Disclaimer: This feature has been released. In Form Builder 5.0, default version as of June 2018, the number of fields that Autosuggest datasets can be mapped to was increased. Visit the release blog post to learn about other Form Builder 5.0 improvements.

We’re always looking for ways to improve FormAssembly and make the experience of using it better and faster for our customers. One of the newest things we’re working on is the Autosuggest feature. If you’re a heavy FormAssembly user with lots of long menus in your forms, the Autosuggest feature is going to make your life way easier. When we release this feature to all customers, you’ll be able to upload long lists of items quickly and allow your users to search through them more easily.

What it Means for You

The main benefit of Autosuggest for your company is that it lets you easily include long lists in your forms (up to 200,000 list items). Here’s what will change.

Before

Normally, to create a menu, you’d select the menu option under Add Content > Question, then manually add in menu choices one by one. This works fine with small lists, but the process becomes time-consuming when you’re working with lists that number in the hundreds of items (or even thousands).

After

Enter the AutoSuggest feature.

For lists up to 200,000 items, Autosuggest is the perfect option. Instead of manually entering list items, you can upload a CSV containing all the choices you want to include.

How it Works

You can use Autosuggest to upload all kinds of information that would take a long time to enter manually. Uploading is simple. You simply select your file and hit Preview, after which you’ll see the list of the first five and last two entries in your CSV file.

Here are the guidelines for correctly uploading CSV files:

CSV formatting rules

1. Maximum of 200,000 items per column.
2. Minimum one column, MAXIMUM two columns.
3. The first column of any CSV needs to be a human readable and searchable column.
4. The system will ignore the FIRST line of the CSV while it is being processed, as it assumes that there are column headings.
*Be sure to include column headings if you don’t want the first record to be removed.
5. Columns MUST BE delimited (separated) by a comma, no other delimiter is accepted.
Example: Column,Row
6. Fields that contain commas as part of their value MUST BE enclosed by double quotation marks.
*Be sure to add a space between the words and the quotation marks so that the start of the word remains searchable.
Example: [” Last Name, First Name “,12345]

Two-Column CSVs

You’ll also have the option to upload two-column files where the items in the columns are dependent on each other. Say, for example, you wanted to upload a CSV that contained list entries in the first column and a value that would populate based on your list selection in the second column.

The Autosuggest feature allows you to accomplish this. Just remember to check the box that reads: “Create a new field to receive data from the second column.” (See 4. below.)

The field will then be automatically inserted into your form. You can use this feature for large amounts of public information (like schools in an area) that would take a long time to scroll through otherwise, but it isn’t meant to be used for any sensitive data.

Note: You can also use the “Export File” button shown in the screenshot above to easily locate the CSV you’re using and make any needed changes to it. (No need to dig through your computer for the most updated version of the file.)

What Autosuggest Means for Your Customers

On the customer side, Autosuggest makes it easier for form respondents to quickly find a menu option.

Before

To find a particular item in a long list, users would have to scroll (and scroll, and scroll) through each item before finding the one they wanted.

After

Users only need to start typing a word and a short list of possible choices will pop up, allowing them to either select an item or keep typing to refine the list.

Dependent Fields

In this screenshot, you can see how uploading two-column CSVs translates to a more user-friendly form. After selecting their choice in the top field, the second field is automatically populated, reducing the work required of your users.

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Keep an eye out for the release of Autosuggest to all accounts! Have any other ideas about features we should develop? Let us know!

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