How to use Templates with Lookup Fields

By Ace E. on September 4, 2020

With the ability to copy connected forms and entries, you can now access templates that harness this added level of automation.

Users on the Team plan and above can leverage this connectivity using Lookup Fields.

If you already know about Lookup Fields, feel free to skip the next section and jump ahead to the 8-step guide.

Otherwise, keep reading.

What’s a Lookup Field?

Lookup fields reference the entry data from connected forms to populate choice fields, or use in calculations and conditional logic. For example, you can reference a form that contains your Store Locations, Management Contacts or other data that appears in multiple forms or frequently changes. This enables you to more easily manage your forms by centralizing this data.

Why would I use Lookups?

Consider this scenario…

Let’s say you have a small chain of coffee shops and want to offer customers the opportunity to review your stores online.

You could create a survey for each of your locations.

Or you could use a Lookup that imports store location data (such as Store Number, Address, Manager Name, Etc.) and populates a single survey form with this information.

Users can simply choose which store they went to from a dropdown, and the form will automatically populate any related data as necessary (based on how you set up your form).

This also makes it easy for you to update. Whenever you add a location, you can simply create an entry to your connected “Locations” form, rather than create a whole separate survey.

Plus, you can reference that same “Locations” form for other uses, such as Job applications, contact forms, etc.

How to use these templates

  1. Choose the template you want to use from the gallery.
  2. Click Use This Template.
  3. Click Save Connected Forms in the pop-up dialog (You can choose to save the sample entries already entered in your connected forms or not. These entries only exist to power the Lookup fields.)
  4. Save your new form template and connected forms. (You can rename the forms at this time - before entering your own entry data.)
  5. Preview your new form to make sure everything is working.
  6. Replace the sample entry data in the related forms with your actual data by deleting the entries that are there and creating new entries. If you’re dealing with a lot of data, use the Import option to upload entry data in bulk using an Excel template.
  7. Return to the main form and preview it again. You should see your entry data appearing in the appropriate dropdowns on the form.
  8. From here, you can customize your template as you would any other. Add your own branding, create additional automation, and really build out your form’s functionality.

Ace

Ace is the Marketing Communications Manager for Cognito Forms. When not at the office, you can find him volunteering with the American Advertising Federation (and soon on stage with his band: the Cottontown Soul Society).