Work with option lists

This article refers to our legacy product, Forms Manager. For the best Finalsite experience, we recommend using our newest product, Forms, which is already available to you in your modules list. To learn more, please review our New Forms FAQ or Compare Forms and Forms Manager.

When adding a selection element (radio buttons, checkboxes, or a select list) to a form in Forms Manager, the various choices represented by that element and displayed to the user are created in the List Manager. The List Manager is found in the Element Properties, which can be accessed by hovering over the element and clicking the pencil icon that pops up.

Pre-formatted lists

Many of the most common option lists, such as lists of Athletic teams, a list of US states, a list of academic class years, and so on, are stored as pre-formatted lists. These "saved lists" can be implemented in any selection element using the Element Properties window, via the List Manager. To load a saved list, click the gray "Load from the Library" button.

Pre-formatted lists can be updated by clicking on the "Manage List Libraries" button in the Forms Manager Dashboard tab. All of the previously saved lists will be displayed; click on the name of a list to select it.

Add your own pre-formatted lists to the library by clicking on the “New List” button on the Manage List Libraries screen, or by saving it in the Element Properties window of a selection element with the “Save list to the library” button.

Custom option lists

For information that is not on a pre-formatted list, form authors can create a custom option list.

List Items options menu

Each row in the list builder corresponds to a single entry on the selection element. For each entry, there is one required column, "Item." The entry in this column is displayed to the user, either as a label on a radio button or checkbox or as an item in a select menu.

The optional "Use Alternate Result" column is activated by selecting the checkbox at the top of the middle column. Entries in this column can be used to identify responses to this element in the Form Results tab.

The "Assign Currency" column is only needed if the selection element is used to choose something that the end user will purchase. This column contains the cost of whatever the user is buying, and it must be a monetary value in “00.00” format. See Use currency fields on a form for more details.

The “Display in results” checkboxes allow you to choose which of the columns will be included on the form results or exported list of submissions: the option label, the option value that was passed to the database, or both.

If you wish, you can use a spreadsheet program like Excel to build these lists. You can select up to three columns in your spreadsheet, which correspond with the three columns in the list manager: Item, Alternate Result, and Currency. Just copy the rows/columns from the spreadsheet, click the "Paste from spreadsheet" button, and paste the values into the box that appears. It will automatically convert your spreadsheet values to the list item format.

Default values

Use the "Default" column to select which option(s) in an option list are selected by default when the page loads.

When creating a select list (dropdown menu), you will also have the option of creating a blank entry labeled "Please select..." at the top of the menu. Users will have to select a different option from the menu before submitting the form.

If a field is required, you will not be able to set a default. The user must make a selection manually.

“Other” fields

You can use conditional fields to create an "Other" option on an option list for users to enter their own values.

To do so, add an option to for "Other" in the List Manager.

Then, create a new text element right after this and set the conditional field settings to only activate the text field when the "Other" option in the selection element is checked. (See Use conditional fields for more information.)

The text field will now appear when the user chooses the “Other” option and allow them to enter an alternate value.

Note: This will create a separate column in the form's results, so you'll need to be aware of that when viewing the results.
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