Basic Form Editing

Create the perfect form with these tips on building and editing within Formstack.

Since the creation of this guide, we have made many changes to the Build tab of our form builder. Contact Support if you have questions.

Exactly what it sounds like: Here’s where we’ll explain everything in the Build section of the Formstack interface. Additionally, we’ll direct you to the specific support document that will show you how to set up various aspects of your form.

Where do I go to edit my form?

To create a form from scratch, first click on the large plus sign (+) with the words Create Form underneath it. From here you will have three options:

  • Field Guide — Your go-to resource when you need help. This is where we walk you through the step-by-step process of building a form.
  • Pre-Built Form — Here’s where you can browse through Formstack’s collection of basic pre-built forms that you can edit to your liking.
  • Blank Form — Free rein! This is where you get a clean canvas and can create your form from scratch.

Once you've decided whether to use a pre-built or blank form, you can edit your form by clicking on the gray Build tab. Your editing tools or form field options will be on the left-hand side of the screen.

What Form Field Options Mean and Links to Setting Them up on Your Form

Short Answer and Long Answer — These options allow you to ask a question that requires a short or long answer. The Long Answer field can simply be a Comments section so users can communicate with you.

Long Answer Field - When you want to let your user talk:

Long Answer Fields are for multi-line responses and large amounts of text, such as comment boxes.

To add a Long Answer field to your form, click on the Add Field button at the bottom of the Build tab and choose Long Answer.

The field label will be the question you are asking on that field. You can change the width of the field by setting the number of columns and the height by setting the number of rows.

This is what the Long Answer field looks like on a form:

Short Answer Field - When you just want a simple answer:

Short Answer Fields are intended for simple single-line responses like first name, company name, favorite band, and so on. Short Answer fields can also be used to do calculations.

To add a Short Answer field to your form, click on the Add Field button at the bottom of the form builder and choose Short Answer.

The label will be the question you are asking.

This is how the short answer field will appear on your form. You can change the width of the field by editing the field size.

Select List, Radio Buttons, and Check Box — Three different ways to display a question with answer options.

  1. Select List Field - Select Lists are used to create a list of items that you want a user to choose from. You can either use a predefined list (such as State, Age, Days of the Week, etc.) or create your own list from scratch.
  2. Radio Button Field - Radio Button fields are used when you have a field that has several answer options, but you only want users to be able to select one of those options. If you want them to be able to select more than one option, you would use a checkbox field.
  3. Date/Time — Exactly what you think it is. A place for your users to enter either a date, time or both. An example would be if you needed the user’s date of birth.
  4. File Upload — This is so your user can upload a picture or document to your form. This feature is handy if, say, you created an online job application form and needed your users to upload their cover letters and resumes.
  5. Name, Email Address, Phone, Address — A fast and easy way to add these to your form.
  6. Matrix — No, not the one with Keanu Reeves. This matrix is a rating field you can use in surveys and other forms where you want to allow your users to rate or rank multiple items in a single field.
  7. Number — Allows your user to enter a number. Useful for currency amounts.
  8. Credit Card — A simple way to allow your user to add a credit card to the form. Do note that if you have this field on your form, you must set up security features, which are discussed later in this guide.
  9. Description Area — Here is where you can insert rich text (photos, formatted text, links, etc.). This field is for adding your logo, specially formatted information for your users, etc.
  10. Embed Code — This field allows you to embed HTML, videos, maps and widgets into the form.
  11. Signature — This allows your users to electronically sign a form.
  12. Section — Sections are used to add explanatory text or headlines to a set of fields, create a new page on a multipage form and change the layout on some fields without changing the layout of the entire form.
  13. Now that you’ve created a form, it’s time to make it your form. Ready, set, customize!
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