Create and share Forms—formally known as Web Forms—to gather all kinds of information (for example: survey responses, purchase requests, product orders) and keep that info organized within a sheet. After you create a form, you'll receive a link that you can share to people to make submissions. Each submission will be added as a new row to the top or bottom of your sheet.
NOTE: A form entry will create a new row at the top or bottom of the sheet. If your goal is to give someone the ability to edit an existing row, you'll want to send them an Update Request instead.
In this article:
- Required Permissions and Distributing a Form
- Creating a New Form
- Editing Elements or Removing Them from a Form
- Adding elements to a Form
- Managing Form Submission and Display Options
- Using Query Strings with the Form URL
Forms can be created and configured by the sheet owner and licensed collaborators with Admin access to the sheet. With this permission level, you can generate a link to the form (which can be entered into a browser's address bar) or iFrame code to embed it into a website using HTML - then anyone can fill it out.
NOTE: During a 30-day free trial, you can create, preview, and test Forms, but aren't able to generate a public URL or embed code. These options are only available on Forms owned by licensed users.
Creating a New Form
- Click the Forms tab at the bottom of a sheet to display the Forms window.
- Click Create New Form to add a form to your sheet and display the Form Editor.
NOTE: If you already have forms associated with the sheet, they'll be listed here and you can edit them as needed.
In the Form Editor, you'll see the form's title 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.
- Click on an element from the left to display and edit its properties on the right.
- When you’ve finished setting up your form, click Save and Preview to save your changes, and then click the x in the upper-right corner to close the Form Editor.
Once you close the Form Editor, the Forms form appears, displaying the name of the form you’ve created, and its URL (the URL is available only on forms owned by licensed users).
Using the Form to Collect Information from Others
Once you've created a form, you'll want to make it accessible to others.
To get a shareable URL to the form:
- Click the Forms tab at the bottom to display the Forms window.
- From the Forms window, do one of the following:
- Copy and paste the URL to use it in other programs or email messages.
- Use the envelope icon to the right of the URL to send an it in an email message.
- Copy and paste the URL to use it in other programs or email messages.
NOTE: There isn't a way to customize or shorten the form URL using Smartsheet.
Options for Managing and Distributing a Form
|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.|
|Preview||Display a preview of your form.|
Submissions made from preview mode will appear in your sheet as new rows.
|Edit||Open the form for editing.|
|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 > Clone||Create an exact replica of the form, but with a new URL.|
|More > Properties||Show 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 > Deactivate||Disables the URL (accessing it will display an error message), but preserves it as well as the form in case you need to use it again.|
|More > Delete||Removes the form and its associated URL from Smartsheet. The URL is not recoverable; delete forms with caution.|
To remove an element from the form, select it, and then click Remove from form (the red 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.
TIP: Drag-and-drop elements up and down to change their placement on the form. These changes won’t affect the order of the columns in your sheet.
When editing an element, you’ll see the following options:
- Field Label: choose to either use the column's name or a custom label as the name of the form field.
- Field Help Text: add a description or instruction to appear underneath the form field.
- Display Type (for checkbox, drop-down list, and symbolic column types only): determine how to display checkboxes and drop-down list options within the form.
NOTE: The field type, and values you can select from a drop-down list, are configured on the column within the sheet. To make changes, close the form editor and edit the column properties.
- Text Box Height: set the form field to display as single, or multiple, blank lines.
- Required Field: required fields must be filled out in order to submit the form; leaving them blank will display an error message to the submitter.
- Hidden Field: hidden fields are not visible in the form, but are visible in the sheet. This is helpful 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 Value: will be displayed within the field on the form, and the form submitter can change it if needed. Formulas aren't allowed as default values.
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.
Adding Fields to a Form
- To drag-and-drop additional elements into the form, click Add Field in the lower portion of the form.
You can place the elements anywhere beneath the form’s description at the top. As you drag the element over to the left side, a dotted line will appear showing you where the element will be inserted when you release your click.
- 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 30MB per file, 10 files per form submission)
- Use the Add Field section to include fields for columns that are not currently included in the form, as well as an option to a Create New column.
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.
- Drag an item from the Add Section Divider section to create structure and better organize your form with headings and horizontal dividers.
Click Form Options to manage the form display and submission 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 Entries||Specify 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.)|
|Style||Specify 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, 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.|
- 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 email@example.com.
- Team 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.
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:
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.
- At the end of the URL, type a question mark (?):
NOTE: Previous query strings that were appended with the ampersand (&) will still work as normal. You must use question mark (?) to append query strings to URLs going forward.
- 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:
NOTE: Form fields are case-sensitive.
- Type an equals sign (=):
- Type in the value you'd like to make the default. In this case, we'll set the rep's name to Sally Smart:
TIP: Type %20 into the URL to indicate a space in the text.
- Repeat the steps above to populate additional form fields if desired
- 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.
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?ECAfirstname.lastname@example.org.