Customizing input forms

You can control the presentation of data input forms.

If you choose to allow users to add or edit data from within the Editor>Data tab, your app will give users the ability to create or modify a data row using a form. The form is a sequence of labels (column names) and input fields (specific to the column data type). You can customize the form in the following ways:

  • Column descriptions-- you might want to provide a verbose description of each column for the user. If a comment is found, it is used in the label instead of the column name.
  • Form style-- from the Editor>UX>Options tab, you can configure the layout of the form and whether the individual fields are numbered.
  • Using "Show"-type columns.

Show-type columns are empty columns in your spreadsheet that serve the sole purpose of improving the presentation of data capture forms. There are six Categories of Show types. Use the Type Qualifier to tell the Editor what to show.

Categories:

  1. Page_Header: used to create a new page within the form
  2. Section_Header: used to create a new section within the same form page
  3. Text: used to show some descriptive text
  4. URL: used to show a clickable URL
    Here's an example of the URL Type Qualifier format: 
    {"Category":"URL", "Content":"http://www.your-url.com"}
  5. Image: used to show a static image
    Here's an example of the Image Type Qualifier format: 
    {"Category":"Image","Content":"http://www.your-url.com/your-image.png"}
    More guidelines on images
  6. Video: used to show an MP4 video or Youtube video (For MP4 videos, use the hosted link. For Youtube videos, use the embed link.)



    Here's an example of the Video Type Qualifier format: 
    {"Category":"Video","Content":"https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IdwbSNJwLAk"}

Check out our Movie Survey sample to see a video embedded into a form using the 'Show' type. 

Read a detailed blog post about customizing input forms.

Useful Guidelines

Here are some useful guidelines in building effective forms in your app: 

  1. Do not change column names in AppSheet-- the column names should match 1:1 with the column headers in the sheet. If you change the column names and they no longer match the column headers in the sheet, subsequent attempts to regenerate column structure will cause you to lose information you had added to the app definition.
  2. Keep column names short. This makes it very convenient as you use column names in Show_If and other TypeQualifier conditions
  3. Do not use column names with positional indicators. For example, “Insulation Damaged?” is a good column name. But “(22) Insulation Damaged?” is not. This again is meant to protect your app edits when you regenerate column structure. For example, if you add a new column before this particular column and change its name to “(23) Insulation Damaged?”, AppSheet will not be able to correlate this to the previous column definition.
  4. Use the column Description (not the column Name) to provide long descriptive text. This is what is shown in the form as the “question” for the user. For example, “Is insulation damaged on any cables in the system? Including in electrical boxes and on roof?”. The corresponding column Name on the other hand would probably be something compact like “Insulation Damaged?”. If no Description is provided, AppSheet will use the column Name instead. 

Input form as the only view in the app

You can choose to make your input form the only view in your app, so new users are not able to see past submitted data.

To do this, simply remove any data view from the UX tab of the Editor>UX>Views tab, only keeping the form view.

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