Creating Your First Web Form
Before we get started, make sure you sign up for a free account at PlatoForms. Navigate to the form builder, and select Create a PDF Form from scratch. The form builder lets you build a PDF form from the ground up, and then publish it online as a web form. Simple.
1. Decide what you need to ask
Before you get started, take a pen and paper (or your favourite word processor), and make some notes about the questions you need to ask your customers. Try to keep it short and simple — you don’t want to overload your customers with questions.
2. Define the scope of your form
Before they fill anything in, your users need to know what the web form is for. Think of a clear title that defines the purpose of the form.
To add your title, add a text box to the Form Builder and enter your text. You can style your text with the tools in the left column.
3. Add the questions to your form
Use the tools in the top toolbar of the Form Builder to add your questions to your form. As you add fields, you should decide on the best way to present your data — input box, choice (radio buttons), dropdown, etc.
Generally, if it’s a custom answer, an input box will work best; whereas if it is a multiple choice, use the choice tool or a dropdown list. I prefer to use the choice boxes for smaller lists (of two or three items), and the dropdown for longer lists (three or more items). But, it is your choice, see what works best for you.
In the example I’ve used:
Name and Email fields = input box
Type of spaceship required? = dropdown
Do you have your astronaut licence? = choice
Top Tip: Once your fields are set up, you can drag and drop to move them around the form positioning them exactly where you want them.
4. Build your online web form
Once you have all your questions in position, it’s time to create the web form. In the top left of the screen, click
Make Online Form (the purple button); it’ll then take a few seconds as it gathers all your data and converts the form. When it’s ready, you’ll have two options:
Build an online PDF Form, and
Build an Online Web Form. In this case, we’ll click
Build an Online Web Form.
5. Add the finishing touches to your form
This next screen is where you can add the final touches to your form, as it shows you all the elements of your web form. There’s little need to make any changes to our fields, but you can use this to change automatically added aspects of the web form, for example, the text of the submit bar, or to link any text boxes to data fields.
For my form, I didn’t make any changes. I like it the way it is.
6. Publish your web form
To publish, click
Publish in the top left of the Form Builder.
You have two options for publishing:
This is a URL that links straight to your form. Share it with your users or add it to your website. Your visitors can then click the link to access the form.
This option embeds the web form directly on your website. Just copy the embed code and add it to an HTML section of your page. The web form is then visible (and fillable) directly on your website.
7. Test your form
The easiest way to test your web form is to visit the Public URL link. Copy it into your browser and fill out your form.
Once you’ve submitted your form, you’ll receive a notification in the dashboard of your PlatoForms account. You can click the notification to view the data filled out by your user.
That’s it! Great work. Congratulations on setting up your web form. Bookmark this page if you think you might need help again in the future or take a look at our documentation page.
Have you tried creating a Web Form with PlatoForms? Let us know how you got on in the comments below.