Design a Form

Have it your way! You can design data entry and display forms to suit your needs exactly. The Form Builder's Elements tab lets you add or remove form fields and set their order and layout. (To access the Form Builder, click the Customize this Form link in the Page bar when you're displaying a form.)

To add a field to a form:

Whether you're creating or editing a form, the Elements tab usually displays with a bunch of fields already listed.

Each field name is actually a dropdown, which lets you change each field to a different one (though it's actually easier to move fields around, which you'll learn to do in a minute). At the bottom of the list of fields, are blank dropdown fields that all say Make a Selection....

To add a field, you can click one of these dropdowns and select the field you want to appear on your form (fields not yet on the form appear in light blue type). However, it's unlikely that you want to add a field to the bottom of the form every time. There's an easier way. Select the field just below the spot where you want to insert the new field. (To select the field, click its icon. QuickBase highlights the field in yellow.) At the bottom of the list, click the Insert button. QuickBase inserts a Make a Selection... dropdown above the field you chose. Click the dropdown and select the field you want to add.

Tip: You don't need to be in the Form Builder to add a field. Do so directly on the form itself! QuickBase lets you kill two birds with one stone. You can create a field and add it to your form at the same time. On the form itself, right-click the field above which you want to insert the new field. Within the menu that appears, select Add a field after this one.

To remove a field from a form:

Select the field you want to remove, by clicking its icon. QuickBase highlights the selection in yellow. At the bottom of the list, click the Remove button.

To position form fields:

Select the field you want to move, by clicking its icon.

At the bottom of the fields list, click the Up or Down arrow to move the field(s) you selected. QuickBase moves a field one slot at a time. Click the directional buttons as many times as you need. If you want a field to display on the same line as the field above it, turn on the Same Row checkbox to the right of the field name.

Note: The Same Row setting is not applicable for mobile QuickBase; each field appears on a separate row in the form when you are using the mobile site.

You can move multiple fields together as a group. To select several fields that are next to each other, hold down the Shift key and select all the fields you want to move. To select a group of fields that aren't located next to each other, hold down the Ctrl key and click each field you want to move. QuickBase highlights all the fields you select in yellow. Click the Up or Down button at the bottom of the list to move the fields.

Configuring a form field's appearance and behavior

When you select a field in the list, QuickBase displays some configuration options in the pane on the right.

All fields have the following options:

For multiple-choice fields only:

Configuring a reference field's pick list

If you have multiple tables in your application, and they're related to each other, your form may feature reference field. When reference fields appear on your form, they display as dropdowns from which users can select a record in a related master table. The format of the choices that appear here are automatically controlled by the Record Picker, which works very well for most form designers. But say you have a special report that features exactly the columns (fields) that you want to appear in this list of choices. You can tell QuickBase to use that format, instead of the Record Picker's. First, in the Element tab's field list, select the reference field. Then, in the pane on the right side of the Form Builder, click the When used for data entry: dropdown and select the desired report. If you want, you can open and edit a report directly from this screen. To tweak a view (or even the record picker's settings) select it in the list and click the report... link to its right. QuickBase opens the Report Builder (or the record picker) so you can change format.

Embedding a report

Often, you'll want to embed a list of related records on a form. For example, when you open a project record you'd like it to show a list of all tasks linked to the project. Or maybe you'd like an invoice form to show all related work orders. For this to work, you first need to have your data set up correctly. The tables in question must be related to one another. (Project would be a master table related to Tasks, the detail table, for example. Learn more about relationships.) If everything is in place, you can easily embed a report within your form. Read how.

FAQ - My embedded report isn't showing all the records that relate to the master record. What's wrong?

 Make sure the report you insert has no matching criteria set. If it does, you won't see the records you expect to see. OK, but how do you know which reports have matching limitations? You can see or edit a report directly from this screen. To do so, select the report from the list and click the report... link to its right. QuickBase opens the report in the Report Builder so you can make changes.

Adding Instructional Text and Section Headings

A poorly designed form often looks like a jumble of unrelated fields. QuickBase makes it easy to add instructions and organize your form in sections. Doing so provides your users some guidance and helps them understand what you expect them to do.

Use Section Headings to divide your form into easily digestible sections. Create a section for each kind of data you want users to enter. For example, you might have a "Contact information" section followed by an "Order Information" section on the same form. To insert a Section Heading, click any Make a Selection... dropdown and choose Section Heading. When you do so, QuickBase displays a Section Heading text box in the pane to the right of the field list. Use this box to type in the heading text. Insert and move a Section Heading as you would any other field. Section Headings with text are collapsible; click the icon to the left of the section heading to expand or collapse the section.

Tip: You can insert horizontal lines to separate the sections on your forms. To do so, click the Properties tab and turn on the Display horizontal rules between sections checkbox.

Use Text elements to enter text anywhere on the form. The Make a Selection... dropdown features a selection called Text. When you choose Text, QuickBase displays a large box in the pane to the right of the field list. Use this box to type in whatever text you want to display. QuickBase inserts a snippet of text in the form, just like you'd add a field.

If you want to dress up your text, and have some knowledge of HTML, QuickBase lets you insert certain HTML tags to add some pizzazz and functionality. Just select the HTML (Limited) checkbox below the text box. The tags allowed include basic formatting options like bold and italic text, and hyperlinks. See the list below:








text span


line break


hypertext link






table row


table cell


table heading cell

Positioning Field Labels

You can only position form field labels if you have at least one Section Heading on your form. If you don't want section heading text to appear in your form, you can still create one, but leave the box blank. When you add a section heading (or select the Section Heading element by clicking its icon), the pane on the right offers placement controls for field labels.

If you want labels to appear above fields, select the Above fields radio button within the Field labels in this section appear: section.

If you want labels to appear to the left of your fields, select to the left of fields instead. This option lets you vary the placement of field names from section to section.

Tip: If you place field labels to the left of fields, you may want to activate word wrapping. This ensures that long labels won't force your form to widen beyond the width of the browser window. To do so, click the Properties tab and turn on the Allow field labels to wrap checkbox.


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