Field Rules for Newbies: Our Top Tips for Setting Up Form Logic

NicolaWe love adding more newbies to the Wufoo family. Join us in giving a high-five to Nicola. Nicola’s joined our team of Support experts in lovely Portland and is here on the blog to whip our special edition Newbie series back into blog gear.

So if you’re new to Wufoo like she is–this blog’s for you!

Being new at Wufoo, I’ve been able to drill into tons of different features and use cases but I found myself spending more time in certain areas of the Form Builder than in others. Enter Field Rules.

Let’s explore Field Rules together, fellow newbies.

What’s a Field Rule?

Rules take a form from being static to totally dynamic. They are built with two main parts: the condition and the action. Field Rules, specifically, lets you do two things: SHOW or HIDE fields based on conditions.

For example, let’s ask people about dinosaurs. Your first question might be, “Do you like dinosaurs?” with Yes or No choices. Your second question might be, “Which dinosaur is your favorite?”

But if the person doesn’t like dinosaurs, why show them question 2? You’ll only want the people who answer Yes see the question 2.

You can do this with Field Rules. Here’s how that would be set up:

Field Rules

Multiple Conditions – Say what?

One of the best parts about our Rule Builder is that you can have more than one condition per rule. Let’s add another answer choice to our “Do you like dinosaurs?” question–Maybe. If someone answers Yes or Maybe to question 1, let’s ask them question 2.

Your rule set up for this will be:

Show or Hide 2

Since you want either option to enact the rule, you’ll use an OR operator.

And that’s just one of many ways that Multiple Conditions can enhance your form experience. Get even more solid info on the magic of Multiple Conditions in our Guides page.

How do Multiple Field Rules work?

Let’s invite people to an event. Now if we want people to bring their friends–the more the merrier we always say–we’ll need multiple registrations. As we’ve covered before with regards to Multiple Registrations, this requires a wee bit more attention than your average registration form.

Let’s ask: “How many people would you like to register?” They can select 1-5 from a drop down menu.

If they’re inviting 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 people to their event, they’ll need to see the Registration 1 name field. If they’re inviting 2, 3, 4, or 5 people, they need to see the Registration 2 name field. Repeat this pattern, and you’ve mastered multiple registrations!

Here’s an example of what your first 3 rules for this registration will look like:

Show or Hide

Add a payment integration and you’re good to go.

Oops! Common Rule Mistakes

Let’s explore one of the most common Field Rule mistakes: to SHOW or to HIDE?

Back to our first scenario: if someone selects No for the question on whether or not they like dinosaurs, you don’t want them to see the question that asks for their favorite dinosaur.

You should hide this field, right?

Wrong. You want a SHOW rule for someone who clicks Yes or Maybe. With a SHOW rule, the field hides itself automatically if the rule is not satisfied.

In general, SHOW rules are easier for everyone to understand (including the Wufoo Rule builder). If you plan on using field rules on your form, you might want to check out our common mistakes blog to avoid any field-rule-headaches.

Once you get to know them, Field Rules are a snap to set up and they take your form-building experience from just great to absolutely amazing. who doesn’t want that?

Thanks for sticking with me through this rule-building fun. Leave your questions for me below and I promise to answer ’em.

Was this post helpful, dear newbies? Let us know what else you’d like us to blog about and stay tuned for more!


  • Why is there only an option to add more criteria but only one action?
    I’d like to show 4 fields when 1 criteria is met, but I can only do this with 4 rules, right? Or am I mistaken?

    Posted October 7th, 2015 by Angelo.
  • I would love to see that same feature Angelo. I was thinking in a way where you could create groups of fields and show/hide that entire group with 1 rule instead of multiple rules.

    Posted October 7th, 2015 by Todd Florence.
  • Ditto. 1 rule to show multiple fields please. Is it something in the works?

    Posted October 7th, 2015 by Damien.
  • I’m a wufoo user. To do what Angelo, Todd, and Damien want (single criteria to show a group of fields), I put the group of fields on a separate page and write a single page rule to go to this page if the criteria is (are) met.

    One caveat to having multiple fields appearing on the same page is that it can make that page of your form look fairly lengthy.

    That said, it would be nice to be able to toggle on/off a group of fields based on a single criteria.

    Posted October 7th, 2015 by Bryan Marks.
  • That is a wonderful idea; “create groups of fields and show/hide that entire group with 1 rule instead of multiple rules.” When is this going to be released?

    Posted October 7th, 2015 by Eric.
  • Adding logic to address a group of fields at once (to show a group or hide a group based on a single condition) isn’t something that we’re currently working on but that’s a great idea.

    Posted October 7th, 2015 by Johan Lieu.

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