• Form Builder

    Creating an Online Form for an Existing PDF

  • Custom Domain

    With Builder you can build three types of forms: online web forms, online PDF forms, and master forms.

  • Master Form Builder

    you will arrive at the Form Builder. On the form Builder, there are three main sections:

Text field initial value

This article explains how to set up initial value for your Text field.

What is an initial value?

An initial value for a Text field is a predetermined default value that you can automatically insert into your online forms. For instance, if you want to include today’s date on the form without requiring the respondent to manually enter it, you can set it as the initial value for the Text field in your online form. You can configure various types of initial values for the Text field, and when respondents access the form, these values will be pre-filled in the Text field and included in the PDF.

Initial value Types
Initial value types
  • Fixed Value
  • URL Value
  • Today’s Date
  • Current Time
  • Current Date Time
  • Incremental Code
  • Tracking Code
  • IP Address
  • Submission Revision

By default, the Text field with initial value is still editable, so the user can modify the initial value. However, in most cases, you want to mark this text field as read-only and even hide the fields in the form, but print in the PDF.

Set initial value

  1. Click on the field ID of your desired Text field to open its properties panel.

    Open the text field’s properties panel

  2. From the Initial Value dropdown, select your desired initial value.

    Select an initial value

    For details about each initial value, refer to the Available initial values.

Available initial values

Fixed Value

Let’s suppose you want to add a text value that is not editable or changeable, such as specific labels for types of customers in your forms. In that case, you can use the Fixed Value as an Initial Value. You can choose and type the fixed value you want to add to your online PDF form.

online PDF form partial payment section

URL value

If you can manage the sharing URL of the form, you can attach some URL parameters to set the initial value. For example, Here ?name1=fox&name2=dog is the value (name and value pair) you append to the form URL. If your form has 2 text fields, one uses name1 to get the initial value from URL and the other uses name2. Once the form is loaded, it parses the URL and populates the corresponding values, fox and dog, into the two text fields based on the specified name.


For embedded forms, you can add parameters to the URL of the page containing the embedded script. There is no need to modify the embedded script. For example, if you put the embedded script on your page, then you can add parameters to it:


Today’s Date

This option is when you want to automatically add the date when the user fills up the form.

Current Time

Current Time initial value allows you to instantly add the time when the user access and filled up the form.

Current Date Time

You can use this option if you want to automatically add both time and date when the user filled up the form.

Incremental code

In many cases, you may want to provide a unique code for each PDF you receive. This incremental code initial value can achieve this goal. It can create some code, such as RECEIPT-00001, RECEIPT-00002 or RECEIPT-00003 . As example, here you can set RECEIPT- to the prefix of the initial value. Then specify 00001 as the initial seed value. Each submission will increase the seed value and create a unique code and print it in PDF.

The code prefix is ​​optional. Only numbers can be used in the seed value. This value can start with a 0. If the new code length is shorter than the seed value length, it will be padded with 0 until its length is the same as the seed value length. Otherwise, if the new code is longer, this rule will be ignored.

After the form is published, the code will increase as the form receives more submissions. If you modify the seed value in the form editor again, the change will only take effect if the seed value is greater than the current code. For example, the seed value is 0001 before the form is first published. After the form receives 110 submissions, the current code will be 0110. If you change the seed value to 000010 and publish the form again, the new seed value will not take effect because the new seed value 10 is less than the current code 110. (Note that leading 0 does not affect numeric values.)


The code does not increase in preview mode.

By default, text fields are visible on the form. When the form is loaded, PlatoForms will pre-allocate an incremental code. If someone aborts the submission, this can result in code discontinuities. For example, if three users open the form at the same time, their form will be pre-assigned the codes 0001, 0002 and 0003. If the user using the code 0002 gives up the submission of form, you will get a PDF with 0001 and 0003. PlatoForms also does not reuse 0002, i.e, the next code will be 0004. To avoid this, you need to hide this text field from from. In this case, our system only allocate new code when the user submits the form, which will ensure that your PDF has continuous incremental code.

Disclaimer: The incremental code feature is provided “as is” and there is no guarantee that the code will be absolutely unique or absolutely continuous. PlatoForms does not recommend using it in scenarios that highly rely on unique or continuous code. For example, financial transaction tasks that require absolutely unique and continuous number. PlatoForms will not be held liable for any damage caused by use of this incremental code.

field initial value - increment code

Tracking code

After submitting the form, PlatoForms will create a tracking code to help you track the information. You can view and search for this tracking code on the submission page. In the form, you can set the tracking code as an initial value. You can then print it out in the created PDF, and this helps you create a link between the PDF and the form data. Note that once a text field uses this tracking code as its initial value, the field becomes an invisible field in the form. This is because the tracking code does not yet exist when the user opens the form.

Disclaimer: The tracking code is not guaranteed to be absolutely unique. There is a very small chance that you may get a duplicate tracking code in your submissions!

field initial value - tracking code

IP address

If you have enabled Collect IP address in the form settings, this initial value prints the IP address of the submitter to the corresponding field after the form is submitted.


The Submission Revision initial value allows you to track changes to a submission over time. Each time a submission is resubmitted, the system will automatically increase the revision number by 1.

To include the revision number in the PDF, you can use the optional prefix text. This will print the prefix text followed by the revision number on the PDF document.

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