Forms

Managing Forms:

What's a Form?

Web forms allow your site visitors to fill out information and submit it, all in their browser. You define a series of fields, and when someone fills out the form the information entered by your site visitor gets saved to a database, sent in an email to you, or both.

Web forms are handy for many things – signing up for events, requesting information, providing feedback, or even completing short surveys.

How Reason Forms Work for your site visitors

  1. Visitor enters information into form. Depending upon the setup of the form, some information may be pre-populated for users that are logged in.
  2. Visitor clicks on submit button
  3. Depending on how you set up the form, either an email is sent to a specified email address, the results are stored in a database for later retrieval, or both
  4. Visitor sees a thank you message that you supplied, and if the option is enabled, a copy of the information submitted.

Creating a Form

formbuilderBefore you create a form, make sure you have the Forms content type on your site. If you see "Forms" in the Content Types menu on your Site Admin Page, everything is set. If you do not, you will need to have forms added to the site by your web administrator.

  1. Choose Forms in the Add/Edit menu
  2. Click Add Form
  3. Fill out the fields:
    • Name: An internal name for the form. This will help you find the form later.
    • Save to Database: Enter "yes" to save the results of the form to a database.
    • Email of recipient: You can enter either netids or email addresses. If you want the results of the form to be sent to multiple people, you can separate them with commas.
    • Form Content: This field is where you will build your form.
      • Add new fields by clicking on the buttons at the top of the field. When you add an element, a box pops up that allows you to enter information about the form element. Here are each of the form elements you can use, and the options available for each: 
        • Short Text: Used to gather short amounts of free-form text input from a user, such as a name or email address.
        • Multiline Text: Used to gather longer amounts of free-form text input from a user, such as a question or comment.
        • Checkboxes: Used when you want the user to select any number of options from a pre-populated list. Two options appear by default, and more can be added by clicking the "Add option" button below or the ( + ) button to the right. The options can be moved up and down by clicking the arrow at the far right of and dragging & dropping it into another position. Remove an option by clicking on the ( - ) button.
        • Radio Buttons: Used when you want the user to select – and only one – option from a pre-populated list. This is best for when there are only a few options, and only one should be answered, such as "Yes" or "No." Two options appear by default, and more can be added by clicking the "Add option" button below or the ( + ) button to the right. The options can be moved up and down by clicking the arrow at the far right of and dragging & dropping it into another position. Remove an option by clicking on the ( - ) button. 
        • Dropdown: Like the Radio Buttons, this field allows the visitor to select only one of several options, but only the first option is visible until the user selects the dropdown arrow. This is best used when there are many options to choose from, such as a list of majors. Two options appear by default, and more can be added by clicking the "Add option" button below or the ( + ) button to the right. The options can be moved up and down by clicking the arrow at the far right of and dragging & dropping it into another position. Remove an option by clicking on the ( - ) button. 
        • Hidden Field: Used to pass data through the form without displaying it to the user. This can be useful for providing instructions to the recipient of the email or including sensitive information such as a departmental charge number.
        • Text Comment: Used to display text to the user without requiring any input. This can be useful for breaking up your form into several sections, or for providing more instructions than will fit in a field label.
      • Edit Fields: Once you click to select the field, the "Edit Field" tab opens and you can enter your information. For each field you need to enter a label and choose whether or not to make the field required (by clicking the "Required" checkbox beneath the label). 
        • Note: you can also edit the Submit Button, if you wish to use "RSVP" or another label on the button.
      • Reposition, Duplicate, and Delete Form Fields: When you have several fields in your form, you can quickly drag and drop them to different positions within the form. When you hold your cursor over a field, you will also notice that you have the option to duplicate or delete the field by clicking one of the buttons in the lower right corner.
    • Autofill Options: Select None to disable autofill, or choose Autofill (Editable) or Autofill (Not Editable) to fill in certain specially named fields for logged in users. If you choose the Autofill (Editable) option, the user will be able to change the pre-filled information. Below is a list of field names that are available for autofill:
      • Your Full Name
      • Your Name
      • Your First Name
      • Your Last Name
      • Your Department
      • Your Email
      • Your Home Phone
      • Your Work Phone
      • Your Title
    • Thank You Message: After submitting a form, visitors will see this message.
    • Display Return Link: Toggles whether or not to place a link after the thank you message which allows the user to return to the form.
    • Show Submitted Data: Toggles whether or not to display a copy of the submitted data on the thank you page.
    • Set a Submission Limit to stop accepting submissions when a specified number is reached.
    • Set an Open Date and/or Close Date to limit the form to submissions within a specified date and time range.
  4. Select optional Limiting and Scheduling settings (you may not see all of these options on your form).
  5. Click Save and Continue Editing
  6. Check your work
  7. Click Finish to return to the forms listing page

Attaching a Form to a Page

  1. Cick Pages from the Content Types menu.
  2. Click Add New Page or Edit an existing page.  
  3. In the left sidebar menu, click Associate a Form with this Page.
  4. Click Select in the row corresponding to the form you'd like to attach.  The form will appear at the top of the page, under the Selected heading.
  5. Click Edit in the left sidebar menu.
    • Note: If you do not have access to the Form page type, contact a member of the Web Team for assistance.
  6. Select Form from the Type of Page drop-down selector (right above the Content text-box).
  7. Click Save and Finish at the bottom of the page.

Restricting Access to Forms

Reason allows you to easily and securely restrict access to forms to a specific group of users. To restrict access you must 1) create a "Group" and 2) grant access to only that group.

Note: Your site must have Groups enabled in order to restrict access. If Groups is not listed in the Content Types Menu on the Site Admin Page, contact your web administrator.

Create a Group

To create a new Group, see Groups.  

Restrict Access

To allow only a particular group of users to view/submit the form, follow these steps:

  1. Click Forms from the Content Types Menu.
  2. In the left sidebar menu, click Choose group that can fill out the form.
  3. Select an existing group or create a new one.

Once access to the form is restricted, the form page will prompt the user to log in if they are not logged in, and only show the form to individuals who are in the related group.

Viewing Database Form Data

You may associate a Reason Group to a database-backed form in order to control who can see the submitted data. If you do not associate a group, only the Reason site managers and anyone who receives the form results via e-mail will be able to view submitted data. Note that you need to have Groups available on your site (and a form that saves to a database) to setup access privileges to form data.

How to set up privileges to view submitted data:

  1. Click Forms from the Content Types Menu.
  2. In the left sidebar menu, click Choose group that can see all results.
  3. Choose an existing group or create a new one.

When logged in, the individuals in this group will see a link to "enter administrative view" when looking at the form on the public website. Doing so displays the form data within the live page and offers a link to export the stored data.

Modifying Database Backed Forms

Once a form that saves to a database has data, the form is no longer editable. To make changes to the form, you will need to export and delete the data currently stored by the form.

Before exporting and deleting form data, it is a good idea to unlink the form from the page or to change the "save to database" option to "No." This is to make sure that data is not submitted between the time you delete stored data and modify the form.

  1. Click Forms from the Content Types Menu.
  2. Edit the form.
  3. Select No next to Save to Database? (This step ensures that no data will be submitted to the database between the time you delete stored data and modify the form.)
  4. Click Save and Continue Editing at the bottom of the page.
  5. Click Manage stored data next to the notice that the form has shared data.
  6. Use the links provided to visit the page on your site where the form exists.
  7. In the data view, choose the option export as .csv and save the download to your computer.
  8. Click Delete stored data.
  9. Confirm the deletion.
  10. From the form Add/Edit screen you should now be able to modify the form.  When you're finished editing the form, make sure to re-select Yes next to Save to Database? if you'd like your new form to save to the database.

Exporting Form Results

  1. Click Forms from the Content Types Menu.
  2. Click Edit in the row corresponding to the form you want to edit.
  3. Click Manage stored data next to the notice that the form has shared data.
  4. You now can view the form results or export the data to the computer. There are also options to sort the data by form inputs or even delete the stored data.