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.
Widgets/Functions – The bottom of the page provides a list of available question and container widgets/fuctions. To add a widget/fuction to your form, simply “drag and drop” it onto the form canvas.
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).
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: (i) click the desired question type at the bottom of the page and it will be appended to the form, or (ii) use a “drag and drop” motion to place the question anywhere on the canvas.
Moving a Question – To move the position of a question, use a “drag and drop” motion to place the question anywhere on the canvas.
Duplicating a Question – To duplicate a question, click on the duplicate icon in the upper right corner of the question canvas. 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 question canvas. 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 from 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.
Published – This indicates that a form is complete. Published forms are automatically added to the Main Project which is automatically subscribed to by all mobile units. See the Deploying Forms article for more information.
Opening an Existing Form
To open an existing form, click the Open button. Next, select the desired form from the list and click Open; otherwise click Cancel.
Open a Form from the Public 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 from customizing your own form. To open a form from the Public Library, click the Open button. The open dialog will be displayed. At the bottom of this dialog, click on Select a form from the doForms Public Library. See the Forms Library section for more information.
Open a Form from the Template Library
The "Template Library" is a place where doForms Mobile Forms Consultants post official forms they create. You can use these forms directly, or as starting points from customizing your own form. To open a form from the Template Library, click the Template button. See the Forms Library section for more information.
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.
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. See the Deploying Forms article for more information.
IMPORTANT: Once a form has been published under a certain name (say “Timesheet”), then that name cannot be used again in your doForms account (unless the form “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 use the Publish button, 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 “light edits” can be made to a form without affecting the data table structure. This may be done using the Open Special option (the Special button), from where light edits may be performed, and from where you can use the Save button to save the form using the same form name. 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 Save button to save the changes using the same form name and same data table (do not use File > Save as…).
The Build Forms tab allows you to insert an already existing form into a form that you are working on. This is very handy if you have form elements which you use over and over in your forms. To Insert a form:
- First Open the form that you wish to insert the other form into
- Click the Insert button. 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 drag and drop the questions to rearrange them 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.