Help Page > Forms

What are Forms?

A form is a special type of document whose content is a combination of a form template and data filled in by a user (or users) or by automated processes. The form template is created using the DocStar Form Designer.

Form documents are created from form templates. When in Form Edit mode, they can be filled in by a user with permission to do so. When not in edit mode, they look like regular documents.

Form documents can be printed or emailed, etc. (subject to permissions). They can also participate in versioning and workflow and any other process.

Why Forms?

Forms allow user input and other metadata to be reflected in a document’s content, and thereby be visible when the document is viewed, printed, emailed, or downloaded.

Filling in a well‐designed form can be much more intuitive than filling in fields in the Content Fields panel in DocStar. The form layout can include instructions, validation, and other features to guide users through entering data.

Data captured via a form are stored in DocStar content fields and thereby are readily available to workflow. In contrast, one could submit PDF or other documents that have been filled in prior to capture by DocStar, but the data in such documents would then have to be extracted and parsed using OCR or other means.

Finally, Public Links to forms allow them to be completed via the web by people who are not otherwise
DocStar users.

A Practical Example

One example of a form is the Time Off Request. It is filled out by any employee who requests vacation or other time off. The form captures the desired dates and other data. Workflow routes the form through one or more approvals notifying the employee at certain, key steps in the process.

This is the Time Off Request form in the Form Designer in DocStar. The form layout is shown on the working area, or canvas, on the right. Tools and options for modifying the form are on the left. A navigator is on the far left.
Near the top of the tools area, note that the Content Type of the form is shown. This Content Type is applied to each instance of the Timeoff Request and determines its default fields, workflow, and security class.
Controls for creating and navigating among parts of a multi-part form appear above the canvas, below the form name. Multipart forms are discussed below.
The Employee Information section of the Time Off Request contains eight elements or fields, which identify the employee and his or her division, department, and supervisor. The Requested Time Off section contains a field group element, which allows one or more date ranges to be specified on a single form.

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