Tips on naming your Fields, Sections and Repeats

The way you name your Fields (both on your Forms and Templates) will have a big impact on how efficiently and accurately you automate your documents.

The most important tip is to use a standard hierarchical naming convention. This will help you keep track of where a Field fits into the structure of your Forms and Templates.

Let’s say you are a law firm and want to automate a simple Loan Agreement.

The first thing you need to do is start a name for each of your Forms that contains a common word, say “Loan”. To collect data on the Lender you would create a Form called “Loan – Lender”.

On this Form you then name the individual Fields in a common way, for example:

Lender_Name_First_txt
Lender_Name_Last_txt
etc

Notice that we have started from the ‘highest’ level concept of ‘Lender’, then ‘Name’, then the sort of name, ‘First’, etc.

Finally note we have added a standard field extension “_txt”. This is shorthand for “text field”. This is because the first name is going to be entered as text. When we see “_txt” either on a Form Field or in a Template Field, we know the type of data being dealt with is text (rather than say a Boolean true/false, date, number etc).

For a list of potential data types and our standard extension names click here.

When collecting further data about the Lender, eg their address, we would use a similar hierarchical naming conventions:

Lender_Addr_1_txt
Lender_Addr_State_cho
etc

Grouping Fields using Sections and Repeats

You should also think about how your Fields can be grouped. This is particularly important if you are going to collect data for multiple groups of similar Fields (in which case you will be using a Repeat section).

You can also use groups of Fields to manipulate all of the Fields at once as a set, rather than individually, eg to show and hide the Field group on a Form.

To make a collection of Fields on a Form, include them in a Section. If you intend on collecting multiple sets of data into the Field group, then you make the group a Repeat section.

Sections and Repeats can also have names within Zumeforms. You should try and use a name that reflects what the Section relates to, eg, Lender_Addr_Postal_sec, (a section containing the fields for the lenders postal address). This Section could then contain the following Fields:

Lender_Addr_Postal_1_txt
Lender_Addr_Postal_2_txt

Why would you include these Fields in a separate Section? Because you may only want to collect this data on you Form if the lender does not want to use their street address. Because all the Fields are in a separate Section, the whole Section can be hidden with a simple Rule or line of Script.