Text variables are the most basic type of variable. They are plain text entries and are useful for the names of people and places, phone numbers, addresses, and any other information your user would type in manually. Text variables have the following features:
Intake pattern: You can require the text input to be in certain formats – i.e., (999) 999-9999 will allow the users to only input numbers in that text variable, and will format the numbers like a telephone number. This can be useful for zip codes (99999), social security numbers (999-99-9999), and file numbers (AAA-9999 for a filing system where the first three digits are letters and the last four are numbers). The tokens that you can use for these intake examples are:
- 9: any digit 0-9
- A: any upper- or lower-case letter
- X: any upper- or lower-case letter or digit (combination of 9 and A)
- L: any lower-case letter
- U: any upper-case letter
Validation: You can select whether to allow line breaks in the text input, which would carry any line breaks (new paragraphs) in the text entry over into the template. You can also select whether to allow markup in the text entry – i.e., bolding, italicizing, and other simple text formatting.
Answer suggestions: You can provide answer suggests for text variables; these appear as a dropdown for the user, so that the user can select one of the suggested answers or type in their own. This is useful for situations where you might have a number of possible set answers or users may need to enter more unique answers. For example, in a field requesting a person's relationship to another person, you might have a list of typical relationships (brother, sister, step-sister, daughter, son) as well as permitting users to type in less common relationships (step-daughter-in-law, grand-uncle, second cousin twice removed).
Input height: The default input height for text variables is one line. You can change this to multiple lines to allow users to input larger blocks of text.
Here is a video that shows you how each of these formatting options works.