New! Add real-time validation to fields on your form

Caroline Sheldon
Caroline Sheldon Employee
edited 08/02/21 in Product Announcements

Hi Community,

We just enabled a forms enhancement that many of you have requested: field validation.

You can now add real-time validation to Text/Number fields to help collect error-free numbers, percentages, email addresses, and phone numbers. Email validation is also available for Contact fields. 

We think this will be a particularly big time saver for you if you currently:

  • Manually review form submissions in your sheet for errors
  • Use formulas in your sheet to check for invalid responses
  • Have automated workflows that require consistent, error-free form submissions in order to be triggered at the right moments

Our form validation is extremely easy to set up.

While viewing your form in the form builder, click on a Text/Number or Contact field to open the Field Settings panel. Depending on the type of field you clicked on, you’ll have one or more validation options. Simply select the one you want to apply to the field. For phone numbers, you can also select the default country. Once you save your form, the validation you added will immediately start working.

When someone fills in a field with validation enabled, here’s what their experience will be:

  • If their entry is valid, they won’t notice the validation at all.
  • If they try to enter an invalid character (such as a non-numeric character in a number-validated field), they simply will not be allowed to do so.
  • If their entry does not match a required character pattern (such as too many or too few phone number digits for the selected country) and they move the cursor’s focus to somewhere else on the form, the form will display an error message below the validated field. It is not possible to submit a form with validation errors.

As a best practice, you might want to add help text to validated fields (e.g., “Numbers only”). The help text option is also found in the Field Settings panel.

Here’s the form validation help article if you want to review all the details.

We already have a lot of ideas for how to further enhance validation in the future so this is really just the beginning! Let us know what you think and what else you’d like to see. Thanks as always to everyone who submits feedback and requests for forms — we appreciate everything you send us.


Best Answer

  • Nick Burrus
    Nick Burrus ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    I saw this, this AM when updating a form! We already went back and started adding these to our past ones! AWESOME UPDATE!

    Dr. St Nicholas Burrus DHA, PMP

    I build Smartsheets for the US Government, State Government, and about a dozen of the US Fortune 100s.



  • Nick Burrus
    Nick Burrus ✭✭✭✭✭✭
    Answer ✓

    I saw this, this AM when updating a form! We already went back and started adding these to our past ones! AWESOME UPDATE!

    Dr. St Nicholas Burrus DHA, PMP

    I build Smartsheets for the US Government, State Government, and about a dozen of the US Fortune 100s.

  • @Nick Burrus Yay!!! So glad you noticed it earlier today. I am already updating all of my forms to use the validation as well. I am especially excited about the Number field :)

  • Nick Burrus
    Nick Burrus ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    I agree! I also LOVE that you guys incuded country code support! We have a client that deals with 70 different countries this would be huge for them!

    Dr. St Nicholas Burrus DHA, PMP

    I build Smartsheets for the US Government, State Government, and about a dozen of the US Fortune 100s.

  • Joachim Mund
    Joachim Mund ✭✭✭✭✭✭

    Great! Thank you

  • Brett Wyrick
    Brett Wyrick ✭✭✭✭

    Hey guys, this is a solid product enhancement. Neat stuff.

    Now that it's been released, now we want MOARRRR!!!

    But seriously, is there any plan for date validation in forms? Like, can I set up a form that'll be limited by a specific date range (i.e. allow users to only pick 08/02/2021 to 08/31/2021) or a dynamic date range based on today's date (i.e. allow a user to only pick 2 days from today + 7 days)?

    The reason I ask is because I was literally brainstorming available form applications that have dynamic date filtering today with someone, and I recommended FormStack because it could do it. But the question arose because Smartsheet can't. It'd be a solid addition.

    If this answer answers your question, please press "Yes" above - it helps the community (and those random Googlers out there 👀) find solutions like yours faster.


    Brett Wyrick | Connect with me on LinkedIn.


    2023 update: I'm no longer working on Smartsheet stuff. I started working at Microsoft in 2022, plus I have 1-year-old twins at home and frankly, I don't have enough time to do Smartsheet anymore. It's been real, Smartsheeters!

  • Caroline Sheldon
    Caroline Sheldon Employee
    edited 08/03/21

    @Brett Wyrick We absolutely plan on adding more validation!! Internally I called this "validation phase 1" because as my note says above, we are not stopping here. However, I don't have a date I can share with you yet because we have a lot of other very exciting things coming for forms first :) We are hard at work with some awesome features coming your way. Continue to share feedback and requests for us in this feedback form. We read every one of them.

  • This is very exciting, we have workflows that get stuck because numbers are not entered as such of an email is not filled out correctly. As small as it may seem this is huge!! How about ability to have multiple attachments to require more than one attachment name. ie certification as attachment 1 and approval email as attachment 2

  • @Ahmed Elmonoufy multiple attachment fields are on our roadmap!! :) Exciting stuff coming.

  • @Caroline Sheldon This is a very exciting addition, but for some reason I'm not able to access this for "contact list" fields. The validation comes up for all text/number fields, but nothing on contacts. What do you think the problem could be?

  • hello,

    Yes it seems very useful, I went to my form but in some of my number field I used drop down list to make it easier for my team to add their data (number)I don't see the validation (probably not enabled for dropdown list). it seems that according to the settings in their device when I get their reply the format is changed. I still see a coma but it looks like it is text format. so I get an INVALID error . to avoid that I just do a find and replace (,for a , coma for a coma) and it fixes the problem. (see the screenshot)

    my question is: am I right about not being able to use validation for a dropdown list or am I doing something wrong?

    here is a screenshot of my sheet (the three highlighted column are the input from the form the one just after is the result of the formula (column 3 minus column 1 minus column 2) it is were I get the error).

    Thank for any input about this.

  • This is a fantastic update and I can’t wait to read about upcoming phases!

    Appreciate you guys taking suggestions and making them a reality!

    Rebecca Bell

    CSD Project Manager II

  • @Karen Botha I am looking into the validation for contact list now. It seems it isn't showing up for everyone so we will fix this right away.

  • @Olivier LEMBERT at the moment, validation is only available for the text/number field and the contact field, not dropdowns.

  • S Wood
    S Wood ✭✭

    I do not see validation available on the contact field, only Text/Number.

  • StevenBlackburnMBA
    StevenBlackburnMBA ✭✭✭✭✭

    Absolutely love this. When I ask for phone numbers, most people enter it in the form (despite the label specifically asking for specified formatting). This is great, because it ensures a phone number, is a phone number. It ensures that all the required information for an email or a phone number is entered.

    I was currently using the contact list in the form to force staff to use an email address, but now, I can change to column back to a free text field, and validate it from what it seems from the change. This is great, simple, and will add for concise data that can be pulled into reports in proper ways... and prevent data skewing.



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