Forms

UNIVERSITY WEB SERVICES

Forms

Since forms sometimes depend on other files, we will handle them in a step-by-step fashion. You will need to:

  1. Create a new folder or directory. Always create a fresh directory or folder (see “4.4 Folder” above) for a new form. This helps avoid confusion if there are many forms on the site.
  2. Decide how you want to receive form submissions. Once you have created a folder for your form, decide whether you want to create a form that will email the information submitted or a form that will save the submitted information to a file that you can open in Microsoft Excel (or both!).
  3. Create a place to store submissions.  If you decide to save submissions to a spreadsheet, you will need to create a new Form Results asset. If you only want your submissions emailed to you, skip this step.
  4. Create your form items Once you have a place for everything to go, you can begin creating your form items.

Form Results 

If you want your form to write to a file, you will first need a place for that information to be stored. (If your form information is only going to be mailed to you, you do not need a Form Results folder.)

From the New Content dropdown or the New Content Widget, select Form Results.  The most important item you need to have right for this asset is the “Placement Folder.” Be sure you put this in the directory you created for your form in step one above. Otherwise you can simply accept the values already there and click Submit. You may also give the folder a different name if you like (all lower case and no spaces) and a title that means something to you (spaces and caps allowed).

Create your form

From the New Content dropdown or the New Content Widget, select “Form.”

First, just name your form and make sure you are storing it in the same folder as (next to) your form results folder.

Second, determine how your form stores submissions. The results can be:

  • emailed to you,
  • stored in a file on the server
  • or both.

Form submission options

If you want the results saved to a spread sheet

  1. Click the check box to choose the option
  2. Click the "Choose File" item and browse to find the "results" file inside the folder-results folder.
  3. You can give the file (what will be your spread sheet) a name. Keep this lower case and do not use spaces. If you don't name the file, it will be named simply "form."


If you want the results sent by email

Fill out the items needed to create the emails that the form will send. These are as follows:

  • The From address is mostly a place holder since it represents replying to the form itself. If anything it will help you find responses in your inbox.
  • The Subject line will be helpful to sort out responses as they hit your inbox.
  • The Recipient email(s) are really the only important item here. You can add additional addresses by clicking the plus (+) sign.

Form Instructions

This item is required. Use the WYSIWYG editor to tell your visitors what to do with the form.  Make your message as simple or complex as you like. It will appear above the form itself.

Form items

Now that the form is set up to store or send information, you need to create the items (fields) the form will use to collect the information.

Initially Cascade offers you a single field or "Form Item."

Your form will most likely be made of many items and various kinds of items. Use the green plus sign (+) in the upper right hand corner to add new items. Once you have many items, you will have three buttons.

  • X will delete the item.
  • + will add new items after the one you are on.
  • Arrows will move that item up or down.

Each form item will need a few parts defined.

Field type

Required!

The types of fields available to you are as follows:

  • text - for short text responses such as names and addresses.
  • text area - for longer responses requiring sentences or paragraphs.
  • password - like a text field except that it will hide what is typed into it.
  • dropdown - use for longer multiple choice lists where only one choice is allowed.
  • radio button - use for short multiple choice lists where only one choice is allowed.
  • checkbox - use for short multiple choice lists where multiple choices are allowed.
  • paragraph text - not really a form input. Use to offer an explanation or instruction for the following item.

Name

Required!

This is the name used to identify the information that was entered in the field. Your email will show this next to the response (value) that was entered into the field by your visitor. It will also appear at the top of the column in a spread sheet.

Label

This is the label that will appear next to the form field. For instance the words "First Name" that might appear next to the field where you want someone to type their first name.

Default Value

If there is a response that is a "given" unless someone changes it, you would add this here. For example you might default an entry to "Not Applicable" and let your visitor change it if that item does apply. However, this is more useful for when you have yes/no or multiple option answers.

Value - ONLY for multiple option items

Enter a value for each option in a multiple option field type (dropdown, checkbox or radio button). Each "value" represents a choice for your user. Each value will serve as a label for that item if it is a checkbox or radio button.

Use the plus to add an item, an x to delete an item and the arrows to move items up or down.

Required Field

Check this box if you want to force your visitor to enter a response for this item.

Submit Button Text

Required!

Enter what ever text you want to appear on your submit button. Examples might include  "Submit" or "Enter" or "Send my info."

Form confirmation / success message

Required!

Use the WYSIWYG editor to enter a message your visitor will see when their form has been submitted successfully. You might use this to let them know what will happen with the information or if there will be a follow up contact.