Collect Information with a Form

Create and share forms to gather all kinds of information (for example: survey responses, purchase requests, product orders) and keep that information organized within a sheet. After you create a form, you'll be able to share it with people. Each form submission will be added as a new row to the top or bottom of your sheet.

NOTE: If your goal is to give someone the ability to edit an existing row, you'll want to send them an Update Request. (See the article about Update Requests for more information.)

In this article:

Required Permissions

To create, modify, configure, or generate a link to a form, you must: 

  • Be the sheet Owner OR shared with Admin permissions
  • Have a Smartsheet license

NOTE: During a 30-day free trial, you can create, preview, and a test form, but you can't generate a public URL or embed code for it. These options are available only to licensed users.

Anyone who can access the form can use it to send information to the sheet.


Create a New Form

  1. Open the sheet that you want to attach the form to.
  2. Click Forms > Create Form on the menu bar at the top of the Smartsheet window.

    menu-bar
    In the form editor, you'll see the title of the form at the top and the names of all the form fields underneath. By default, the title of the form corresponds to the sheet name and the fields on the form correspond to the names of the sheet columns.

    create-form
     
  3. Click on an element from the left to display and edit its properties on the right.
  4. When you’ve finished setting up your form, click Save and Preview to save your changes.
  5. After you've previewed the form, you can close the browser window that it opens in.
  6. Click the x in the upper-right corner of the form editor to close it and return to the Forms window.

The name of the form you’ve created and its URL will appear in the Forms window (note that the URL is available only on forms owned by licensed users).

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Distribute the Form

Once you've created a form, you'll want to make it accessible to others. 

Link or Email

To get a shareable URL link that others can use to access the form:

  1. Click Forms > Manage Forms on the menu bar to display the Forms window.
    menu-bar
  2. From the Forms window, do one of the following:
    • Under URL, copy and paste the URL to use it in other programs or email messages.
      -or-
    • Click the envelope icon to the right of the URL to send the link in an email message.

NOTE: There isn't a way to customize or shorten the form URL using Smartsheet.

Embed Code

To create embed code and use that code to embed the form on a web page using HTML:

  1. Click Forms > Manage Forms on the menu bar to display the Forms window.
  2. Click the arrow next to More and click Get Embed Code.

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More Ways to Manage and Distribute a Form

Once you've got the basic form set up, you can further customize it. Use the options in listed in the following table to help.

Use this option To do this
Create New Form (button)Associate an additional form with the sheet.
You can create multiple forms per sheet to collect different information, or display a different format, to different people.
PreviewDisplay a preview of your form.

NOTE: Submissions made from preview mode will appear in your sheet as new rows.
EditOpen the form for editing in the form editor.
More > Get Embed Code(Available to Licensed users only) Reveal the embed code so that you can copy and paste the form for use in a website.
More > CloneCreate an exact replica of the form, but with a new URL.
More > PropertiesShow the form status, number of entries submitted, timestamp of first and last form submission, the email address of the form creator, and the date of creation.
More > DeactivateDisable the URL (accessing it will display an error message), but preserve it and the form so that you can use them in the future.
More > Delete

Remove the form and its associated URL from Smartsheet.

The URL is not recoverable. Delete forms with caution.

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Edit or Remove Fields or Other Items in the Form

  1. Click Forms > Manage Forms on the menu bar to display the Forms window.
    menu-bar
  2. Click Edit in the form that you want to modify.

To remove an element from the form, select it in the form, and click Remove from Form (the x to the right). Note that this will not delete the column from the sheet. You can always add an element back via the Add Field section.

To change the placement of a field on the form, select it and drag it up or down. These changes won’t affect the order of the columns in your sheet.

As you edit the properties of each form element from the right side of the form editor, you’ll see the left side update to show the basic layout that will appear in the form.

At any time, you can click the Save and Preview button at the bottom to see the form.

Here's a summary of the different properties you can set for form fields.

Use this propertyTo do this
LabelChoose to either use the column name or a custom label as the name of the form field.
Help TextAdd a description or instruction to appear underneath the form field.
Display TypeFor Checkbox, Dropdown List, and Symbols column types only). Use this to specify how these are displayed in the form.

NOTE: To change the field type and values you'll need to configure associated the column from the within the sheet.—that is, these properties can't be configured from the form editor. To make those changes, close the form editor and edit the column properties in the sheet. 
Text Box HeightSet the form field to display as single, or multiple, blank lines.
Required FieldRequired fields must be filled out in order to submit the form; leaving them blank will display an error message to the submitter.
Hidden FieldHidden fields are not visible in the form, but are visible in the sheet.
Use a hidden field when you want a default value to appear in a column of the sheet without requiring the form submitter to create it. For example, if you have a Submitted By field, you can set the default value to "form", and make it a hidden field. This way you can differentiate between rows that were added to the sheet by you and your collaborators, and those that were submitted via web form.
Default ValueUse this to specify a default value for a the field.

NOTE: System columns and locked columns can’t be included as fields on a form. However, you can add system columns to the sheet to automatically track the date and time that the row was submitted via form.  

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Add Additional Elements to a Form

  1. Click Add Field in the lower portion of the form.
    You can place the elements anywhere beneath the description at the top of the form. As you drag the element to the left side of the form, a dotted line will appear showing you where the element will be inserted.

    drag and drop form fields
     
  2. Choose from among the different options to customize the form as desired:
     
    • Add a File Upload field to enable the form submitter to upload attachments to the form (up to 30 MB per file, 10 files per form submission).
    • Drag an item from the Add Section Divider section to create structure and better organize your form with headings and horizontal dividers.

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Control Form Display and Submission Options

To manage the form display and submission options, open the form in the form editor and click Form Options at the bottom of the editor.

form-options

You can choose from the following options.

Use this option To do this
Confirmation Options

Control what the form submitter sees after submitting the form.

You can either display a confirmation message, reload the form so it can be submitted again, or direct the submitter to another URL (the URL will load in the same browser tab).

Enable Confirmation Email

Add a Send me a copy of my responses checkbox to the bottom of the form.

If the form submitter checks the box, they’ll be able to enter their email address and receive an automated confirmation email that their form submission was accepted. The email will display the actual data they submitted.

TIP: Though there isn't a way to have the form confirmation email sent to the sheet owner or collaborators, you can set up a Notification on the sheet to receive email alerts when new entries come in.

Location of New EntriesSpecify whether rows inserted via form appear at the very top of the sheet or the bottom of the sheet. (There's not a way to have the rows inserted under a specified parent row or elsewhere.)
StyleSpecify whether the form inherits the branding displayed on the sheet, or inherits a plain style with no background color or logo.
Accessible by

Control whether your form can be viewed and submitted by anyone with the link or only registered Smartsheet users. With the latter option, anyone who navigates to the form URL will be prompted to log in to Smartsheet (if they aren't already logged in) before they can view and submit the form. In this case, if Enable confirmation email is selected, form submitters will see their email addresses automatically populated when they check the box to send me a copy of my responses.

Enable challenge/response for additional securityWhen this option is checked, people may be required to prove that they are human by completing a CAPTCHA before submitting their form entry. This prevents automatic submissions to forms in an effort to reduce spam.

NOTES:

  • If there's a Created by system column in the sheet, and only registered Smartsheet users can submit the form, the column reflects the actual email addresses of the users who submit the form. When the form is accessible by anyone with the link, the Created by column shows web-form@smartsheet.com.
  • Team, Business, and Enterprise customers can open the Advanced Form Options to remove the “Powered by Smartsheet Forms” text from the bottom of the form and from the confirmation page.

Use Query Strings with the Form URL

After navigating to the form via its URL, the form will appear on screen with all fields empty except those with Default values.

You can append query strings to the form URL to pass information into the fields. This is useful if you need multiple people to fill out the same form but want to specify different default values in the fields.

As an example, let's say a sales team is using a form to log their phone calls with clients. Each sales rep submits the form so all client calls are listed in the same place, easily accessible to the manager. The sales team uses the following URL to access the form:
https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/6145a2c33c4e42e68bf53900e4a4845b

And the form looks like this:

Sales reps can manually fill in all of the fields, but to make it easier on them, you can customize a URL for each sales rep using query strings.

  1. At the end of the URL, type a question mark (?):
    https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/6145a2c33c4e42e68bf53900e4a4845b?

    NOTE: Previous query strings that were appended with the ampersand (&) will still work as normal. You must use a question mark (?) to append the first query string to a URL going forward.
     
  2. Type in the form field you'd like to populate. In this case, we want to populate the Rep field with the name of one of our sales reps:
    https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/6145a2c33c4e42e68bf53900e4a4845b?Rep

    NOTE: Form fields are case-sensitive.
     
  3. Type an equals sign (=):
    https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/6145a2c33c4e42e68bf53900e4a4845b?Rep=
     
    1. Type in the value you'd like to make the default. In this case, we'll set the rep's name to Sally Smart:
      https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/6145a2c33c4e42e68bf53900e4a4845b?Rep=Sally%20Smart

      TIP: If you've set up the Form Options to enable a user to receive an email confirmation of their form submission, you can use query strings to automatically select this option on a form and set a default email address. Use ECA to pass information into this field. For example: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/6145a2c33c4e42e68bf53900e4a4845b?ECA=sallysmart@smartsheet.com.
       
      To populate this......type this in the URL
      character space%20
      = (equals symbol)%3D
      % (percent symbol)%25
      additional form fields& (ampersand plus your additional value)

      Example: https://app.smartsheet.com/b/form/6145a2c33c4e42e68bf53900e4a4845b?Rep=Sally%20Smart&ECA=sallysmart@smartsheet.com
      # (number symbol)%23
  4. Send this customized URL to Sally. When she navigates to this link, the Rep field will be populated with her name so she won't have to enter it in manually.
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