Set up a form: Build & Edit

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 many components to creating a form to distribute on your website. Before you worry about Payments, Notifications & Redirects, or Forms Plus, though, the first thing to tackle is how it will appear to your users on the “Build & Edit” tab. This article and the linked articles will walk you through this process.

Step 1: Create a new form

Create form dialogue

When you first click “Create New Form” on the Forms Manager dashboard, a dialogue appears prompting you to give the form a name, and also to select whether to create a blank form or use a template. For more information about creating and using form templates, see Creating templates.

Step 2: Adjust form layout and settings

Form Layout menu

Click “SHOW” next to the Form Layout header to reveal and adjust the following settings:

  • Label Position: Labels for the form fields can be displayed either above (top) or to the left of the field.

  • Tooltip Position: Text that you add to the “Tooltip” field can appear below or to the right of the field, or it can be shown when you hover over the field with your mouse pointer.

  • Submit Button Text: By default, this button reads “Submit.” However, you may want to customize this text, especially if the form includes payments. Text such as “Proceed to Payment” may be easier for the user to understand.

  • Form Width: By default, the form is set for 450 pixels wide.

  • Expired form message: You can set a message to appear when a form is no longer active, such as “This form has expired.”

In the “ACTIVATION” box in the left column, select whether the form will be “Active” or “Inactive” when it is published, or schedule it to begin and (optionally) end on specified dates. Additionally, there is a checkbox for “Allow this Form to be shared externally.” This means that you can obtain a direct URL or an embed code for this form.

The “SUBMISSION” box has two checkboxes:

  • Allow respondent to save and complete later: If selected, respondents will be given the option to save their form and receive a link in their inbox to finish it later.

  • Allow duplicate submissions: If this checkbox is not selected, users will be prevented from filling out a form more than once. A browser cookie is placed when the form is submitted, so additional submissions from that browser will not be permitted. If cache and cookies are cleared, or a user fills out the form from another computer or browser, however, this setting will not block new submissions.

Step 3: Add form elements

Element library with dropdown

To add fields to your form, choose an element from one of the four (or five) element libraries on the right menu area, then drag and drop it into the form area. A green dotted line will appear to indicate where on your form the element will be placed. Once the element is placed, hover over it and click on the edit pencil icon to edit the Element Properties. See Forms element properties to learn more about the settings available for most elements. Click on the library names below to find out more about using the elements within them, or go to Forms elements for the full list.

Standard elements have basic features for entering text and making selections. Elements in this library are:

  • Text Field

  • Email Field

  • Date Picker

  • Hidden Field

  • Radio Buttons

  • Checkbox

  • Select List  

  • Text Area

  • Attach File

Grouped elements are a collection of standard elements, pre-formatted and arranged together to collate common information. These are:

  • Address Block

  • Name Block

  • Phone & Ext. Block

Layout elements are elements that create organizational categories and logical divisions that help make a longer form easier for users to follow. The layout elements are:

  • Header

  • Text Block

  • Horizontal Rule

  • Page Break

Shared elements are elements from any of the three above categories that users have customized and saved previously. Follow the link to learn more about creating and using saved and shared elements.

Registration elements are part of an upgrade package called Forms Plus, which allows use of these elements to create event registrations and RSVPs. Learn more in the Forms Plus section of the Knowledge Base.

Was this article helpful?
1 out of 5 found this helpful



Please Sign in to leave a comment if you don't see the comment box below.