Creating Online Forms with PloneFormGen tool
Note: Return to tutorial view.
Creating a Form Folder
For additional information read:
A form is made up of a 'form folder', which has its own unique properties. Inside that folder, the form contains elements which consist of, among other things, the different types of information that you want to get from people.
The first thing you want to do is create a form folder. Click on the 'add item' tab and select 'form folder'
First Edit Page
1) Fill in the Edit form folder. The Title and Description of the Form should be self explanatory.
2) The 'Submit Button Label' defaults with the word 'submit'. If you want this to say something else, enter that here.
3) The 'Cancel' button is checked by default. If for some reason you do not want this, uncheck it.
4) 'Mailer' (the functionality that sends an email to someone once the form is submitted) is checked by default. If you do not want this to happen, you should uncheck the button next to 'Mailer',
5) Once someone submits a form, you can also opt to have the page they navigate to be a 'Thank You' page. If you desire otherwise, choose 'None' under 'Thanks Page'.
6) Click Next to save these changes, and continue with the process of setting up your 'form folder'.
Second Edit Page
The idea is behind this page is to allow you to place non-form text before and after the form elements of your form.
1) Form Prologue: this is a space for text and links that will go above the form elements (form elements are where people input their information). Many times, people choose to place other contact information for the organization here, or instructions for filling out the form.
2) Form Epilogue: This is where you can place text and links that you want to have appear under the form.
3) If you are an advanced user, you can click next to input overrides for the form. If you do not know what I mean by overrides, click 'Save'. At this point, pressing save will take you to the following screen where you have just completed the basic 'form folder'.
4) Click the 'Contents' tab to view the form elements that are automatically generated in the creation of a form folder.
Adjust Form Mailer
1) From the 'contents' tab, click on the 'Mailer' form element.
2) Click Edit tab.
3) Fill in the Recipient Name and the Recipient Email Address.
4) Click 'Save'.
Adjust Form Thank You Page
1) From the 'contents' tab, click on the 'Thank You' form element.
2) Click Edit tab.
3) Fill in the Title and the Description.
4) If you want all the fields that were input to show on the thank you form, leave that checked.
5) If there are specific fields you want to show on the Thank You form, select them and move them with the arrows to the box on the right.
6) If you want an element to display even if it was not entered into, leave the check box next to 'Include Empties' checked.
7) Click next to add the text that you want to display on the Thank You page.
8) Click 'Save'.
This is the end of part one. To learn how to add additional 'elements' to your form, please continue to part 2 of this tutorial.
Adding Elements to your Form
The 'Contents' tab of an existing Form Folder will look something like this:
At this point, we want to add any additional elements we want on the form, and arrange them in the order that we want them.
The types of elements we will go over in this tutorial include:
Boolean Field (Check Box)
Boolean Fields are fields where the answer is either yes or no. On a form, a boolean 'yes' is indicated by a check inside the check box, and a 'no' is indicated by leaving the check box empty.
To create a boolean field:
1) Click on the 'add item' tab from the form folder, and select 'boolean field'.
2) Enter the yes/no question you want to ask in the 'Field Label' area. If there is any explanation you want to provide the user, enter that in the 'Field Help' section.
3) If you want this to be a required field, check the 'Required' box.
4) If you want the field checked by default, click the 'Default' checkbox.
5) If a particular response is required in order to continue or submit the form, then check the appropriate Validator. Otherwise, leave as 'None'.
6) Click 'Save' unless you are an advanced user, and know how to set up 'overrides'.
String Field (Regular Text Box)
String Fields are fields where the answer is to enter a line of text, such as a first name, an address or a phone number.
To create a string field:
1) Click on the 'add item' tab from the form folder, and select 'string field'.
2) Fill in the field Label and the Field Help areas.
3) Check the 'Required' box if you want this field to be required.
4) Check the 'Hidden' box if you want this field to be hidden. This is an advanced feature, and is not necessary for most fields.
5) If you want there to be a size restriction for the field (other than the default) enter that size here. The numbers stand for characters. If you are wanting a person to be able to fill in a 'description' type of field that requires more than 255 characters, then you probably want a 'text field' instead of a 'string field'.
6) This sets the size for the actual text box for this field. Experiment with sizes. It does not determine how many characters can be entered (#5 does).
7) 'Validator' is if you want the computer to review the contents of the field, and to prohibit submittal unless the terms of validation are met. There is a drop down box that allows you to select specific validators.
8) Click 'Save'
Multiple Select Field
Multiple Select Fields are fields that enable a person to select a specific answer from a list of options.
To create a Multiple Select field:
1) Click on the 'add item' tab from the form folder, and select 'multiple select field'.
2) Enter the Field Label and the Field Help options, and check the 'Required' box if you want the user to be required to answer this form element.
3) Under default, you enter which items from the list you want the form to default as. If you enter an item that is not on the list, it will not show it as selected when the user is presented with the options for this field.
4) Rows is for the case of 'select lists', and determines how many rows will show automatically before the user has to scroll down for more options.
5) Options is where you enter the options for this field. You will want to separate each option with a line break.
6) The last setting on this page allows you to choose if this element is a 'Selection List' or a 'Check box List'.
7) Click 'Save'.
Field Set Folder
Field Set Folders allow you to create 'sets' of fields on your form. In this way, you can distringuish on your form between different types of information you are asking for. This is especially helpful with longer forms.
To create a Field Set Folder:
1) Click on the 'add item' tab from the form folder, and select 'field set folder'.
1) Enter the Name of the Field Set under 'Title' and any instructions or descriptions you want to have listed for that field set.
2) Click 'Save'
3) Fill the folder with items. You can either do this by 'cutting' and 'pasting' them from another folder, or by selecting 'add item' from within the field set folder.
4) When the items are added, it might look something like this:
Ordering the Form Elements
Go to the 'Contents' tab of the form element or the field set. You can set the order on the elements of your form in one of two ways:
1) Being carefull not to click on the name of the form element (which will open that element page), select the row of the element you want changed, and drag it to the desired location.
2) Use the up and down arrows on the right-most column to move an element one space at a time.
This concludes the second part of the PloneFormGen tool tutorial.