Publishing Forms (Public Links)

Help Page > Forms > Form Options > Publishing Forms (Public Links)


Creating a public link for a form allows an instance of the form to be completed by someone who isn’t an DocStar user. A link can be created from the form designer though this button in the Form Options tab. Note that specific licensing is required for public links, as described below.


Also, you can click the link icon shown on each form representation in the navigator.


Either way, you’ll be presented with this dialog.


Through this dialog, the form designer creates a link (a URL), which may be emailed from here. Alternately, the link may be copied from the dialog and pasted into another webpage, which becomes a custom “front end” for inviting people to fill out a form.


  • Recaptcha is an option, available on DocStar hosted systems, to prevent “bots” from filling in forms. When checked, DocStar delivers a web page containing the Google reCAPTCHA™ widget, and the user must satisfy it before accessing the External Form Filler. This is what the widget typically looks like to a user.Forms_28_CaptchaGenerally, a user need only check the box to indicate that they are human. In some cases, it is also necessary to identify which of several images match a description.
  • Display Meta Panel – the external form filler is based on the DocStar document viewer. Optionally, it may include the metadata panel, including all content fields, but without Approvals, Workflow, and certain other features. If omitted, the user will only see the form.
  • Expiration – optionally, the link created hereby will cease to function after a specified number of uses or after a specified date.

When someone uses the link, he or she creates a new form document and opens it in the External Form Filler. It functions like Form edit mode in DocStar.

A form may be partially filled in and saved. The user can reuse the original link on the same computer—a cookie is used to identify the partially-completed form—to finish filling in the form later. (Without this cookie, the link would create another new form.) Alternately, the user may bookmark the form while filling it in. This bookmark identifies the form and can be used from another device. (This is a different URL than the one originally created when the form was published.)

Notes on Externally Filled Forms

All activities (creating the document, saving, etc.) performed in the external form filler are done using the credentials of whomever created the link. Likewise, they are audited to that user, although the description in each audit will indicate that it was performed by an external user.

Until they are submitted, they are regarded as temporary documents. As such, they are not indexed and thus cannot be found via search. Furthermore, they will automatically be deleted if not made permanent within a set period of time (14 days by default).

When submitted, the form becomes a permanent document. If the link had been created with a limited number of uses, this count is decremented at this time.

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