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Simple Select | Advanced Features

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Simple Select | Advanced Features

🚩 Before using the Simple Select advanced features, make sure you've completed the Simple Select basic setup.

Advanced Features

Display Field with HTML

The Display Field indicates which field from your Airtable base is displayed in the drop down list, and we filled in this setting in the Simple Select basic setup. It supports HTML to provide some nifty formatting capabilities.

Use HTML to show the Muppet's name and photo in our dropdown


First, go to your Airtable base. Let's say we have an attachment field named Photo in our table where we store the profile picture for our contact. We'll create a new field called Photo URL that extracts the URL of the attachment using this formula:

Then we'll create another field called Form Display that uses HTML to combine the Photo URL and muppet's Name.

IF({Pic URL},"<img style='vertical-align:middle' width='40px' src='" & {Pic URL} & "'> ") & Name
Finally, we'll return to Jotform and adjust the widget setting so the Display Field is the field we just created, Form Display.

View Names and Filters

Use these features to limit the records that are shown in the dropdown. By default, the widget retrieves records without any filters.

  • View Names: Limits selection based on existing view in Airtable. Type in the view name here. Records will appear in the order they are sorted in this view.
  • View Filters: Use a formulaic expression to filter results based on criteria. For example, if I only wanted to show active contacts in my dropdown, I would input the expression {Status}="Active" into this setting.

Using Views to work with large databases

Are all your records not showing as dropdown selections in your Simple Select field, even though you have not specified any views or filters?

The Airtable API limits calls to 200 records at a time. If your table has more than 200 records that you'd like to show in your form, consider adding multiple Simple Select widgets with different View Names or View Filters that limits the number of records to less than 200 per dropdown.

Then, you can use the Placeholder widget and JotForm's conditional logic to show or hide the appropriate Simple Select fields based on some other criteria the user enters on your form.

Value Fields

Dictates what values from your Airtable base are stored upon form submission. If left blank, this defaults to the Record ID and the Display Field. Add additional fields you'd like Jotform the capture from Airtable can be added here in a comma separated list, for example Name,Bio,Ranking.

Allow Multiple

Choose YES if you'd like to allow multiple selections. Choose • <strong>NO</strong> if you'd like to limit the field to one selection. (Single selection is the widget default.)

Default Value

Indicates the Airtable record that Jotform should show as the default pre-filled value in the dropdown. It replaces the generic Select... prompt.

Simple Select with No Default Value Simple Select with Default Value
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The Airtable field name the Default Value references depends on your other settings

You'll see the pre-filled value change automatically in the form builder as you tinker with these combinations, so you can tell in real time if your Default Value is successful.

This is easier with a Muppets example...

I'd like to make Kermit my default. I need to determine which value from his Airtable record I need to input in the Default Value field. (Is it his Ranking, Name, etc.?)


Scenario 1: I haven't input anything into the Initial Value Field setting, so I'm going to reference what I've put in the Value Fields setting.

  • Earlier in this tutorial, I set up my Value Fields to collect Name,Bio,Ranking for each muppet chosen in the dropdown. The value I need to input is for the first field in this list – Name.
  • I reference my Airtable, and I see Kermit's {Name} value is Kermit the Frog.
  • So in the Default Value field, I will put the {Name} value Kermit the Frog for the record I'd like to set as the default.

Scenario 2: I've changed my mind, and I update the Value Fields setting to collect Ranking only. Initial Value Fields is still blank.

  • The only field referenced in Value Fields is {Ranking}.
  • Kermit's {Ranking} value from my Airtable is 1.
  • I input 1 into the Default Value setting.

Scenario 3: I decide later I want to use Name as my Initial Value Field.

  • Any value in the Initial Value Field setting overrides whatever is in my Value Fields.
  • Kermit's {Name} value from Airtable is Kermit the Frog, so I input Kermit the Frog into the Default Value setting.


Search Fields and Custom Search

In addition to selecting a record from the dropdown, form users can also type in the box to search for their desired selection. By default, the search function queries Airtable based on the field in the Display Fieldsetting. Use one of the following settings to expand or narrow that search.

Search Fields

Name the fields in Airtable that should be searched in a comma-separated list. This will override the field in the Display Field setting, so if you'd like that field to be searchable as well, include it again here. If a filter exists in the View Filters setting, this search will be added to it using an AND() formula.

For example, if I wanted users to be able to search for a muppet based on their name or data in their bio, I'd input Name,Bio.

Custom Search

Similar to Search Fields, but this allows us to perform a more filtered search using a formula. Use |VALUE|as a placeholder for the user’s search input in your formula. It overrides anything you have in the Search Fields box.

Let’s say if a user is typing in a search value, I only want the dropdown to return muppets that match their input and are ranked within the top ten (have a value of 1-10 in the Ranking field). I'd use the formula FIND('|VALUE|',{Ranking}<10.

Initial Value Field

This field compares the Default Value or a passed-in parameter value to find the matching record in Airtable. If this is blank, the widget will use the first field name in the Value Fields setting as the comparison field.

Use the Initial Value Field in combination with your Default Value settings, detailed above, to identify a default pre-filled value.

Pre-populate your form based on the URL

We can also set this up to play nicely with Jotform's ability to pre-populate forms based on URL parameters.

For example, I'd like to share my Muppets Directory form with my friends, and I want each of them to gather data on a specific muppet. To indicate which muppet I'd like them to research, I can just send them the form link with the muppet already selected.

I'm going to choose the Name field as the field I'd like to use for my Initial Value. You can choose any field in your table that has unique values for each record.


Exit out of the Simple Select widget settings for a moment, and go to the field's ⚙️ Properties. Go to the Advanced tab and scroll down to the bottom. Expand the Field Details section. Under the UNIQUE NAMEsetting, choose a simple unique name for this particular field in your Jotform. It must be all one word with no spaces. I'll choose muppet.


Then you can generate a pre-filled link using the guidelines in Jotform's instructions. Let's say I wanted to pre-populate the form for Animal.

My URL would look like this:

And when I access the link, I see:


You can then set up a formula field in your Airtable base to make your field values URL safe (if necessary) and generate these unique pre-filled links based on your parameters. Check out this Airtable Community post on Formulas and URLs.

Sort Fields

By default, choices in the dropdown are appear sorted in ascending order according to the Display Fieldchosen above. Add custom sorts in this box.

To add a sort, use the format FIELDNAME|direction, as detailed below:

  • FIELDNAME: The name of the field in Airtable you'd like to sort by
  • | is the vertical bar or pipe character. (To type this on most keyboards, hold shift + the backslash key ( \ ) right under the Delete or Backspace key)
  • direction: Indicate sort direction of ascending (asc) or descending (desc).
Add each additional sort on a new line.

For example, sorting the muppets by their {Type} and then {Name} A-Z:



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