Forms manager element properties

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.

There are a number of different elements you can add to a form to gather all types of information. Using the customization options in the Element Properties, you can achieve even more specialization to your forms. To access the Element Properties, hover over the element and click the edit pencil.

This article describes all of the features you might find on the Element Properties window for any of the forms elements. Not all of these features will be in every element.


This section contains the basic controls relating to how the field acts and appears.

  • Type dropdown: Some elements can be easily converted to another using this control. For example, convert a text field to a text area or email field, or convert radio buttons to checkboxes or a select list.

  • Field Label: This field defines the text prompt that tells the user what sort of information to enter into the field. The label position, either above or to the left of a field, can be adjusted in the "Form Layout" section at the top of the Form Manager screen.

  • Results View / Reporting Label: Use this field to define a specific name for the column that displays the results from each individual element on the form results. On the report of all form responses, individual submissions will be listed as rows in a spreadsheet, while each text field, checkbox, or other form element will appear as a column.

  • This field is required: Select this checkbox if the user must respond to this field in order to submit the form.

  • Use a default value: For text fields, check this box if you want this field to be pre-filled with text when the user first opens the form. Checking the box to the left will bring up the "Default Value" field, where you can enter the pre-fill text.

  • Tooltip Text: Tooltips can be used to give users a prompt about how to format their response or other information about the field. The position of the tooltip in relation to the field itself can be adjusted in the "Form Layout" section at the top of the Form Manager window. Tooltips can be positioned below a field, to the right of a field, or hidden until the user hovers their mouse over the field.

  • Description Text: Description text is a short blurb that provides the user with additional context about what information should be entered into the field. Descriptions are displayed above the field.

  • Display Radio Buttons/Checkboxes: The options for radio buttons and checkboxes may either be displayed all on one line or each on a new line.

Size options

For text fields, the size options are used to control how many characters the field will accept, and how wide the field appears on the screen.

  • Field Size: Defines the width the field will take up on the screen

  • Maximum Number of Characters: Text fields and email fields are limited to 255 characters. If you need to use more characters, use the Type Dropdown to convert the field to a text area.

Date format

On the date picker field, choose whether to display the date in a Month/Day/Year or Day/Month/Year format.


Validation gives you the ability to limit the field to only accept certain characters, or to only accept characters that match a predetermined pattern. A field can be set to validate for common information, such as a ZIP code or phone number. It's also possible to customize the validation protocol so that a field can only accept a limited set of alphanumeric and punctuation characters.

  • Standard Validation: The Standard Validation menu options allow you to choose from a number of pre-set patterns. Any data entered into this field will be rejected unless it matches the pattern dictated by the validation type. The available patterns are:

    • Dutch Postal Code

    • Email address

    • Integer (no decimals)

    • Letters & Numbers only

    • Letters only

    • Numbers only

    • Numeric (allows decimals)

    • U.S. Phone number

    • U.S. Zipcode

    • URL

  • Advanced Validation: Selecting the last option from the dropdown menu will bring up new menu options that allow you to create a new validation pattern for that particular field. Selecting one of these radio buttons will limit the type of input the field will accept.

    • Numbers: Only numerals (0-9) will be accepted. Selecting this option will also activate the "Validate Range of Values" control (see below).

    • Letters: Only alphanumeric characters (A-Z) will be accepted. Both lowercase and uppercase letters will work.

    • Letters & Numbers: A combination of the above two selections; disallows punctuation characters. When using Letters & Numbers, it is not possible to validate a range of numeric values.

    • By Character...: Choosing this option will bring up a new menu, where you can specify exactly which letter, numeral, and punctuation characters will be accepted by the form.

    • By Phrase...: Users completing this form will have to enter a string of letters/numbers exactly in order to submit the form. The form creator first enters the validation phrase in the "Phrase:" box when creating the field. This feature is particularly useful when using discount coupon codes in a payment form.

    • Accept Spaces: Selecting this checkbox will let users enter spaces in the field. By leaving it unchecked, users must enter an unbroken string of characters.

    • Validate Length: Checking this box will allow you to specify minimum and maximum lengths for the allowable text in this field.

    • Validate Range of Values: Enabling this option will let you specify minimum and maximum values for a valid field response.

Encryption and security

On some fields, you can select from options to make your form more secure.

Note: This is not intended to bring collected data under compliance with data security or privacy regulations. Credit card data, social security numbers, and government ID numbers should never be collected and stored through forms.
  • Encrypt responses to this question: Checking this box means that text entered in the field will be stored in an encrypted state when saved to the database.

  • Hide user input: This feature will display any text entered into the Email Field as asterisks or bullets instead of letters or numbers.

Prefill options

Choosing a selection from the Prefill From dropdown menu will automatically place the chosen option into the field, if the user is logged in and the corresponding data is present in their constituent profile. See Prefill information on a form for more details about these options.

Currency options

Designating a field as “Currency” means that it will be associated with a monetary transaction.

  • Use this field for currency: Selecting the "Use this field for currency" checkbox will automatically remove the validation configuration choices, as all currency fields are automatically validated as a monetary transaction.

  • Use to display total from currency fields: Selecting this option will automatically populate this field with the total from any other element on your form that is designated as handling currency, including selection elements such as radio buttons, checkboxes, or select lists. In this way, your form can keep a running tally of items that have been selected for purchase.

See Use currency fields on a form for more details.

List items

The choices represented by each radio button, checkbox, or select list item can be drawn from a preselected list or custom-generated for a particular form.

  • Load from the library: Click this button to load a menu from which to choose a preformatted list of options. These lists can be edited from the Forms Manager Dashboard > Manage List Library button. Use “Save list to the library” to add the current list in this element to the list library.

  • Custom option lists: Enter each list item on its own line in the fields provided. Click the green “Add” button to add more items to the list. If you’d like to use an alternate result, check the checkbox above that column and enter a value into those fields as well.

  • Assign currency: Select this checkbox to use the list items for currency. The price you enter in the fields below should be a monetary value in 0.00 format.

  • Display in results: This menu determines how the user selections will be displayed on the Results tab or exported list of submissions. Form authors can choose to have the results list the item, the alternate result, or currency.

Refer to Work with option lists for more information.

Accepted file types

By default, the element is set to accept all file types that are allowed on your site. The default setting for the Attach File field is to “Accept all approved file types.” However, you can uncheck this checkbox and specify which of the following file types to allow.

  • Documents: Word 97-2003, Word 2007+, Excel 97-2003, Excel 2007+, pdf, rtf, note, notebook, one, txt, xml, numbers, pages

  • Images: jpg, jpeg, png, gif, eps, svg

  • Zip Files: zip

  • Apple iWork: numbers, key, keynote, pages

  • Presentation: PowerPoint 97-2003, PowerPoint 2007+, flipchart, key, keynote

  • Video: avi, mov, mpg, swf, mpeg, qt, mp4, wmv, m4v

  • Audio: mp3, mpg, mid, midi, mp4, wav

  • Adobe: indd, psd, swf, as

  • Web: css, js, htm, html, jar

  • Other: ds, cmbl, isf, omp, ico, epub

If you do not see a file type in this list, contact Finalsite Support to request a file type be added to your site.

Conditional settings

Conditional settings allow you to hide a field until certain conditions in a previous field have been satisfied.

  • Only display this question when: Select this checkbox to set up a conditional phrase to make sure this field is only shown when an earlier field is answered in a certain way.

    • The answer to: This dropdown will be populated by all the elements that can be used for this setting, designated by its Field Label. The field must have an option list and be located above the current field on the form.

    • Matches one of the following: Once you choose a field, the option list for that field will appear as checkboxes. Choose one or more responses to complete the conditional phrase.

See Use conditional fields to find out more about these fields.

Date-based conditional settings

Only display this question when the form is submitted within: If a start and end date are selected, this element will only be visible on the form between those dates. Outside of that date range, the field will be hidden from all users.

See Set date restrictions on a form for more information.

Admin-only conditional settings

Only display this question when the form is being completed by an admin user: If this checkbox is selected, the element will only be available to admin users.

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