Datasets, Multiselect and Dropdown Controls

Professional Business

This article goes into detail for how to use Datasets, Multiselect and Dropdown form controls. In addition, it explains and provides an example for how to use custom dataset for scalable form controls that can be quickly and easily scaled to multiple forms or sections.

Multiselect and Dropdown Controls

Example of a Dropdown

Dropdowns are form controls that allow users to select one option out of multiple pre-defined options.

Dropdowns are best used for selecting a small list of pre-defined options and you would only like one final selection.

Dropdowns may be populated using an inline dataset for simpler data or options, explained below or a custom dataset for a larger volume of more complex data, explained further below.

Multiselect Form Controls

Example of a Multiselect

Multiselects are form controls similar to dropdowns in that that allow users to select from a pre-defined list except they allow the user to select multiple options. In addition, you may search the list by typing parts of options to find them among the other options.

This means Multiselects are best used for larger lists of pre-defined options and you would like to select multiple final options.

Multiselects may also be populated using an inline dataset for simpler data or options, explained below or a custom dataset for a larger volume of more complex data, explained further below.

Inline Datasets

Inline datasets are a collection of items to be displayed as options in dropdowns or multiselects. They are best used for smaller or simpler options or when scalability isn’t a major concern.

Both the multiselect and dropdown form controls are able to use datasets as ways to contain data. You can use either an inline dataset described below or a custom dataset that is explained further below.

As an example, when creating a form control describing operations in the city of Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne an inline dataset shown to the right would be appropriate for this.

You may enter options in text for that dropdown or multiselect and those options will appear as items when the form is published.

Custom Datasets and Dataset Formatting

Creating and Using Custom Datasets

Custom Datasets in Gruntify can be used to populate form controls with pre-defined selections. This is especially useful when transferring controls across systems or workspaces or if you have multiple sections with dropdowns that are evaluating similar items.

An example of this would be if you are evaluating different job site locations in the same form. You may have multiple job sites in the same state so being able to drill down to specific cities or suburbs you operate in would be useful.

Below, we use a sample dataset to create an example to describe how datasets are formatted and how to use custom datasets to populate multiselect and dropdown controls in the form builder.

Sample Downloadable Dataset

How to Format Datasets

The same above sample dataset is available to download in the datasets tab when editing a form by clicking the 'Click here' linked text as seen in the screenshot to the right.




Dataset Levels Formatting Explained
+ Queensland ++ Brisbane +++ Newstead +++ Fortitude Valley ++ Gold Coast +++ Surfers Paradise + New South Wales ++ Sydney +++ Bondi ++ Newcastle +++ Adamstown

Using the Sample Dataset shown above, you will notice that it is separated into different levels indicated by the amount of pluses (+) so that you can differentiate which options are related to which parent options.

‘Parent Options' in this context mean that there exists lower level or 'child’ options below it that are related to it and can be used to further describe the upper level option. An example to illustrate this is provided below:

There are two Level 1 options which are ( + Queensland ) and ( + New South Wales ) indicated by boxes in the image to the left.

Each Level 1 option can have Level 2 options below it that indicate them as child options to Level 1, these have been underlined.

The State of Queensland contains the cities of Brisbane and Gold Coast.

Level 3 Options indicate options that are child options to Level 3. These have been left without indicators in the image.

The city of Brisbane contains the suburbs of Newstead and Fortitude Valley.

Separately, the city of Gold Coast contains the suburb of Surfers Paradise.

If you are using the Multiselect form control, you will only be able to select Level 1 items. Multiselect controls do not use any parent-child relationships.

Parent Dropdown Example in Gruntify

As described above, different levels show how dataset options are related in dropdowns. Each level allows you to use parent dropdowns similar to conditional formatting when selecting items in the dropdown menu.

Below is an example of how parent dropdowns work and are used with a downloadable example form with screenshots below describing parent dropdowns. You may import this form into your workspace.

If you are not sure how to do this, please click here to learn how to import forms.

When you have two related dropdowns, the child dropdown options change depending on the value in the parent dropdown.

An example is shown here based on the sample dataset provided above. This example follows the same process described in the Dataset Levels Explained section above.



Form Builder Preview does not preview controls using parent dropdown/multiselect as it is still able to be edited by altering the dataset.

Datasets and Dropdowns Video Example

The video tutorial below will explain how to create these datasets and how to apply them to dropdown and Multiselect controls.