When multiple elements are needed as part of an answer, it is always a good idea to provide a table-like format to help the applicants organize their answers. Even though some of the elements are collected as free-form text, this approach minimizes the variation of the data and also ensures that all required fields are filled. Some of the data fields can also be automatically validated by selecting the appropriate data format (e.g., Integer, Date, etc.). Whenever possible, use check boxes, radio buttons or selection lists to collect the answer.
In the example shown below, the itemized budget for a grant project is entered using a table format using selection lists and free-form text fields. As an added benefit, only one field is defined for each column. When you configure the form containing the table you simply indicate which fields to display in the table and how many rows should be displayed. You can also easily define a calculating filter that displays the sum of the Total Cost column.
Adding Information to Forms