Your options with Visforms

Overview of working with Visforms

This page gives you a quick, basic overview of how to work successfully with Visforms. The main steps and options for using forms are shown.

Familiar user interface

The Visforms user interface follows the typical structure of the Joomla! Administration. In the Visforms administration, there are therefore the same typical list views and detail views for access to all elements and their configuration. The location and labeling of the common buttons are also identical to those in the Joomla! administration. These are all familiar structures that you are most likely already familiar with. Experience has shown that you should therefore find your way around quickly and easily.

Creation of the form

Small to medium form

Creating a new small to medium form is very simple:

  • Create a form in the form list: ‘New’ button.
  • Generate all desired fields directly one after the other in one go:
  • in the field list: button ‘New’
  • in the field configuration: button ‘Save and New’.
  • Take care of all details, options as well as field order (form, field list and field).

More on this in: First steps to display

Medium to large form

Creating a medium to large form is also very easy. In this case, go to the Form-Factory and simply select a roughly matching field list that you can change as you wish. Or put together your own field creation list in no time at all. The field sequence is done here using Drag&Drop. Important basic form and field settings, such as data storage and data visibility, can be made directly in the list.

In one step, the entire form including the fields is generated for you according to the field list. Then simply configure all the other details directly in the freshly created fields of the freshly created form (form list, form, field list and field). After the form has been created, the form factory menu displays buttons that take you directly to the newly created form, its field list or the form data. See also the next section on sample data.

The form factory can also generate sample data

If you want to test or experiment with forms, the form data and the different data views, the form factory offers an additional nice option. In a fifth and last step, it is also possible to have sample data for the new form generated completely automatically. You set how many data records you want to have filled and can then test with more or less masses of form data. Otherwise, you would have to fill out all the forms by hand more or less often.

Display options for a form

You display the new form exactly where you want it. Use a suitable variant from the numerous display options. More on this in: First steps to display.

Create a new menu item and enter visforms -> Form as the menu type. Then select the form that is to be displayed by the new menu item.

Create a module for the form

Create a new module of module type Visforms. Then select the form that should be displayed in the new module.

Extended display options

Display a form in a modal window

Whether modal forms work on your website in practice depends largely on the template used. Many template frameworks and templates support modal dialogs in one way or another. Editors for Joomla also have extensions with corresponding functions, such as the JCE editor. Check the respective documentation for this.

You can also adapt an existing template yourself or create a completely new one. Joomla! supports the use of the URL parameter tmpl and expects the name of a PHP file as value there. The name of the file is entered here without the file name extension. Just check whether such a file already exists in the root directory of your template. Adjust this file if necessary, or create your own new file there.

Insert a form into an article

Note: These features are part of the Visforms Subscription and are not included in the free Visforms version.

Using the Content Plugin - Visforms Form View developed for Visforms, you can embed forms in articles. The plugin allows you to display the same form multiple times and in different places on your website. You can fill the form with different default values that match the context. More on this in: Form in article insert.

The plugin allows you to display the same form multiple times and in different places on your website. You can fill the form with different default values that match the context.

After submitting the form

Define success page and success message

After submitting the form, Visforms redirects the user of your website to the home page and displays the success message “Form sent successfully”. However, you can also forward the user to any desired success page or deposit an individual success message. You make settings for this in the form configuration under the tab Result. More on this in: Success page and success message.

Design and send email to administrator and user

Depending on your settings in the form options, a result email may be sent to you (administrator) and/or a user email to the website user. This step completes the successful submission of the form. More on this in: Send emails.

Specify email attachments

Note: These features are part of the Visforms Subscription and are not included in the free Visforms version.

Using the Visforms Plugin - Mail Attachments developed for Visforms, you can add various mail attachments to the success mail and the user mail. This includes, for example, the formatted content of the email as a PDF file or the transmitted form data as a CSV file. However, any other files can also be attached to the emails. More on this in: Mail attachments.

Use form data directly

You can use the transmitted form data as well as the data of a registered user in many ways in the steps described above immediately after submitting the form. In the success message and all emails sent, this data is referenced and replaced by simple placeholder mechanisms. More on this in: Data in emails & success message.

Store and use form data

Here we only briefly show what extensive options you have when you save the user’s transmitted form data in the database. More on this in: Save & use data.

Save data

You can specify individually for each form whether the transmitted data should be saved in the database. No data is saved when the form is preset. More on this in: Enable saving.

Data in backend

View data

After you have activated the “Save data” option, you will see a “Show data” link in the “Data” column in the overview of the forms, which leads to an overview of the saved data.

Edit data

You can edit saved data in the backend:

  • To do this, click on the ID of the data set in the data table or
  • click in the checkbox behind the record ID and then click on the “Edit” button in the menu bar.

The “Edit data view” then opens and you can edit all user entries there. More on this in: Data usage in the backend.

Export data

Visforms offers you the possibility to export saved form data to CSV format and save it in a file. More on this in: CSV data export in the backend.

Data in frontend

Visforms offers you the possibility to display saved form data in the front end using a menu entry of the type Visforms -> Form Data. A list of all published data records of a single form is always displayed. You select the form in the menu configuration. More on this in: Use in the frontend.

Data in frontend with Subscription

Note: These features are part of the Visforms Subscription and are not included in the free Visforms version.

This article gives a complete overview of all data display options in the frontend: Formular data in the frontend. The possibilities with the free Visforms component and the Visforms Subscription are described.

Design and generate PDF printouts

With the Create PDF documents you can:

  • Allow users to download PDF files of the data they transfer in the frontend.
  • Create and download PDF files very flexibly and directly in the administration.

We strongly recommend that you install the PDF demo forms in the Visforms dashboard and take a good look at both the PDF template demos and our template selections. More on this in: Demos and Templates.

For the admin

PDF files are generated from PDF-Templates in conjunction with the form data. Each PDF template is linked to a form whose data it refers to.

In the administration you can create and test as many PDF templates as you like and use them directly as an administrator. In this case, flexible tools are available to you for selecting the data records that are to be used for the concrete PDF generation.

For the user

Depending on user permissions, Visforms can display PDF Download links in the frontend data views. More on this in: PDF Downloads.

In the form configuration, you can set that after a successfully sent form, the user will see a PDF download link in the result text. He can download a PDF document of his transmission via this PDF download link. The template selected in the settings is used for this. More on this in: PDF Downloads.

For the emails sent

The Visforms Plugin - Mail Attachments offers the possibility to convert the formatted user mail and result mail into a PDF export file. The exported PDF files can then be automatically added to the respective mails as attachments. More on this in: PDF as mail attachment.

Development of web applications

With Joomla, you are on a very modern and developer-friendly open-source CMS platform. Visforms adds all the essential components and functions to painlessly develop custom web applications:

  • Forms
  • Data storage
  • Use of data
  • Email delivery
  • PDF documents
  • Open plugin and event system
  • Integration with other Joomla! extensions

If you have presented your company, your topic or the association well on the Internet and placed it well, everything necessary for this is more or less already done, then there is enough space to think about the next innovative steps. Because with the combination of Joomla! and Visforms, you have an important technological basis that goes far beyond the mere presentation of content. On this basis, you can plan further options for communication and interaction with site visitors and customers.

Your existing website can be expanded in small or large steps in order to next digitize exactly what promises you the greatest benefit and profit. This includes the following areas that you can implement on your website:

  • To sell
  • Acquire orders
  • Process orders
  • Handle parts of the core business
  • Set up your individual ERP system on the intranet

If you’re already signed up for Joomla! and Visforms, you should use their joint potential for you and your customers.