Form Element Options

Help Page > Forms > Form Element Options

Element Options

The element options tab allows various properties of an element to be changed. Depending on the type of element selected, some or all of the following will be available.

Field MapForms_10_FieldMap

The field map ties the element to a content field, so that the form displays and edits that field. Depending on the type of element, your choice of fields may be restricted to a specific type. Some elements are predefined to work with a single field, so there are no other choices.

The pencil icon lets you modify the definition of a field and the plus icon lets you create a new field. Creating or modifying a field here has the same effect as doing so on the Fields admin page.

Label and Value Properties

Optionally, a label is shown next to each element. The label text, font, color, and style can be modified. More advanced formatting options are available using CSS, discussed below.

Value properties exist for most elements to adjust how a field value is displayed. A predefined value (default value) can often be set as can Help Text, which is displayed when the user filling out the form hovers the mouse over the element.

If using a Field that appears on multiple pages, clicking the Synchronize Value checkbox will result in that value being carried over across multiple pages once a save operation has been performed on the form. Note that the Synchronize Value check box must be checked on each instance.


Forms_11_FormulaA formula allows the value of a numeric element to be computed using basic arithmetic from other numeric elements on the form.

 By default, the Formulas accordion shows the current formula, if any, defined for the element. Clicking the pencil icon within the accordion enters formula edit mode.

In formula edit mode, much of the form designer is disabled. A formula is created by clicking on the numeric elements on the form and by clicking on the virtual keypad, which includes arithmetic operators, digits, and parenthesis.


For instance, to make a formula that is the product of two elements, like Quantity times Unit Price, click on the Quantity element, then X, and then Unit Price.

The summation (sigma) symbol is used to sum all values of a field group element, such as to generate a total amount from a collection of line item amounts.

As the formula is built, messages will explain what may be added next, and the buttons will be enabled and disabled accordingly.

DEL deletes the last entry made to the formula. C clears the formula.

Clicking the save icon exits formula edit mode retaining your current formula. The cancel icon exits formula edit mode and abandons changes you’ve just made.

Field Groups and Formulas

Field group elements (discussed below) may be computed from other elements in the field group, in which case the formula refers to values in the same field set (row). Thus, as in the Quantity times Unit Price example above, an Extended Amount can be computed for each line item. Field Group elements that are computed from elements outside the field group refer only to the first value (if there are multiple values) of the field.

Any element may compute the sum of an element within any field group.


Forms_13_FieldGroupAdvancedThe Advanced accordion offers these features, subject to licensing. See Licensing, below.

The Render As Text option determines how an element on the form will look when it is not in edit mode, which includes viewing in DocStar with Form Edit mode off and when printing, emailing, or saving a copy. When rendered as text, elements will not look like a form input element: they will not have a border, drop-down indicator, date picker, etc. The File Upload element is hidden entirely when rendered as text.

CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) allow advanced formatting to be applied to forms. Class names can also be used in Javascript selectors for various types of automation. For most elements, CSS class names may be specified individually for the label, value, and the container. Multiple class names, separated by spaces, may be applied to each. See Javascript and CSS under Form Options, below.

Group Settings and a Delete Group button appear here only for elements that are members of a field group.

Field Groups

Field groups are composite elements made of the following:

  • An overall container for the group.
  • An element for each field in the group; each of these includes a container, a label, and a value.
  • A delete set icon.
  • An add set icon.

In form edit mode, users can enter multiple sets of values (rows or line items) into a field group element, and it grows to accommodate the additional data.

Different parts of the field group element can be selected individually, and options available vary with the selection. Let’s look at an example from the Time Off Request.




The text, Requested Time Off, at the top and the four column headings below it are actually Label elements independent of the field group. The field group itself is just this:




The type of each member element (i.e. Dropdown, Date) is determined automatically by the type of the mapped field. Selecting any of the member elements shows its Element Options similar to those shown for elements that are outside of a field group. Note that the label has been hidden for each of these, because one set of the independent labels above the field group was preferred to including labels on each row.

Group Settings

When any part of the field group is selected, these Group Settings are displayed.

Forms_15_GroupSettingsThe repeat direction determines where the second, third, etc. field set will appear on the form. Generally, field groups are repeated vertically so that each new set appears as a new row. One reason to repeat a field set horizontally might be to display two address blocks (i.e. Billing and Shipping) side by side on a form.

Spacing is the distance in pixels between field sets.

Min Count is the minimum number of field set elements shown, even when there are fewer sets of data in the field set. For instance, if the Min Count is 5, then a new form will show 5 sets of inputs even if no data have been entered yet.

To see the effect of Repeat Direction and Spacing in the designer, change the Min Count to 2 or more.

The effect of Max Per Page varies depending on the Layout Mode set in Advanced Form Options. In Grid mode, it determines how many sets (rows) may appear before a page break is automatically inserted, moving the remaining rows and all elements below the field group to the next page. In Flow mode, when the maximum number of sets is exceeded, elements below the field group simply shift downward—no page break is added.

Sort By determines the order of the field sets on the form.

The Field Group Controls

The Add and Delete icons included in the field group element can each be selected. They may be moved relative to the other elements within the field group. Although various Label and Value properties are displayed, none of them are applied in Form Edit mode (at this time.)

Note that clicking them doesn’t add or delete anything here in the form designer; these icons just represent the buttons that users will click to add and delete field sets when filling out a form.

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