The way you name your Fields (both on your Forms and Templates) will have a big impact on how efficiently and accurately you automate your documents.
The most important tip is to use a standard hierarchical naming convention. This will help you keep track of where a Field fits into the structure of your Forms and Templates.
Let’s say you are a law firm and want to automate a simple Loan Agreement.
The first thing you need to do is start a name for each of your Forms that contains a common word, say “Loan”. To collect data on the Lender you would create a Form called “Loan – Lender”.
On this Form you then name the individual Fields in a common way, for example:
Notice that we have started from the ‘highest’ level concept of ‘Lender’, then ‘Name’, then the sort of name, ‘First’, etc.
Finally note we have added a standard field extension “_txt”. This is shorthand for “text field”. This is because the first name is going to be entered as text. When we see “_txt” either on a Form Field or in a Template Field, we know the type of data being dealt with is text (rather than, say, a Boolean true/false, a date or a number).
When collecting further data about the Lender (for example, their address) we would use a similar hierarchical naming convention:
Grouping Fields using Sections and Repeats
You should also think about how your Fields can be grouped. This is particularly important if you are going to collect data for multiple groups of similar Fields (in which case you will be using a Repeat section).
You can also use groups of Fields to manipulate all of the Fields at once as a set, rather than individually, eg to show and hide the Field group on a Form.
To make a collection of Fields on a Form, include them in a Section. If you intend on collecting multiple sets of data into the Field group, then you make the group a Repeat section.
Sections and Repeats can also have names within our application builder. You should try and use a name that reflects what the Section relates to, eg, Lender_Addr_Postal_sec, (a section containing the fields for the lenders postal address). This Section could then contain the following Fields:
Why would you include these Fields in a separate Section? Because you may only want to collect this data on your Form if the lender does not want to use their street address. Because all the Fields are in a separate Section, the whole Section can be hidden with a simple Rule or line of Script.
Can I use the same field name more than once?
As a general rule you cannot use the same field name in more than one place on a form.
Users who have migrated from Zumeforms, may recall that in the old system it was possible to use the same field name if the fields were in different repeats. Unfortunately, this is no longer the case.