Adobe Document Services

Acrobat Blog

Insights, trends, news and more.

October 14, 2013 /How-To's /

FormsCentral Pro Tip: “For Internal Use Only”

Over the past couple weeks, I’ve encountered a few different individuals who’ve asked me the same interesting question: they had to add a section to their forms that wouldn’t be filled out by the form respondents, but by the people who’d be working with the data. This would be the section you sometimes see on forms called “For Internal Use Only”; it’s a way for administrators and data collectors to categorize or qualify form responses as they read through the submissions. How could they do that with FormsCentral?

As we all pondered the issue, it occurred to us that this was a really, really easy thing to do: all you need to do is add a few extra columns in the response table in the “View Responses” tab. Here’s what I mean:

Internal Use Only columns

All I had to do was add a few extra columns at the end of the response table; I colored them red so I’d know where the form stopped and where my internal-only information began. In this example, the columns were to write down a student’s grade on the quiz, who graded the quiz, and any extra notes about the student’s work. (It’s also worth noting that since the FormsCentral response table supports basic formulas, you could use these columns to compute data using the responses to the form. Fancy!)

The extra columns also allow you to filter your responses according to your own categories instead of having to choose from the questions people answer on your form. If you create a list of categories to apply to each form response as they come in – for example, a grading system like A, A-, B+, B, and so on – you can then go back in and filter the data to show only those quizzes that received grades of A- or better; basically, you’re filtering data according to information you applied to the responses after they were submitted. Here’s how you format a column to restrict the entry options:

  • Open up the “table” menu; it’s the third button from the left when you’re in your View Responses tab:

"Table" menu

  • Click “Choices”, then click “Include a list of choices…”:

Include List of Choices

  • Add choices to populate the list that you’ll be able to choose from when categorizing form responses; when you’re done, click “Close” to return to your responses.

Add Choices

  • Back in your response table, use the drop-down that appears in the selected cell in that column:

Drop down of choices

Forgive me for being a FormsCentral geek for a minute here, but I think that’s SO COOL.

What makes this so helpful is that these columns won’t show up on the form, so there’s no risk of your form respondents seeing the categories or criteria you’re using to organize the submissions; whether you’re grading quizzes, fielding employment applications, or just tagging data, it’s a great way to keep your responses organized and neatly filed on your own terms.

Psst.. do you have a FormsCentral use case you’d like to share with us? We’d love to hear it! Let us know how you’re using FormsCentral by leaving a comment below.

Categories: How-To's