is automatically cleared whenever the properties of any of the questions involved are altered. For this reason, we recommend adding relevance logic last and always checking it prior to saving a form as Published.
Both the Skip Logic and Relevance Logic features provide the ability to use multiple logical conditions. As an example, supposed you have building inspection form with the following Select Multiple question:
Furthermore, in a situation where both Basement and Crawlspace are selected, you would like Numeric Question to be displayed where you can enter the percent that is basement.
Then, you might use the compound relevance logic below to specify that the Percent Basement question will only be displayed if Basement and Crawlspace are checked above:
Applying compound logic can be a little bit tricky. Logical operators are evaluated from left to right, and in the following order:
- Evaluate all “less than” and “greater than”, next
- Evaluate all “equals to”, next
- Evaluate all logical “AND”, next
- Evaluate all logical “OR”, next.
Below are a few examples which illustrate how certain compound conditions will be interpreted in the doForms mobile app:
Compound Condition Example 1:
Under_Structure is equal “Basement” AND Under_Structure is equal “Crawlspace”.
If Under_Structure = “Basement” only => Percent_Basement is not displayed If Under_Structure = “Basement” & “Crawlspace” => Percent_Basement is displayed If Under_Structure = “Basement” & “Crawlspace” & “Slab” => Percent_Basement is displayed If Under_Structure = “Basement” & “Crawlspace” & “Slab” & “Hillside” => Percent_Basement is displayed If Under_Structure = “Basement” & “Slab” => Percent_Basement is not displayed If Under_Structure = “Basement” & “Hillside” => Percent_Basement is not displayed
Compound Condition Example 2:
Under_Structure is equal “Basement” AND Under_Structure is equal “Crawlspace” OR Under_Structure is equal “Slab”
If Under_Structure = “Basement” only => Percent_Basement is not displayed If Under_Structure = “Basement” & “Crawlspace” => Percent_Basement is displayed If Under_Structure = “Slab” => Percent_Basement is displayed If Under_Structure = “Basement” & “Slab” => Percent_Basement is displayed If Under_Structure = “Basement” & “Hillside” => Percent_Basement is not displayed If Under_Structure = “Basement” & “Slab” & “Hillside” => Percent_Basement is displayed.
Compound Condition Example 3:
Under_Structure is equal “Basement” AND Under_Structure is equal “Crawlspace” OR Under_Structure is equal “Slab” OR Under_Structure is equal “Hillside”
If Under_Structure = “Basement” only => Percent_Basement is not displayed If Under_Structure = “Basement” & “Crawlspace” => Percent_Basement is displayed If Under_Structure = “Basement” & “Slab” => Percent_Basement is displayed If Under_Structure = “Basement” & “Hillside” => Percent_Basement is displayed If Under_Structure = “Slab” => Percent_Basement is displayed If Under_Structure = “Hillside” => Percent_Basement is displayed If Under_Structure = “Slab” & “Hillside” => Percent_Basement is displayed
Tip: Consider using the “Hide field in mobile app” property in special text, numeric, date:time and calculation questions to store data values that can be used to trigger relevance or skip logic conditions.
Managing Record Names - Option Menu
Record Names provide you with the ability to designate a way to identify an individual submission of a certain form, in addition to the Form Record and mobile device. This is very useful for locating previous customer transactions, parts ordered, etc.
This means that in addition to keeping track of who submitted the form, and the individual form record itself, you have the ability to customize each form’s searchability, depending on what you cover in it. Record Names can only be comprised of data values contained in the form.
When specified, Record Names are also used as file-name values when creating PDF or Excel reports. If you plan on using record names for reports, then be sure that each record name is unique so that you do not over-write an existing file. If you are unsure, then add a date:time field to your record name to ensure uniqueness. Click here to read more about using record names for PDF and Excel reports.
By default, the record name consists of “Form Name” and the date the record was created. To customize the Record name:
Go to the form for which you want to change the Record Name. If it’s published, use the Special function. Click on Record Name in the Options menu.
Select what features you would like to use as your record name. Here I’m selecting the customer’s name, the amount they paid, and their specialized invoice number. Remember that if you have recurring customers, you should have some way of making sure there are no recurring Record Names. Otherwise your data records may be compromised.
When you view form data (in the View Data section), or submit a form on your device, you will see the Record_Name has changed.
Adding a New Lookup Table from an Internal doForms Data Table
A lookup table can also be generated from an internal doForms data table in the View Data tab. In other words, data collected by doForms in one form can also be used to generate lookup tables that other forms will use. To create a new lookup table from an internal doForms data table:
Click dd to create a new lookup table. Click Use Form.
Select the doForms data table to use. Select “Update Automatically” if you wish to have the lookup table updated whenever the doForms data table changes (more on this below).
Type in a Description for this lookup table (optional).
Click Save Table when done.
Updating a Lookup Table
To update a lookup table, click the Build Forms > Resources menu, then select Manage Lookup Tables. Click the Row Menu next to the lookup table you wish to delete and select Update.
If the lookup table was from an external Excel or CSV file, you will be asked to upload an updated CSV or Excel 97-2003 lookup file. For the update to work seamlessly, the updated files MUST have exactly the same number of columns and exactly the same column names (number of rows or actual data values in the rows can be different). If this is not the case, then we recommend deleting the saved lookup table and uploading the new one under a different name. You will also need to reset the properties of any lookup questions in your forms which utilize this lookup table.
If the lookup table was created from a doForms data table and you did NOT select the “Update Automatically” option, then you must use the procedure above to update the lookup table.
If the lookup table was created from a doForms data table and you DID select the “Update Automatically” option, then the lookup table will be updated whenever changes are made to the doForms data table (e.g. new data records are received, or edits are made in the View Data tab).
IMPORTANT: If an edit is made to the doForms data table in the View Data tab, then, in order for the corresponding lookup table to be automatically updated, the user needs to log out of the doForms website and log back into the doForms Website. Alternatively, the user may use the procedure above to manually force and update without the need to log-out and log back in.
Deleting a Lookup Table
To delete a lookup table, click the Build Forms > Resources menu, then select Manage Lookup Tables. Click the Row Menu next to the lookup table you wish to delete and select Delete.
Managing Custom Report Templates - Resources Menu
In addition to the Standard Report Template, doForms allows you to create Custom Report Templates. Custom templates have a number of advantages:
- Provide much greater control over format of the report
- Can apply Excel calculations and functions to your data
- Can include Excel charts and graphs generated from your data
Custom Report Templates are created using the notion of an Excel Template file. These template files are simply Excel worksheets that have been “Saved as… Excel Template”. Note that doForms ONLY recognizes Excel 97-2003 and Excel 2010 Template formats** (xlt, xltx, xltm). See the Create Reports article for more information on how to create and use Excel Report Templates.
To manage your Excel Report Template, in the Build Forms tab click the Build Forms > Resources menu, then select Manage Excel Template. The dialog below will open with a list of all report templates that have been set up in the Build Forms tab.
After the Excel Report Template has been created on your PC (see the View Data tab section), follow these steps to upload it to your doForms website:
- Go to the Build Forms tab of your website.
- Click on the Resources menu.
- Select Manage Report Templates.
- Click Add.
- Click Upload Report Template.
A “File Upload” dialog will open. Browse the files, then select your Excel Report Template file and click Open.
Give your template a name and description, then click Save.
Your template will be added to the Saved Excel Templates list.
Repeat the steps above to load additional report templates into your Build Forms tab. Click Close when done.
See the Creating Reports section for more information on how to create and use Custom Report Templates.
TIP: When you upload a report template, this template becomes available for use with any form in your account provided that the data names are exactly matching.
Public & Template Library
doForms provides a Public & Template Forms Library, which allows you to select pre-made forms that can be used directly in your projects, or used as foundation for further customization. To date, the Forms Library contains over 600 forms that have been contributed by users like you.