Read-only fields

Set fields and sections as read-only to create simple workflows with your forms. All fields can be made read-only, with the exception of fields that are already read-only by default (Calculation, Price, Content, Page break, etc.).

Quick Tip
When a section is read-only, none of the fields in the section can be edited.

When a field is read-only, it cannot be edited. You can use read-only fields in countless scenarios, including:

  • Lock fields down when the entry status is Complete

  • Prefill customer information to prevent any accidental changes

  • Lock fields or sections after a certain period of time

  • Limit the fields that users can update from the entry link

Setting read-only fields

When a field or section is read-only, it does not display help text or (in the case of repeating sections and tables) allow you to add or remove items.

To set a field or section as read-only:

  1. Open your form builder and select a field or section.
  2. Find the Read-Only option the field settings:
    • Always – Field is always read-only.
    • When – Field is read-only when specific conditions are met. After selecting this option, the Conditional Logic Builder dialog will display allowing you to select when the field is read-only.
      Conditionally set a field to be read-only when the entry status is Complete.
  • Internally – Field will not be read-only on the public form and will only be read-only when a Cognito Forms user is editing the form from the Entries page.
    • Never – Field allows user input. This is the default behavior.
  1. Make sure to save your form.

Creating a two-stage approval

You can use read-only fields to create a variety of workflows, such as a basic two-stage approval in which an employee fills out part of a form, and the second part is handled by internal staff. The staff members have the ability to update their section of the form, but cannot make changes to what the employee has entered. To create a two-stage approval:

  1. Open the form builder. For this example, we’re using the PTO Request form template.

  2. Add a Choice field labeled ‘Approved?’ with the options ‘Yes’ and ‘No’. Set the field to internal view only.

  3. Set every other field on the form (other than the Approval field) to be Read-only internally.
    Set fields to be read-only internally.

  4. Create two confirmation emails. Set up one to send to the employee when the request is approved, and another to send when the entry is not approved.
    Set the confirmation email to only send out when the request is approved.

  5. Make sure to save your changes.

Now, after an employee submits a new PTO request, staff members can open up the entry in Cognito Forms and approve or deny the request. After updating the entry, the employee will receive an email to let them know if their request was approved or denied:

Employees receive an email confirmation when their request is approved or denied.