Create & Define Fields

When making a Template, you create fields to tell Captricity what data to pull and from where on your forms. Each field you create will be a column of data in your results.

To create a field, make sure that Fields is selected on the Toolbox to the right. Draw a green box wherever there is information you want captured. Then, name and define the field type. Your changes are saved automatically as you create and edit your fields.

To draw a green field box, you can click one of the shaded green boxes that Captricity suggests.

Or, you can click and drag to create a field. 

Once a field has been created, the green box will darken and turn orange. To help you keep track of your fields, a yellow exclamation point will be visible in the top right corner of the field until it has been named and defined. 

Field boxes should be large enough to capture the entire area in which the text may be written. Resize a field by clicking on the edges or corners and dragging in or out.

You can move a field by clicking in the center of the field and dragging to the desired location.

After you have created the field, you will need to name and define the field. Click on the field, and the toolbox on the right will appear. Here you can name the field, select the field type and subtype, customize the field by adding formatting, possible values, and special instructions, and duplicate or split the field.  Captricity will auto-populate names for the fields based on what is on your form. 

First, name the field. Give the field a short, relevant name. After you begin typing, Captricity will suggest names in a drop down for that field, which you can select (or, you can continue to add your own field name) Field names will be used as row headings in your final table of results. It is helpful to use both the question number and a one- or two-word description (e.g., “1-name” or “5b-eye color). Please note that all fields must have unique names.  

Then, select the field type. Using the two drop downs under "What kind of data is this?", you can select the field type and subtype.

Below is a quick summary on the field types and subtypes you can create:

  • Text – Allows all characters. Subtypes are Long text (between 70 and 2000 characters), Short text (under 70 characters), or email address
  • Number – Allows numbers and select additional characters only. Subtypes are Decimal, Whole Number, or Phone Number
  • Date – Allows numeric and longform dates to be captured. You can specify the format via Template Settings.
  • Multiple choice – Allows only the options you define as possible values to be selected. Subtypes are Select one or Select many.
  • Picture - Takes a picture of the form area (great for signatures!)
  • Blacked out - Redacts the information in that area so it is not be visible to our data entry workers, or included in your results.

Note: Each field box should contain only one segment of data. For two-part questions, draw a field around each part and define each piece of information separately. For example, if you wanted to collect both the First and Last names in separate fields for this Template, you would need to draw two boxes. 

Numeric fields and multiple choice fields require additional formatting.

Numeric fields only allow numbers and specific characters to be captured as data, and you can constrain which values and characters are included in your data. You can select the numeric range of answers you expect for the data in that field (for example, only numbers from 1 to 1000). All number fields allow digits 0 through 9 as well as dashes. Decimal fields also allow decimal points, and phone number fields allow parentheses. You can choose to allow additional punctuation, including dashes -, plus signs +, parentheses (), slashes /, dollar signs $, percentage symbols %, colons :, and spaces , by selecting the appropriate checkbox(es).

If you create a “select-one” or “select-many” Multiple Choice field, you will need to specify the possible values, or answers, for that field. You do not need to enter the value exactly as it is on your form. In fact, in most cases it is much better to abbreviate. Just be sure to choose a description that will be relevant when it comes to working with your results and that will make sense to our data entry workers.

If there's additional formatting you'd like to apply to the data your fields, such as specifying case or replacing certain answers, you can do this through the Template's settings page, either before or after you digitize your data.

After you’ve chosen the field type and subtype using the dropdowns and specified any additional formatting, you can choose to add Special Instructions to the field. Special Instructions can help to clarify potentially confusing fields and to ensure that your data is captured correctly. You should include Special Instructions to help our workers better understand how to interpret data fields in special or unusual cases, such as uncertain, vague, or mixed responses or if you want your answers coded in a specific way. Special Instructions are not necessary for every field, but they can help to ensure that your data is captured most accurately. For example, in the picture below, we are asking workers not to type in the column values for their choices, but instead numeric values from 1 to 3.

Two helpful features for creating a Template are located in the Toolbox under Field Actions. Clicking on a field and then clicking the “Duplicate this field” option will create an identical copy of the field, including the size, field type, and any formatting and/or special instructions you’ve added to the original field. In the example below, we duplicated the “Work Phone” field to use for the "Cell Phone" field. 

You can split a field into smaller fields using the “Split this field” feature. Click on the original field, specify the number of columns and rows you want to split it into, and then click the “Split this field” button. You will now have several smaller fields with the same characteristics as the original field. In the example below, we split the “Types of Document” field so that each multiple choice answer was its own field. 

If you want to delete a field, simply click on the x in the upper right corner of the field. 

To create a Table, switch to the table portion of the Toolbox. Draw a red box around the entire table on your form, not including the header label row. Captricity will automatically create rows and columns, to which you can edit and add. For more instructions on how to create a Table, check out this support article.

You can review the fields you've created on your template by toggling to the listview presentation of fields. Click on the grey box with the horizontal lines above your Template, and you'll see a list of all the fields you've created. You can see the name, data type and subtype, and any special instructions you've added to the fields. If you click on a field, the toolbox will expand, allowing you to edit information about the field. If you click on the grey box with the rectangle, you'll be brought back to the main Template view, with the selected field highlighted in orange. 

: We rely solely on the accuracy of your Template to transcribe your data and provide high-quality results. So, the results are only as good as the information you provide. For example, if you don’t specify all the possible values in a given field, the field will be marked “–impossible–” and the results will be incomplete.

An important note about privacy

Real, human data entry workers do the behind-the-scenes processing of your Captricity job. Each handwritten answer or printed field is converted to an individual image (see below), and workers see hundreds of different images for the same field at the same time.

We call this a “shredding” effect. Because of this effect, workers see only the data within individual field boxes and very little adjacent data.

If your form contains sensitive or confidential information that cannot be displayed to anyone, use the “black out” feature explained above. Doing so will prevent anyone from viewing this information, and this information will also not be included in your results. You can read more about Privacy here