The Deep Forms add-on is a Google Docs add-on used to manage forms connected to the current document. To start the add-on open a document with the Google Docs editor and click in the menu bar. If you have the Deep Forms add-on enabled, click and then . If you do not have the add-on installed you will have to install it on the G Suite marketplace.
When you first open the add-on you will see any forms connected to the current document. Forms that can be edited can be referred to as templates. All forms viewed in the add-on are form templates. You can create, delete, connect, or disconnect forms. The sections, questions, answers, and variables in the forms can also be edited using the Deep Forms add-on.
Any forms created using the add-on will automatically be connected to the current document.
If you delete a form then it will be deleted from the website and will not appear on the Deep Forms add-on for any document. It will be deleted everywhere. Deleting a form does not affect published forms.
Forms contain sections to group related questions together. For better organization you should use multiple sections if you have a lot of form questions. You can move sections in the Deep Forms add-on by clicking and dragging them to a new location within the form.
Radio and checkbox questions allow the form submitter to select an answer. This means you have to create answers for these question types. Text, text area, and date types require the user to input their own answer. You do not create answers for input type questions. Both selection and input type questions use variables to connect to parts of the document.
The following question types are available (2/12/19):
Answers are added to radio and checkbox question types.
Variables represent parts of the document that can be removed or replaced when generating the document after submitting the form. You can view a list of all variables in the document by clicking the Variables tab at the top of the Deep Forms add-on. Clicking any of the variables in the add-on with highlight the connected content in the document.
The image below shows a selection type question. The answers are Red, Blue, and Green. Each answer has one variable. The highlighted text in the document is connected to the variable for green. If the green answer was not selected when the form is submitted then the selected text will not appear when the document is generated.
NOTE: It is important to know when to reuse the same variable or create multiple variables with the same content in the document. If you have two variables with the same exact portion of the document then the answer connected to both of those variables must be chosen for the selection to be included when the document is generated. Also, if you have one variable connected to multiple answers then selecting any of those answers will include the selected portion of the document.
Questions that require user input do not have answers. In this case, variables will be added directly to the question. Variables connected to an input type of question will be replaced by the users input when generating the document.
Being able to select variable content directly in your documents can be a powerful tool. It gives you the freedom to have variable content nested within each other and be able to manage it all in one place.
There are small details to consider when selecting content in a Google Doc to make a new variable. If you want to select an entire paragraph then you should include the extra space after the last character in the paragraph. If you do not select the extra space and the variable is excluded when generating the document, then only the text will be removed. An empty paragraph will be left in the document. The same principle applies to headings.
If it is an input question then you might not want to select the entire paragraph. An input type question would just replace the paragraph text with the input text when generating the document.
Similarly, when selecting table cells you can select the whole cell or just the text within the cell. You could also select entire rows, columns, and tables.
It is useful to think about how the document will look when including or excluding the variable selections. In a previous example we had three color options. There is a space before each color which means the variable for each color would include the space. You can see the selected text in the image below includes the space. The arrows indicate spaces you would want to include in the variables.
If there is optional text within a paragraph you should also include any spaces and punctuation before and/or after that text. Again, visualize what the document would look like if the variable is included or excluded. The sentence in the following image would make sense even if the selected text was removed.
For input type questions (text, text area, date) the content you select for it’s variables will be removed when generating the document. If you select document text, tables, paragraphs, images, etc. as a variable for an input question, it will be replaced with whatever the form submitter has entered. Also, the style of your selection will be applied to the input. In the example below I chose to use brackets to indicate the text is for an input question.