Deep Forms Add-on

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 Add-ons in the menu bar. If you have the Deep Forms add-on enabled, click Deep Forms and then Start. 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.

Contents

Forms

Create a Form

Any forms created using the add-on will automatically be connected to the current document.

  1. Click the Create form button in the Deep Forms add-on.
  2. Enter a name for the new form in the pop-up window.
  3. Click the Create button. The new form should appear in the add-on.
Connect and Disconnect Existing Forms
  1. Click the Connect forms button In the Deep Forms add-on. A pop-up will appear with a listing all of your forms.
  2. Click the Connect or Disconnect button next to any of the forms you want to connect or disconnect.
  3. Click the Save button when you finish making any connection changes.
Edit a Form
  1. Right click a form in the Deep Forms add-on.
  2. Click Edit.
  3. Make changes to the form’s name and description in the pop-up window.
  4. Click the Update button to save any changes.
Delete a Form

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.

  1. Right click the form you want to delete in the add-on.
  2. Click Delete.
  3. Click Yes in the pop-up window to confirm you want to delete the form.

Sections

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.

Create a Section
  1. To create a new section right click a form and click Create section.
  2. Enter a name for the new section.
  3. Click the Create button.
Delete a Section
  1. Delete a section by right clicking the section in the Deep Forms add-on.
  2. Click Delete.
  3. Click Yes in the pop-up window to confirm you want to delete the section.
Rename a Section
  1. Right click any existing section in the Deep Forms add-on.
  2. Click Edit in the right click menu.
  3. Enter a new name in the pop-up window.
  4. Click Update.

Questions

Question Types

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):

  • Radio:
  • Checkbox:
  • Text:
  • Text area:
  • Date:
Create a Question
  1. Right click any existing section in the add-on and click Create question to create a new question for that section.
  2. Use the pop-up menu to enter the text for the question and select the question type. A question hint is optional. Question hints are any additional information a user might need to know when answering the question.
  3. Click the Create button to finish creating a new question.
Delete a Question
  1. Right click any existing question in the Deep Form add-on.
  2. Click Delete.
  3. Click Yes in the pop-up window to confirm you want to delete the question.

Answers

Answers are added to radio and checkbox question types.

Create an Answer
  1. Right clicking any radio or checkbox question in the add-on and then click Create answer.
  2. Enter the answer text and answer hint in the pop-up window. The answer text should tell the submitter what the answer is. You can add an answer hint if you want to provide additional information for that answer.
  3. Click the Create button to save the new answer.

Variables

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.

Variable example

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.

Create a Variable for an Answer
  1. Select the part of the document you want to make variable by clicking dragging the cursor over the document.
  2. Right click an existing answer in the Deep Forms add-on
  3. Click Create variable.
Connect an Existing Variable to an Answer
  1. Right click the answer in the Deep Forms add-on.
  2. Click Connect variable. A list of all variables in the document will be shown.
  3. Click on any of the listed variables to connect or disconnect.
  4. Click the Apply changes button to save any changes.
Delete a Variable in an Answer
  1. Right click the variable in the add-on.
  2. Click Delete.
  3. Click Yes in the pop-up window to confirm you want to delete the variable.
Delete a Variable in the Variables Tab
  1. Click the Variables tab in the Deep Forms add-on.
  2. Select the variable you want to delete.
  3. Click the Delete variable button.
Create a Variable for an Input Question

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.

  1. Select a part of the document you want to be variable.
  2. Right click an input type question in the Deep Forms add-on.
  3. Click Create variable to create a new variable using the selected portion of the document.
Connect an Existing Variable to an Input Question
  1. Right click an answer in the Deep Forms add-on.
  2. Click Connect variable. A list of all variables in the document will be shown.
  3. Click on any of the listed variables to connect or disconnect.
  4. Click the Apply changes button to save any changes.

How to Select Variables

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.

Selected text within a paragraph:
Selected text example
Selected entire paragraph:
Selected paragraph example

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.

Selecting text within a cell:
Cell text example
Selecting a table cell:
Selected cell example

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.

Selected spaces example

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.

Selected punctuation example
Selecting Variables for Input Questions

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.

Selected input example