Often a will contain several generic fields that many respondents will answer in the same way. Rather than making users fill in these fields, which can be repetitive and time consuming, organizations can pre-populate them with the correct information so that, when users open the form, these fields will already be filled in. To do so, organizations will need the form’s URL and the variable names associated with the fields they want to fill in.

Filling in the fields of an electronic form can be repetitive and time-consuming. Rather than making users fill in those fields, organizations can pre-populate the generic form with the correct information that multiple respondents will answer in the same way.

This can all be done by linking to a specialized URL that includes all the information you want pre-filled in the form when users click it.

For example, let’s say you were emailing an event singup form to clients, and your email lists were already sorted by region. For the emails going to California, you could change the link from:

www.website.com/signupform

To:

www.website.com/signupform/?State=CA

To dig a little deeper, let’s take a quick look at the basic structure of these specialized URLs:

baseURL?variable1=value

All you need to do is replace baseURL with the form’s current URL, variable1 with the variable associated with the field to be filled in and value with the appropriate field value.

To fill in multiple fields, insert the ampersand symbol (&) before any additional variables:

baseURL?variable1=value&variable2=value

In the example below, on a purchase order form that is only available to Laserfiche employees, the Company field was pre-populated using the following URL:

baseURL?Company=Laserfiche.

forms

Note that these URLs can also be generated using a digital workflow.
Pre-populating form fields can both reduce errors and save time for whoever is filling it out, increasing efficiency of staff and satisfaction among customers.

To learn more about using electronic forms to reduce paperwork, download the free eBook Quicker Better Safer: Forms.

electronic forms ebook guide

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