The File Attachments widget lets your users include up to ten files with any form they submit. 

This is the help page for the File Attachments widget.

To learn more about how you can create web forms with SpreadsheetConverter or have them sent to your e-mail inbox, please read the introduction to forms handling.

The File Attachments widget

Introduction

The File Attachments widget enables your visitors to include documents, charts, images, videos or any other kinds of files with their form submission. Job applicants can include their CV, and expense reports can include scanned copies of receipts. Users may even use their phone to take a picture and include this with the form.

Any form that you create with SpreadsheetConverter can have file attachments. In the spreadsheet, you insert the widget in a cell that should be wide enough to function well with drag-and-drop.

Screenshot of the File Attachment widget in a web page

As the user selects files to include with the form, they are automatically uploaded. The widget shows a list of the files and allows already uploaded files to be removed.

Screenshot of the File Attachment widget when a file has been completely uploaded

When the form is submitted, the file attachments normally appear as attachments to the e-mail with the form contents.

Screenshot of a file attachment in the e-mail from Advanced Submit

In the Advanced server, the file attachments appear as links from the submitted form.

Screenshot of a file attachment in the Advanced Submit Server

Inserting the File Attachments widget

To use file attachments in a web form, you must insert a File Attachments widget in a cell in the spreadsheet that you use to design the form.

Screenshot of the Widgets pane with the File Attachment widget

The File Attachments widget enables users to drag-and-drop files to the form, or click on the text link to select files from a list.

Screenshot of the File Attachment widget in a web page

We recommend that you make the widget’s cell big enough to be comfortably used when dragging and dropping files from other windows. You can expand the cell’s area by widening the row and column, by merging adjacent cells, or both.

When you move the mouse pointer over the cell, the mouse pointer changes into hand sign, the text is underlined and a dashed line appears around the cell to show that the widget also lets you drag-and-drop files on it.

Screenshot of the File Attachment widget in a web page with the mouse pointer hovering above it

The widget lets visitors add up to ten files to any form. In most environments, you can add more than one file at a time.

  • In desktop systems you click to select the first item in a contiguous list of files, then hold down the Shift key and click on the last item to be included in the selection. You can also click on the first file, then hold down the Ctrl or Command key while you click to select discontiguous additional files, one at a time.
  • In the iOS image browser in iPhone or iPad, you touch images to select or deselect them before you press OK to add all the selected files to the widget.
  • In Android you can add both images and other files from the file system.

To save time, the files automatically start to upload as you add them to the widget. There is a progress bar for each file to show how much of it has been uploaded. Until the upload has finished, the file name is faded.

Screenshot of the File Attachment progress window for a file that is being uploaded

To abort an upload, click on the red delete icon to the right of the file name.

Once the upload is finished, the progress bar goes away and the file name is not faded anymore. To remove an uploaded file, click on its red delete icon.

Screenshot of the File Attachment widget when a file has been completely uploaded

When the user later presses Submit, only the form remains to be submitted. All the attached files have already been sent to the server and are linked to the form.

Formatting the widget

Introduction

When you insert the widget into the cell, a default text “Drop your file here or click to browse” appears in the cell and the widget’s properties panel opens in the task pane.

Screenshot of the properties panel for the File Attachment widget

You can change the prompt or translate it to another language simply by editing the text in the cell.

If you select the Required check-box, all users of the form must attach at least one file before they can submit the form.

The text and cell formatting for the File Attachments widget is set using Format Cells in Excel. If you want to have the prompt aligned differently, e.g. centered both horizontally and vertically, adjust the Format Cells settings accordingly.

Screenshot of a File Attachment cell with light green background and blue text

The cell will appear almost the same in the web page as in the spreadsheet:

Screenshot of the File Attachment widget in a web page

but with a paperclip icon to the left of the text.

Using Theme Designer

A few of the graphical elements used by the File Attachments widget are not managed by Excel, but the good news are you still have control over them using the Theme Designer.

Picture showing how the theme affects the color of the dotted line and the paperclip symbol

In Theme Designer, you can select a Brand color for your theme, and this is used for the paperclip icon, the file icons and the dashed line that appears around the field when you hold the mouse pointer over it. To apply the theme, download it from the Theme Designer and apply it with the Apply Theme setting on the Workbook tab in the SpreadsheetConverter Task Pane.

There are few parts which currently cannot change color. For example, the delete button is always red and the progress bar is always green.

Limitations

  • The File Attachments widget is only supported with the Professional edition of SpreadsheetConverter. Upgrade to the Professional edition to use this powerful widget, lots of new chart types, more Excel functions and many other advanced features.
  • The File Attachments widget requires the Advanced Submit Service.  Upgrade to the Advanced Submit Service to use this powerful widget and Secure Delivery. The e-mail looks exactly like the form did when the user entered data into it, including graphics and charts. Save incoming web forms in a hosted database. Filter, sort and download saved forms whenever you like.
  • You can insert File Attachments widgets in up to ten places in a spreadsheet.
  • Your users can attach up to ten files for each File Attachments widget in the web form.
  • Each file that a user attaches to a web form can be up to four megabytes in size.
  • You cannot add files to the File Attachments widget while you’re offline. File attachments are supported by Offline Forms but only if you attach the files while you’re online.
  • After files have been attached to a form, the form must be submitted within seven days. Uploaded files that don’t belong to a submitted form are removed after seven days. Uploaded files that belong to a submitted form are retained forever.

Limitations in the e-mail infrastructure

When we attempt to deliver the form with its attachments to the designated recipients, the e-mail infrastructure may refuse to deliver it. This is because some e-mail servers limit the size of attachments and/or the entire e-mail. If the user of the web form has attached many large files to the form, the entire package may exceed the limitations imposed by the e-mail infrastructure. 

The e-mail infrastructure is beyond our control and there is simply no way for us to guarantee that you will get all the e-mails we send you. The risk of losing e-mails increases when you use File Attachments.

If you use a form that permits File Attachments, we recommend that you use our Secure Delivery feature to have the e-mail contain just a link to the form instead of the form’s full contents with attachments. Clicking on the link in the Secure Delivery e-mail takes you to the server where you can login to access the form and its attachments securely.