You can add new sections to a form using the button below the question properties or from the top of the menu when the Add question tab is selected in the sidebar.
Once a section has been created you can adjust its settings, including the:
Section properties include the section name and instructions, and can be adjusted in the section settings tab in the sidebar when the section name is selected.
Sections are named New Section by default. They can be left blank (and should be when building a database form); however, when a form is enabled for mobile access and certain conditions are met, having no name for a section can make data entry challenging for users. It is good practice to name sections unless a good reason for doing so has been identified (for example, when building a database form).
Section names are not visible anywhere outside of the form.
If group tabs are enabled for the form, sections must be named in order to show up as a tab during group entry. If the section is not named, the fields from the section will be visible by default. If the section is named but none of the fields within the section are visible or set to show in group mode, then no fields will be shown when the tab is selected.
Section visibility can be adjusted in the visibility tab in the sidebar. You can use the following options to control the visibility of a section:
- Always visible
- Visible when all of:
- Visible when any of:
The first option (Always visible) is the default option and the section will be visible to anyone entering data into the form.
Selecting Visible when all of or Visible when any of allows you to add filtering criteria for the section’s visibility when it’s being used (and in preview mode using the form builder).
The filter criteria must come from fields in other sections of the form, not from inside the section. You can add as many filters as necessary. Note that the form considers filters in the order they have been added, so the first criteria must be met before the second is considered. If the first criteria is reliant on the second, the visibility settings will not work as intended.
Visible when all of means that all criteria must be met. Selecting mutually exclusive criteria will mean that the section is never visible. For example, if the same field is selected as a filter twice and opposing conditions (Equal To and Not Equal To) for the same search term are entered, the section will not be visible.
Visible when any of means that any criteria can be met for the section to be visible.
Section visibility settings will not be retained during group entry.
Section advanced properties
You can tailor sections for optimal use by setting their advanced properties carefully. There are eight advanced properties that can be set for each section in an event or profile form.
This determines the section layout displayed to the user. Any fields included in the section can have their names and instructions aligned to the left or right, positioned vertically, and you can choose to have instructions displayed in tooltip format. If you don’t set any specific layout here, the default option will be applied, which is to position the field names horizontally with right alignment.
This allows you to position the section manually if required. The default option is automatically applied, which means the section will be positioned according to what is specified in the form’s advanced properties. The positioned option allows you to adjust the height and width of the section in pixels. We don’t recommend using this option as people use Smartabase from many different screen settings and your positioning may not perform well in all circumstances.
This allows you to display any fields you have in the section as columns when viewing Smartabase in a web browser. This property has no effect on forms viewed using the Smartabase mobile applications. You can specify the number of columns you want to have, from none to ten.
The number of columns that will appear in the form will depend upon the number of fields included in the section. You cannot display more columns than there are fields.
You can use this setting to choose whether the user is presented with a random selection of the fields in this section. If you apply this setting, some fields will be visible to the user and some will be hidden. The fields are chosen at random so it’s likely the fields will change each time the form is completed.
When randomization is set to Yes, you’ll see an additional property called Number to select. This allows you to specify how many fields from the section should be selected at random and displayed during data entry.
You cannot choose which fields the user will see. Do not apply this setting if you want the user to see all of the fields included in the section when filling out the form.
Mobile page break
You can enable this property to separate the sections in an event or profile form when viewed from the Smartabase Classic mobile application. By default (Yes), this setting will force each section to appear on a new screen. Each screen is accessed using a Next button. You can disable this by choosing No if you want the form to continue without any separation between the sections.
Group section selected
This property determines whether the section is visible by default when the form is to be filled out as a group entry. If you set this to No, the section will not be shown during group entry mode.
Show in PDF reports
If you set to this property to True, the section and its contents will appear in a PDF when data from this form is exported using that option.
There is also a field property called Show in PDF reports. If the field property is set to False and the section property is set to True, neither the field nor any data recorded in it will appear in a PDF export.
You can enable this property when you want people to be able to collapse this section of the form when viewed from the Smartabase web application. They can do this by clicking on the section header.
Policies to restrict editing
The restriction policies tool allows for additional granularity when choosing the access people have to edit forms (including event forms, profile forms, databases and related entity forms) in Smartabase. In contrast to standard roles (which permit access to entire forms), this tool can be used to enable certain people to edit individual sections within a form.
Once a policy has been created by an administrator, you can enable it for any sections in your forms from the section properties sidebar. Any individual form section can only have one policy applied to it.
If a section that has a restriction policy applied to it contains a field that is required, someone that’s not permitted to enter that section will still be able to save the form, even if the required field is empty.
The restriction policies tool is not supported for forms which are linked across multiple Smartabase sites (enterprise clients using a parent-child site configuration). This is because restriction policies and roles cannot be linked between these sites.
In this example we’re looking at an injury event form used to collect a brief summary of a new injury. The form contains a section for the athlete, coach and physiotherapist to add information to their corresponding sections. For medico-legal reasons, we don’t want to permit the athlete or coach to add or edit information in the physio’s section.
We’ve assigned a restriction policy called Physio Policy to the Physio Details section of the form, which means only people with a role that includes this policy will be able to edit the fields in this section. The policy would be assigned to a role for physiotherapists, so the athlete and other staff members couldn’t update this section of the form. A similar restriction policy could be set up for a coaching role, so only coaches could edit the Coach Details section.
To assign a restriction policy to a section, follow the steps below.
- Log in to the builder interface.
- Navigate to the appropriate form.
- Click on the section you want to restrict and navigate to Policies to restrict editing in the left sidebar.
- Choose the restriction policy you want Write edit limited to.
- Save the form.
For steps on how to set up a restriction policy as an administrator, check out this article.