Other than being easy to use and boasting a nice UI, this form-builder outperforms others in more ways than I can count!
I’m just going to outline a couple of the things I’ve always wanted to be able to do with a form builder but not been able to, that Cognito Forms makes easy.
- True multi-column support. As long as you have some basic CSS know-how it’s not all that difficult to create a multi-column layouts for forms, but what escaped me was the ability to create a two-column form that turned into a single column when resized and that arranged the fields in a semantically coherent way. To be honest, I’m not great at describing visual ideas with words so if you want to know what the heck I’m talking about, check out this post which explains what I mean and dives into a tutorial about how to achieve such a layout in gravity-forms Multi-Column Gravity Forms. So a native easy to use feaure in Cognito Forms is possible in gravity forms, but only utilizing php and filter hooks. Plus, this tutorial, while awesome, was not complete and I had to spend quite a bit of time making it work when the number of columns I wanted in my form varied from section to section.
- Turn any kind of field, or field group, into a repeated list. Many form-builders allow you to create list field that allows the user to add more rows and such as needed, but I haven’t found one that allows you to do it with any type of field. Cognito forms takes it even further by allowing you to repeat groups of fields. For example, lets say I need a user to provide the following info when buying tickets for some event:
- Age (because a child ticket and an adult ticket are priced differently)
- Meal Preference i.e. Steak, Chicken, Fish, Vegetarian, or Vegan
and I don’t want them to fill out a seperate form for each attendee. With Cognito forms, I can create a group of fields, call it “Attendee Info”, and the user can add as many attendees as necessary. As a bonus, I can create calculation fields that count the number of each field present and then do whatever kind of calculation I need!
Something to keep in mind, documentation for performing calculations is currently limited, but according to the developer, will be fleshed out:
Cognito Forms calculations are very sophisticated, which is one of the reasons why we have not already released the documentation. However, for your task, any normal mathematical expressions will work fine, such as =A*5 + B*2, where A and B are the names of fields on your form. The statement completion will help you out with field names, but generally they are just the labels of the fields without spaces or special characters.
Lastly, our calculations are based on an open source parser created by Microsoft in 2008 called Dynamic Linq. If you need more help in the short term and are technically minded, check out Scott Guthrie’s post, download the sample zip and read the full documentation under LinqSamples\DynamicQuery. After reading this documentation you will see why we are taking our time creating documentation that is more approachable for less technical audiences.
What help there is can be found on their support site Understanding-Calculations
There is a support form, so if you get stuck you can probably get your answer that way.
Finally, I want to say that I am in no way affiliated with Cognito Forms. I’m just an impressed WordPress user wondering why this plugin is free!
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