myForms (Excel Data)

Purpose

MyForms allows you to create a form that can both email the form results to multiple email addresses and store the data in a "CSV" file which can be opened with applications like Microsoft Excel. You can specify who receives form emails, and who can view the data stored in the Excel spreadsheet.

Creating the Form

Create your form with the tool you usually use. There are three requirements for a MyForms form. First, the form must post to URL https://myforms.vcu.edu/posts. Second, the form must contain a hidden input field with the name of "HTTP_REFERER" and a value corresponding to your form's URL. Third, the form should have a non-displayed textarea field named {comment}. For example if your form was located at URL: http://dept.vcu.edu/ask.html, then the first two lines of your form would be:

<form method="post" action="https://myforms.vcu.edu/posts">
<input type="hidden" name="HTTP_REFERER" value="http://dept.vcu.edu/ask.html" />
<span style="display: none">
<label for="comment">Comment</label>
<textarea name="{comment}" id="comment"></textarea>
</span>
</form>

Multiple myForms on a webpage and accessibility

For multiple myForms on a single webpage, you must change the ID of the required hidden comment textarea. The myForms application references the name attribute in the hidden field, so id="comment" must be changed to a unique identifier to pass accessibility. 

Activating your myForms forms

Before you can utilize the form above, you must login into myforms.vcu.edu and let the system know about the ask.html form that you just created. The steps are as follows:  

  1. Go to URL: https://myforms.vcu.edu/forms
  2. Log in with your VCU eID and password 
  3. If you have created forms before then you will see a list of them, otherwise to begin simply click the link "New form" 
  4. Enter the URLs of your 'form' and your 'acknowledgement page' 
  5. Click "Create" 
  6. To customize who receives the emails and who has access to the spreadsheet, click "Edit" 
  7. To add additional email addresses, simply type them in the "Notify" field separated by commas. 
  8. To give additional folks access to the spreadsheet, enter the person's VCU eID separated by commas in the "Other Owners" field. 
  9. Click "Update" to make the changes.

You are now ready to use your form.

Downloading the spreadsheet

To download the spreadsheet to your desktop, you must first log into myforms.vcu.edu/forms and click the 'spreadsheet' link that corresponds to the form that you are interested in. You may also 'Edit' the properties of the spreadsheet as well as 'Erase' the spreadsheet.

Note: At this time, you may not modify the contents of the spreadsheet information stored on the server. You will need to do that on your desktop.

Timestamps

You can add a timestamp column to your spreadsheet. This gives the time and date the form was submitted for each row in the spreadsheet. To activate the timestamp, add the following hidden variable:

<input type="hidden" name="timestamp" value="on">

You can add this to your form at any time. The new timestamp column will contain submission times even for rows that were submitted before you added the timestamp variable. However, there is no way to remove the timestamps: once there, they are there forever.