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Getting Started, Step 1: Building Forms
Getting Started, Step 1: Building Forms

Watch this video tutorial to learn how to build an initial form.

Natalya Taylor avatar
Written by Natalya Taylor
Updated over a week ago

For more details on building forms, read this article.

The first step to getting started in Submittable is building a Form. There are six types of Forms in Submittable:

  • Initial Forms: The main application form that your submitters will fill out

  • Additional Forms: For progress reports or other data that you collect from applicants throughout the life-cycle of your program

  • Reference Forms: A form you can create for the use of third party references, that you will add to an Initial or Additional Form.

  • Eligibility Forms: A way to screen applicants for your eligibility criteria, that applicants will fill out before they get to your Initial Form

  • Internal Forms: A form to collect supplemental information on an application for use by your team

  • Review Forms: A form to collect qualitative and quantitative feedback on applications from your assigned reviewers

It makes sense to begin with an Initial Form.

Creating a form

  1. From the main page in your Submittable account, click Forms at the top navigation bar.

2. By default, you'll be on the Initial Forms tab. Click + New Form on the right side of the page.

You’ll be brought to our drag and drop form builder.

3. Name your form. This will be the name you see when you're choosing a form to place inside your Project.

Submission Name

Adding a Name Field gives you the ability to view and organize submissions by a unique identifier/title such as the applicant's name, the title of the submission, or the name of an organization. To do so, check the Add Submission Name box, and in the box that says Submission Name Question, specify what you would like the submitter to enter as the name of their submission.

If you have any details or instructions to add, you can do so in the box that says Additional Instructions for Submitter (optional).

Note: if you do not add a Submission Name, a numerical value will automatically be applied to each submission as the submission's identifier.

Submission Fee

You have the option to add a submission fee to any form. Adding a Submission fee generates a required fee that will apply to all submitters. You also have the ability to create additional fees on a per response basis throughout your form using our Smart Fee system. To add a submission fee, check the box, and specify the amount of the fee and the currency type. Add a description of the fee below in the Description box.

For more information about what Submittable charges to process fees, click the Information icon on the right.

Next, decide which Form Fields you would like to add to your form. Select a field from the options on the left, and drag them over to your form on the right. Available Form Fields are:

  • Name: To request a first and last name

  • Address: To request an address

  • Short Answer: To request a short text answer

  • Long Answer: To request a long text answer

  • Dropdown List: To allow a single selection from a list of options in a dropdown menu

  • Single Checkbox: To allow a single selection from a single option

  • Multiple Response: To allow for multiple selections from a list of options

  • Single Response: To allow a single selection from a list of options

  • File Upload: To request a file to be uploaded (you may specify accepted file types out of over 50 possible options)

  • Table: To embed a spreadsheet for the applicant to fill out

  • Number: To request a number only

  • Date: To request a date only

  • Email: To request an email address only

  • Website: To request a web address only

  • Phone: To request a phone number only

  • Reference Form: To request the applicant to give a reference

  • Divider: Inserts a horizontal line between fields to help visual delineate a section change in your form.

Each form field includes a variety Field Options. View the field options by selecting the field in the form builder, and then selecting the + Field Options button at the bottom of the field. The available Field Options are:

  • Response Required: Require a response to the field.

  • Inline: Displays fields with multiple options horizontally rather than the default, vertically

  • Concealed Response: Hides the response from team members at or below a designated reviewer level.

  • Auto-Label: to automatically label a submission with a particular selection, either with the field value or a custom internal-use label

  • Enable Branching: Enables form logic for that field, which will dynamically open other fields based on an applicant's responses.

  • Add Payment: Associates a payment with the form field

Note: some field options are premium features which may or may not be available in your account. To upgrade or inquire about premium features, please contact account management at

Formatting and finalizing your form

There are a few Form Fields which help to format your form.

  • Text Only: Add a field that contains only instructions to your form. Reuires no response from submitter.

  • Divider: Separate sections with a dividing line.

Some additional tools are available to help you format your form.

  • Duplicate: To duplicate and edit a field, select the field you wish to duplicate, then select the duplicate option in the top right corner.

  • Delete: To delete a field, select the field option, then select the trash icon in the top right corner.

  • Reorder: To reorder fields, simply select the field you wish to move and set your cursor outside of any text boxes. Then drag and drop the field to your preferred placement.

Other tools are available to finalize your form.

  • Auto-save: Your form will auto-save every few seconds, so you don't need to worry about losing your work.

  • Preview: To preview your form, select Preview in the top right corner of the screen. This will show you what the applicant will see when they fill out your form.

  • Save: When you're finished, click Save.


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