Reuse form elements

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.

Both form elements and lists (the options used in radio buttons, checkboxes and select lists) can be saved and reused later on the same form or a different form. You can also copy and paste an element or group of elements within the same form.

Copying elements

After an element has been created in the Build & Edit tab, it can be copied to the Element Clipboard, a temporary holding area where a single element or group of elements can be placed in order to create additional copies of them on the form.

To save an element to the clipboard, click on the element to highlight it, and then click the blue "Copy" button found under "Selection Controls."

Highlighted field and selection controls

Multiple elements can be copied at once. Click the form background and drag to create a selection box around a group of items, or click multiple elements while holding Shift. Note, however, that they will act like a single element when pasted back into the form - the pasted elements will take up the same number of rows as the original elements. If another element is copied, it will replace the element(s) on the clipboard.

Element clipboard with multiple rows copied

Once the form is saved and closed, the contents of the clipboard will be lost. To save an element for longer-term use or use on another form, use the "Save Element" feature described below.

Saving elements

The "Saved Elements" pane in the Element Library stores customized elements created by users. Saved elements can be used anywhere, not just on the form where they were created.

To save an element you have customized, click on the element to highlight it. While it's highlighted, click the green "Save" button under "Selection Controls."

The "Save Element(s)" screen will appear. Give the element a name and add a comment if you wish. If the element is to be used by other forms editors, select the checkbox marked "Add to the shared saved element library." If this box is not selected, then the only user who created the element will be able to see and use it.

Saved elements can be edited from the Dashboard without opening a specific form. Click the "Saved Elements List" button on the Dashboard tab to open the Manage Saved Elements screen. Click a saved element's name to open it for editing.

Users can only modify the elements that they saved; other users' elements will be locked. Another user's element may be cloned, however, and the clone can be edited and saved as a new saved element. Click the blue "Clone Saved Element" button to create a copy of an existing saved element.

Shared saved element not editable

Changes made to a saved element will not be applied retroactively to any copies that were previously used in other forms. Only future instances of the saved element will reflect the edits.

Saving lists

Whenever a radio button, checkbox, or select list element is used, the options presented to an end user by that element are controlled by an Element List. (See Work with option lists.) These lists can be saved and reused, just like elements. 

Each selection element's properties contains the "List Items" section. This is where the options that the user can choose with that element are defined. At the top of the List Items, the gray buttons labeled "Load from the library" and "Save list to the library" allow editors to save and re-use existing lists.

List builder with library options

To save a list after entering list items, click "Save to the Library." Give the list a unique name. Next, choose a list category or create a new one (categories make it easy to organize lists however you prefer, so they can be found much faster later on).

Click the green "Save List" button when finished. The list will be saved to the List Library.

Using saved lists

A previously saved list can be applied to any selection element that you place on your form. To use a saved list:

  1. Add a selection element to the form (either a radio button, checkbox, or select list).

  2. Hover over the selection element and edit its properties.

  3. Find the "List Items" section, and click "Load from the Library." The list of all saved lists will pop up, sorted alphabetically by category.

  4. Scroll to find the list you want to use and click on the name. The selection element will be automatically populated with the items from the list.

Like saved elements, lists can be viewed and edited without going into a specific form. Click "Manage List Library" from the Dashboard tab, then click an individual list's name to open it for editing.

Manage list libraray button

Click the green "Save" button when finished.

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