Some form owners ask if it’s possible to send their forms through email for their recipients to complete. Instead of sending the actual link, the desire is to send the form in the body of the email message. Unfortunately, the short answer is no. The ability to email forms is not currently supported by most email clients.
Online forms in general appear as a graphical front-end to a database and need an actual web page to run the needed parts. For example, Rules to show and hide elements, multiple pages, Calculations, etc. need to track and respond to user input.
Email messages are simple text and basic HTML that are not able to perform these higher-level processes. In fact, many designers and email marketers know the struggle to design and develop email creative. Many styling and positioning techniques that seem simple are unusable in email creative.
Does that mean there’s no way to use forms with email? Not exactly, no.
Embedding forms lets website owners display their Formsite forms seamlessly on the web page. Displaying like this is the easiest way to use a form on the site. Typically the form is added after the rest of the site is built and styled, and website designers often ask how to share CSS with the form.
Form owners access the form’s styles from the form editor under the Style link. The built-in themes and colors allow for quick styling with one click. The Customize link lets form owners further refine the styles of each aspect of the form. The CSS code for the form lives on the Advanced page, along with the HTML Head area.
Customizing the CSS to use the embedding site’s styles helps to display the form as part of the site. This is done through either the CSS or the HTML Head on the Style -> Advanced page.
Form owners collect uploaded files through their forms using the File Upload item. These uploaded files display as links in the Results Table where they can be viewed and downloaded. Additionally, a convenient option for paid accounts includes sending an email Notification after each successful submission. These emails can contain the result information and a custom message, along with the uploaded files as email attachments.
Formsite account owners with many forms can take advantage of the Folders feature to enhance form organization. Located in the My Forms page, the Folder dropdown lets account owners group forms into virtual directories for fast location.
The default folder settings shows 3 folders:
Along with the default folder settings appears a link to Manage folders, allowing owners to create and manage folders and forms within. Additionally, the folder features include automated Workflow support and custom folder tools.
Formsite order forms allow form owners to sell products and services and collect payments securely. A question frequently asked is how to allow customers to quickly repeat orders. The form owner usually asks how to edit and resubmit a previous order, which is possible using Save & Return but isn’t the best way to repeat orders.
Editing a result changes the information and unless the results have been exported and saved locally, the original order information is lost. Also, with payments it’s not possible to repeat the transaction for the same order.
The best way to offer a quick reorder is to send a Notification email with a Pre-populate link.
Verifying the customer information can pose a problem for form owners. Many forms need valid email addresses and other contact information to successfully create the customer record. Email address verification serves as a fast and reliable method to verify the identity of the customer.
Some systems allow for real-time lookups to verify information, though Formsite has no built-in method for using these systems. The most effective method for verifying information is through email Notifications.
All Formsite accounts have the ability to collect uploaded files with the form submissions. Using the File Upload item, form owners can let form visitors add attachments when completing the form. Formsite accounts have limits on basic metrics like number of forms, number of results, and File Space limit.
The File Space limit represents the total file space allowed for all forms in the account. Every file uploaded to all forms contributes to the account’s File Space. When the File Space limit is reached, none of the forms can accept any new results with uploaded files.
The top questions regarding File Space include:
Where to see the account’s limit and how much space is available
A large part of Formsite’s customers embed their forms into other web pages. The provided embed code allows the form to appear on any site where the form owner can access the HTML code. The embedded form appears as a seamless part of the embedding page and allows site builders to quickly add forms and surveys. A frequent question about embedding is how the embedded form security works.
Common Security Questions:
Does my site need its own SSL to secure my form?
Is my form secure if it’s embedded into a non-secure page?
The Results PDF feature gives Formsite customers the ability to receive results formatted as PDF files. The Results PDF process allows form builders to add form items that match the PDF template, then map the form items to the PDF fields. The form’s Notifications and Results exports then use the newly-created Results PDF setting to provide the result in the PDF template.
These PDF files can use either the built-in Table format or use a PDF template file. The steps to build PDF templates requires another application like Adobe’s Acrobat Pro or LiveCycle Designer.
To build PDF templates, the PDF needs to contain fillable form elements. Text boxes, radio buttons, checkboxes, etc. are added to the PDF form then connected (mapped) to the Formsite form.
Formsite has style settings to allow form owners and designers ways to customize virtually every part of the form. These settings share common colors, fonts, borders, and spacing with other form elements, such as the Save & Return login page and Success Pages.
Customizing the styles for the form and these connected pages occurs on the Style page, found from the link in the form editor. Clicking the Style link shows one of three pages:
Themes: Pre-made styles and color combinations to quickly apply to forms
Customize: Detailed style settings for customizing forms
Advanced: Access to the HTML Head area and form CSS