Building a form: what are the field types?

When adding questions to a form, you're asked to select the field "type". But what is the field type?

When you select a field type, you're essentially telling the application what format that particular field should have. That way, you can have integer-only fields, or date/time fields, or character-limited fields.

There are a lot of different field types, so here's a list of the field types currently available in Forms, along with a description of each.

 

Automatically Generated Fields:

TEXT FIELDS

Auto Key: The auto key is an auto-generated unique ID that is assigned to each new feature. That means that no matter what, you always know that there is one field in your data that is unique. This is important if you're planning on linking another form to that data. If you're unsure if you need one, it's always a good idea to add it in. The person answering the questions won't even see it!

User Created: This field will capture the username (email) of the person who submitted the form. For public forms that don't require sign-in, the field will say "Anonymous User". 

User Edited: This field will capture the username (email) of the person who last changed/updated a feature. For public forms that don't require sign-in, the field will say "Anonymous User". 

 

DATE & DATE/TIME FIELDS

Auto Date/Time - Created: This field will automatically add a date/time stamp to each feature for the time the feature was created. This means that the application will capture the date/time as soon as you click "Save & Upload" on a form. 

Auto Date/Time - Last Change: This field will automatically add a date/time stamp to each feature for the last time that particular feature was updated. So, if I add the feature on August 10, 2017 at 9:00am, but change it on August 18, 2017 at 11:00am, then the date/time stamp will record "August 18, 2017 11:00am" when I update the feature.

Auto Date - Created: Similar to the "Auto Date/Time - Created" field, this field will automatically add a date/time stamp to each feature for the time the feature was created. Keep in mind that this field will not capture the time at which the form was submitted.

Auto Date - Last Change: Similar to the "Auto Date/Time - Last Change" field, this field will automatically add a date stamp to each feature for the last time that particular feature was updated. Keep in mind that this field will not capture the time of the change.

 

Manual Entry Fields:

TEXT FIELDS

Short Text: A "short text" field will allow the user to input any kind of characters (including special characters and numbers), but they are restricted to 25 characters max.

Medium Text: A "medium text" field will allow the user to input any kind of characters (including special characters and numbers), but they are restricted to 200 characters max.

Long Text: A "long text" field will allow the user to input any kind of characters (including special characters and numbers), but they are restricted to 1000 characters max.

Custom Text: A "custom text" field will allow the user to input any kind of characters (including special characters and numbers), but you can set a custom maximum number of characters, to a limit of 1000.

Phone Number: The phone number field will allow the user to input both numbers and text, to a maximum of 20 characters.

Yes / No: A "yes/no" field is a pick-list field that will offer the user two options, yes and no.

True / False: Similar to the "yes/no" field, the "true/false" field is a pick-list field that will offer the user two options, true and false.

Text Pick List: A pick-list field is a custom created pick-list. If one of your questions will always have one of four options as an answer, then a pick-list is a good option, as it makes in-field data capture that much easier. So if you have a question that asks, "Which team are you on?" and there are only four possible teams, it might make sense to have a pick-list with the options "one", "two", "three", and "four". 

Text Multi Pick List: The "Text Multi Pick List" field is just like the "Text Pick List" field, but it allows the user to choose multiple answers rather than only one. So if you have a question that asks, "What species of trees are in this area?", you might have the option of answering "Pine", "Spruce", and "Fir". 

 

DATE & DATE/TIME FIELDS

Date: This is a manual entry date field, and users will be asked to indicate only the date (no time).

Date/Time: This is a manual entry date/time field. Users will be asked to select the date, followed by the time on a user-friendly interface.

 

INTEGER & DECIMAL FIELDS

Integer: The "integer" field is a manual entry field that only allows the user to input numbers, with no letters or special characters.

Integer Pick List: Similar to the "text pick list" field, the "integer pick list" field allows the user to select one of several options. But, because this is an integer pick-list, it only allows the administrator who sets up the pick-list to enter options with numbers, no letters or special characters.

Integer Multi Pick List: Similar to the "text multi pick list" field, the "integer multi pick list" field allows the user to select all the answers that apply. However, just like the "integer pick list", the administrator can only provide options with numbers, no letters or special characters.

Decimal: The "decimal" field is a manual entry field that only allows the user to input numbers and one decimal point, with no letters or other special characters.

Decimal Pick List: The "decimal pick list" field is just like the "integer pick list" field, but it allows the administrator to add decimals as well. So, rather than inputting "1", the administrator can input "1.0"

Decimal Multi Pick List: The "decimal multi pick list" field is just like the "integer multi pick list" field, where users can select all the answers that apply. But, just like the "decimal pick list" field, it allows the administrator to add decimals as well. 

 

FILE / PHOTO FIELDS

File Input: The "File Input" field allows the user to add files or photos to their form submission. You can have multiple file and photo fields within one form.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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