The Field2Base Forms Designer is the specific application that allows your existing forms to be quickly converted to an active, online, smart form available to your end users via the Mobile Device and Web-based Applications.
This article describes the basic steps for creating a new form using the Field2Base Forms Designer application. If you need to install Forms Designer, please see the Forms Designer Install Guide. Field2Base uniquely allows customers to use their existing forms as the background for their new digital forms. A digital form is built by inserting regions on top of this background image.
Creating the Form Background
Before opening the Forms Designer application, you need to create your form background. Form backgrounds should be in an image format such as JPEG, PNG, GIF, TIFF, or BMP.
|Note||Field2Base recommends the PNG format|
To create your form background, you may open an existing form document (such as a Word document or a PDF file) and convert each page into an image file using a virtual printer such as PDF Creator.
Installing PDF Creator
1. Download the PDF creator installer from http://download.pdfforge.org/download/pdfcreator/PDFCreator-stable
2. Run the installer.
3. When prompted, be sure to check the box for Expert settings.
4. Uncheck all boxes except for application files.
5. Accept all other defaults and install the application.
|Note||PDF Creator is “Freeware” and is not affiliated with Field2base INC in any way. PDF Forge, the developer of PDF Creator, is solely responsible for the content of this application.|
Creating your Background Image
1. Open your document.
2. Select File > Print.
3. Select “PDF Creator” as your printer.
4. Select the page you wish to convert into an image. You may only convert one page at a time.
In this example we are using Microsoft Word, however this process will be the same for any Windows application that has printing capabilities.
5. Select Print (this will launch the PDF creator application).
6. Select “PNG” as the file type in the profile drop down menu.
7. Select Save.
8. Select the location where you want the file to be saved.
9. Select Save.
10. Repeat steps 1-9 for each page of your document.
Creating a New Form
1. Open the forms designer application on your PC.
2. In the upper left hand corner select the file folder and then select New.
3. Choose the image file you created earlier.
Adding Regions to the Form
Now that your form background has been imported, you need to create areas on the form for your users to enter data. These areas are called regions. You will need to create a region for every area of the form where data is to be collected
1. To determine a region, click and hold down the left mouse button to draw a box on the form starting at the top left corner of the box and ending at the bottom right hand corner.
2. Once your region is completed, the Create Region dialog box displays.
Setting Region Properties
Each region type has a unique set of properties that can be set. These properties determine what data is required for the region and how the data will appear on the form background.
1. In the General tab, set the region properties using the fields below.
|Note||The only region properties that require a value are Region name and Region type. All other region properties are optional.|
Region name - Enter a unique name for your region. Region names need to be in one of the following formats: one word ("ClientApproval") or with an underscore ("Client_Approval"). The name cannot contain spaces or special characters
b. Region type: Select the region type you need from the drop-down menu.
c. This field is required: Selecting this option will require the region to contain data before the form can be sent. If no data has been entered, the Mobile Forms application will direct the user back to this field for completion before being able to send the form.
2. In the Display tab, set the font, color and alignment to determine how the data will appear. The red Preview box displays how your region appears on the form.
Previewing the Form
At any time during the design process, you can preview your form to see how it will look on a mobile device.
1. Select the Home tab on the menu ribbon at the top of the page.
2. Select the Preview button.
3. Select the Keyboard button to enable the ability to type into text regions.
4. Click on any of the regions you created to ensure they are working properly.
5. Click on the End Preview button to exit the preview screen and return to the design view.
|Note||The preview function in Forms Designer may not show your form exactly as it would appear on a mobile device. It is recommended that you publish this form and review it on a mobile device for more accurate results.|
|Note||You can uncheck a checkbox by highlighting it and pressing the space bar.|
Saving the Form
Your digital form can be saved as a file (*.eform) to your local PC. As part of the installation process, a folder in your documents directory called “My Forms” was automatically created. Forms Designer will attempt to save your form files to the "My Forms" folder by default.
1. In the upper left hand corner of the screen, click on the File icon and select Save.
2. The first time you save your form, you will be required to name it. This name will appear on your user’s mobile device as the form title. You can name it whatever you like. Spaces are allowed for form names, however you may not use special characters.
3. You should also set the title for your form to include information from the form itself so you can differentiate between forms. You can set the title on the Title tab and include information from regions on your form in the title.
4. Select OK.
5. By default, the file name will be the same as the form name.
6. Select Save.
Publishing the Form
Now that you have created your form, it is time to publish it so your mobile users can access it on their mobile device.
1. In the upper left hand corner of the screen, click on the File icon and select Publish.
2. Enter the publishing credentials that were supplied to you by Field2base.
3. The first time you publish a form, you will be asked to associate it with a project. Choose the project you want to associate with the form and select OK.
4. Once your form has been published, you will receive final confirmation and you can view the published form on your mobile device.
|Note||It may take several minutes for the form to appear on your device depending on your available internet connectivity.|