By Jennifer Farley

Form Design Made Easy with Adobe FormsCentral

By Jennifer Farley

Earlier this week, we looked at some examples of forms on Contact pages. In related news, Adobe this week announced the release of FormsCentral. It’s an online service for designing, distributing, collecting and analyzing data from HTML forms. You can create several different types of web forms and surveys including registration pages, contact forms, mailing lists and questionnaires. The forms are hosted by Adobe.

adobe-logoThe form creator is an easy to use drag and drop set-up. When creating the forms you can add text, paragraph, single choice, multiple choice, date, drop-down options, and checkboxes. There are a number of templates available and it’s probably fair to say you won’t be blown away by the basic designs, but you can customize by adding your own images and setting up your own color schemes to beautify and enhance those dull web forms.

One major feature which is missing, however, is the ability to embed the form into your own site or blog. It would be nice to have the visitors fill in the form or survey on your own site rather than being brought to a separate page, but this will possibly be addressed in future updates.

Once your visitors have filled in the form, you can see the data in different ways with search and smart filtering. You can look at all the responses as a whole or look at individual replies as a record view. The returned data can be shared amongst colleagues and you can decide who accesses the data and what they can do with it. If you run an online survey you can view all responses in a table format or export the data to XLS, CSV and other formats. You can add additional columns and formulas to your response table to help you analyze your form data.

FormsCentral has three pricing levels:

  • Free (one online form or survey and get up to 50 responses)
  • Basic for $14.00/month (five forms or surveys 500 responses per form)
  • Plus for $199/year (unlimited forms or surveys and 5,000 responses per form)

Have you tried other HTML form building services? Which ones would you recommend?

  • Heidi Helen

    Hmmm, I would rather have a program by Adobe that allows me to create & design & embed a form into my page. You can design a form in Dreamweaver but getting or writing a script to get that form to validate/ function is the hard part. If they could build that feature into Dreamweaver that would make it much less of a hassle.

  • Mike

    Today Wufoo probably is the best tool to create forms but the biggest limitation is the domain in all reply email or other communications that are sent…

    I think that if Adobe were to give white label, add more languages (Italian, French, Deutsch, etc), allow you to embed the form into your own site or blog and/or added the possibility to use the customer’s domain, it would become the best tool on the market.

  • Josh Smith

    One of my absolute favorite form builders is Form Assembly – Inexpensive, easy to customized and has met just about every need I’ve run into. I know it’s not as trendy sounding as Wufoo but Form Assembly gets the job done.

  • Tim Holt

    Once upon a time I used Wufoo, which was really easy to create and embed a form, but I’m mostly on WordPress these days, so you just can’t go past Gravity Forms. It is truly awesome and it doesn’t require ongoing subscription fees.

  • Mark

    Why would I want someone else to host the data my customer’s are filling out and giving to me? Come on Adobe…

  • McBenny

    Makes me remember the bad old times where personal pages never had server-side technologies and where you had to rely on such services to simply propose a contact form on your site.
    What’s its purpose today ? I don’t want to see evil everywhere but I’d understood that Ggle proposed such a service but Adobe ?


    I’ve foind’s MachForm excellent. Though the cost per website is $40…worth it. And if you want unlimited use, you can buy it for $200 one time. I found it very easy to create forms and also host it. Though I haven’t bought the unlimited one as I’m not a full-time web designer and have only designed sites for friends ocassionally, will one day do so. Adobe’s way too expensive and the others (Formbuilder and Wufoo) mentioned in the comments, I found that they have monthly charges…too pricey!

  • Michael H.

    I like to use Google Docs – The forms tool is great, and it is easy to work with.

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