Checking the boxes: New Forms vs. Forms Manager
Lauren Lentini

Shout it from the rooftops: New Forms is here! Our Product team has been listening to all the feedback you’ve had about Forms Manager, and they built it into a beautiful, brand-new module you’re sure to love!

But enough with the exclamation points. Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty -- what can it do? Forms is at once a more powerful and a more streamlined experience than Forms Manager, so we hope you’ll be impressed by the features we’ve added and never miss the ones that we’ve omitted. In this blog, we’ll do a side-by-side comparison of each field to show you what’s staying, what’s going, and what’s in the pipeline.

All fields

  • Field Label is just called “Label” now, because it also serves as the results label, unless you want to change it under “Advanced Settings.” 

  • Tooltip text and description text have been combined into “Hint text,” which appears below the field. 

  • Admin-only conditional settings and encryption are still on our radar, and we’re looking to you to tell us what you’re looking to get out of those features. (This is where I point you to Finalsite Ideas.)

Short Answer

“Short Answer” is equivalent to the “Text Field” in Forms Manager.

  • The default value has been changed to placeholder text, which is better because users don’t have to highlight-and-delete to add their own answer. 

  • The field size is now the full width of the column, which gives the form a cleaner look. 

  • We’ve added a minimum character limit as well as the maximum one.

  • Finally, we’ve simplified field validation. Instead of overwhelming you with options you might not even understand, you can choose letters and/or numbers, with or without spaces.

Long Answer

You may recognize “Long Answer” as the “Text Area” field from Forms Manager.

  • As with Short Answer, the width of the field will be the width of the column it’s in, but you can still set the height in rows. 

  • Once again, you have a minimum as well as a maximum character limit, and with “Display remaining character count” you can tell users how much space they have left to type!

Single Choice

Our good friend “Radio Button” from Forms Manager is now called “Single Choice.” 

  • The functionality of adding choices is essentially the same, it just looks different. Click the “+” icon next to a row to add a new choice below that row, or grab the dots on the left-hand side to reorder them. Select the checkbox to the left to indicate a default choice.

  • You can still display choices all on one line (“Inline”), but now you can specify how many columns you want to display them in (up to 4 columns). This can be a huge space-saver if you have a lot of choices!

  • “Use Alternate Result” is missing, but we get the feeling that no one was using it anyway. (Was it your favorite? Tell us why!)

  • Pasting from a spreadsheet and the list library are still in the pipeline!

Multiple Choice

“Multiple Choice” is Forms Manager’s “Checkbox” field.

  • Most of what we said about the Single Choice field applies here, as well.

  • It’s now possible to specify a maximum number of choices, so when you say “pick a maximum of 3,” you mean it!

Dropdown Menu

Wrapping up the select fields, “Dropdown Menu” used to be known as “Select List.”

  • The list items stuff is the same here, too. We won’t repeat ourselves.

  • We’ve taken away the option to add “Please Select…” before the field has been filled. It turns out that just makes it easier for people to forget to select something.

Date

We’ve shortened “Date Picker” to “Date.” Quick. Easy.

  • You won’t have to worry about the size options anymore, because how much were you going to change that, anyway? The field is just the width of the date picker.

  • We also trust that you want the date format to be the same as the format for dates on the rest of your site, so we don’t make you select it every time.

  • The Date field got some cool new upgrades: You can choose a range of dates that are acceptable, as well as customize which days of the week you can pick.

Email Address

“Email Field” is now called “Email Address.”

  • It’s like the Short Answer field, in that the field goes the width of the column. 

  • You can now add placeholder text inside the field.

Name

The “Name” Grouped Element in Forms Manager has been promoted to a proper field in Forms. And you’ll have to admit, it looks cool.

  • Instead of a bunch of separate elements that you have to drag around and delete if you don’t want, the Name field keeps everything on one line, and all you have to do is click the checkbox next to the element if you want a field for that part of a person’s name. 

  • We’ve included options for Nickname and Maiden name, as well.

  • You’ll still have the flexibility to make some fields optional and others required. If any part of the Name field is required, the asterisk will appear next to “Name.” Any parts that aren’t required will be labeled “(optional).”

  • Click the edit pencil next to each element to change its name and add placeholder text.

Content

Are you missing the “Layout Elements” library? Well, don’t, because you can do it all with the Content element.

  • The content element provides you with almost all of the formatting options you get in a Composer Content element, except HTML -- because that doesn’t mix well with forms. Add your header, horizontal rule, and text block this way.

  • Page breaks are still in the works.

Currency

“Currency” is its own field now, instead of being a lowly Text Field with “Use this field for currency” turned on.

  • You can set the minimum and maximum amount allowed in this field, which will be displayed below the field as instructions for the user. (If you want it to say something other than the default language, just enter that as “Hint Text.” 

  • This field does not display currency totals. Totals will automatically be included in the Payment Area section.

reCAPTCHA

Brand new and added by popular demand! The reCAPTCHA field (used for validating that your form submitter is not a robot) automatically appears at the bottom of your form, and you can decide whether to “Never” or “Always” display it. 

Conclusion

Phew! We made it! I hope your favorite Forms Manager feature made the list, and if it didn’t, I’ll ask you for a third time to tell us why. You may have noticed that the Hidden Field and the Attach File fields aren’t on the list. We’re still working on how those features will translate to the new Forms experience, and we’re always looking for feedback about the best way to do it. (By now, I think you know where to go.) We think you’ll really enjoy using the new Forms module, so go forth and have fun! 

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