The Hidden Text element is can be very useful when you want a form to submit data that you do not need the end user to see. The Hidden Text element is never visible on the published form, but can be used to set PowerSchool fields or calculate data.
Beyond the properties common to all elements, the Hidden Text element has the following additional properties:
Place the value you wish to store or reference here.
Dynamic Forced Values
Clicking on the icon opens a help screen with advice on dynamic forced values. There are formulas that can access and manipulate data, such as the current time and date, or values that have been entered into other form elements.
Setting a PowerSchool Field
You can use a Hidden Text field to set the value of a PowerSchool field. On a Hidden Text element, you can link a PowerSchool field, like you can with many other elements, but unique to the Hidden Text field, your can also set a Forced Value. The Forced Value will be set as the value of the PowerSchool field when the form is submitted/accepted. The Forced Value can be either hard-coded text or it can make use of the Dynamic Forced Values to reference dates, times, or other fields.
In the example above, the question asked of the parent is “Was the student born in the United States?” If the parent says yes to the question, the Hidden Text element is “displayed” through workflow mapping. This causes the Forced Value of “United States of America” to be stored into the linked PowerSchool field of “birthCountry”. If the parent replies no to the question, the “Country of Birth” element will instead display through workflow mapping and allow the parent to select the country to store in the “birthCountry” field.
A Hidden Text element can also be used to store a parent’s response into multiple PowerSchool fields. Sometimes there are separate fields that hold the same data, for instance the regular PowerSchool field and a state field. An element can only be linked to a single PowerSchool field. Using a Hidden Text element, you won’t have to ask the parent the same question twice or manually update the second field.
The element that asks the question can be linked to the original PowerSchool field and a Hidden Text element set to mirror that element’s value can set the state field. The value from the first element will be forced into the state field without needing a second answer from the parent.
Please see Element IDs for instruction on determining an element’s ID so that its value can be referenced within a Hidden Text element.
Workflow Mapping and Hidden Text Elements
Workflow can be enabled on a Hidden Text element. While the element is not visible when the Value for Visibility is met, it does become part of the form in terms of form submission. This means that the Forced Value is only applied to a linked PowerSchool field if the Hidden Text element’s Value for Visibility is met. If the element is “hidden” through workflow mapping, the value of the linked PowerSchool field is not changed by the Hidden Text element.
Hidden Text elements can be the determinant element for workflow mapping set on other elements. This can allow elements to hide/show based on data known about a student but not asked on the current form.
As opposed to how you can reference a PowerSchool field for workflow mapping with a Single Line Text element, you cannot use a linked PowerSchool field. The Forced Value is what needs to be referenced in order to use a Hidden Text element for workflow mapping.
Hidden Text elements can also be used when an element’s visibility is dependent on the response of more than one element. In the above example, Element C needs to be visible if either Element A or Element B have a value of Yes. Element C cannot workflow map against two elements, so the Hidden Text element sums up the value of A and B. For each, Yes is set to 1 and No is set to 0. If the sum of the two questions is 2, both elements are set to Yes. If the sum is 1, then one of the elements is set to Yes. If the sum is 0, both elements are set to No. Element C uses the Hidden Text element as the determinant element for its workflow mapping and has a value for visibility of either 1 or 2.