Form Settings - Field Configurations
  • 07 Apr 2024
  • 4 minute read
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Form Settings - Field Configurations

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  • PDF

Article Summary

With a form created and fields in place, you can customize each field to make them more customized and tailored to your needs including:

  • Mapping to system fields

  • Defaulting a values

  • Conditionally displaying fields

Example Form Field with configuration

Settings & Descriptions




Active/Inactive: Active fields display as expected. Inactive fields are grayed out in the Form Builder and are not available when the form is filled out, both externally and administratively.


Allows for selection of different field display options (depending on current selection).


Displays the title of the field and can be edited using HTML.

Hide Label

When checked, the title of the field will not display.

Placeholder Text

Only available for free-text fields. Displays inside of text fields until registrants begin to enter information/text.

System Field 

Maps to a system field in Slate. Custom fields can be accessed by selecting Fields from the first dropdown.

Unsafe Override

The Safe / Unsafe setting for a person-scoped field determines how the field can be updated if an application in an active period exists for a record.

Suppose a person-scoped field is configured as Safe. In that case, the field value is not updated by a safe source import or a safe form submission if the record has an application in an active period.

Learn more about how safe and unsafe behavior can affect your records here.

Null Handling

This setting allows incoming NULL values, the form field being empty, to clear out any value already stored in this field for the corresponding registrant/record.

Export Key

Will be pre-populated when a system field is selected above. If this isn't a field that requires mapping to the Person Record, an export key can be entered to enable querying on this field data.

Data Type 

Specifies the kind of data expected to be entered into the field. Will affect how the data can be used in calculations.


Adjusts the width of the form field presentation. 

Format Mask

Ensures that data is entered and formatted consistently (e.g., restrict a GPA form field to only numeric data with two digits following the decimal point, currency with a thousand separator, or email address format).

Max Characters

Sets field character limit.

Max Words 

Sets field word limit.

Max Length Countdown

When a character or word limit is set, it can display the remaining characters or words that a registrant has before reaching the maximum.


Allows entry of prompts for non-mapped fields and displays system prompts for mapped fields.

  • Override system prompts - Allows the renaming, reordering, deletion, and addition of prompts to system prompt lists. (Adding a prompt here will not add the prompt to the system prompt list.)

  • Connect to system prompts - Default when mapped to a system field. Undoes and does not allow prompt overrides.

Calculation Formula 

Allows for the creation of calculated fields in a form using a snippet of JavaScript.


Autosuggest can be used to data points such as school information so that a form is easier to complete and errors in data entry may be avoided. Since a dataset stores school information, this data can facilitate form completion by prospective students by enabling the Autosuggest feature.

Default Value Formula

Auto-populates the form value from a previously selected export set in the form.

Default Value

Presets the form field's value to a specific prompt from the prompt list associated with the form field.

Column Width

Sets a column width on a form field.


Defines the layout of the form field on the form. 


  • Required - The form cannot be submitted unless a value has been entered into this field. For checkbox fields, at least one checkbox in the group must be checked.  If the form is being submitted administratively, a warning will be displayed, but the form may still be submitted if the user chooses to bypass this warning.

  • Internal only - The field will not appear on the form, and it will not be accessible by script. Any default values for that field will not be saved since the field will not exist on an externally-accessed form (e.g. 'staff use only' fields).

  • Read Only - This field will be displayed but will not be editable.  If it has a value that is set by a script, by pre-population, or by a default value, it will still be saved. (Currently, the read-only setting is not effective for select or dropdown fields.)

  • Hidden (accessible through script) - This field will not be displayed to an internal or external user, but it will remain accessible through a script, pre-population, and default value selections.  Any value that is set will be saved with the form submission (e.g., a form for first-year students where it should save this default first-year value but is not displayed to the registrant).

  • Disabled / Display but do not store - This field will be displayed to internal and external users and may have a value set through a script, pre-population, or a default value, but its value will not be saved.  This is most useful for system fields that should not be updated.

Options Combinations

Here is a truth table for the different option combinations:



Read Only




The field will not display publicly to form registrants. When submitted administratively by a user, there will be a warning but the user can still submit the form. 

Form can only be submitted if a value is set through script, autosuggest, or a default value.

Hidden will be given precedent over Required

Disabled will be given precedent over Required



Displays value internally but does not allow editing

The value of the Hidden field will only populate if the form is submitted administratively

Displays value internally but does not allow editing or store value

Read Only



Hidden already cannot be edited and also are not displayed internally or externally

Disabled already cannot be edited and also does not store value





Do Not Use - field cannot be seen, be edited, or store a value

Here are a few use cases for some of the combinations:

  • Required + Internal: any high priority internal field

  • Required + Read Only: visible calculation field if not all calculation inputs are required

  • Internal + Read Only: information needed to submit the form administratively

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