Pre-fill answers for dropdown or multiple choice questions

Not sure if this has been requested here yet, but the ability to be able to pre-fill a form with answers for dropdown or multiple choice type questions would be a fantastic addition.

Currently our workaround is to have our users pre-select their choice which is generated dynamically before they open their form. We then send this answer to our form using hidden fields where they can fill the rest of their form out. However, if an end-user wishes to change their pre-selected condition, it requires reloading the paperform again with the new pre-fill, losing contents of the form that they may have already entered. Note: A possible solution to losing the contents of the form may be using saved responses, however, changing hidden fields using pre-filling breaks with this functionality (see Bug: Hidden fields pre-filling vs local storage priority issue).

If we had the ability to generate answers for dropdown or multiple choice paperform questions within pre-fill, we would no longer require a seperate pre-selection before entering the form and allow our users to select their answer inside the paperform.

I understand that it cannot be done with the current way pre-fill works as it is already reserved for pre-selecting answers in regards to multiple choice and dropdown questions. However, here is a way that could work and allow advanced users to implement this functionality.

Using hidden fields and calculations

Currently it is possible to create an array from a pre-fill using a hidden field to send a comma separated string and the in-built function SPLIT to return an array. For advance users, it should be possible to pass this array to a multiple choice/dropdown question to pre-fill answers e.g. answer piping the calculation into the multiple choice/dropdown answer field.

I understand it has been pretty much denied here https://paperform.co/help/articles/answer-piping-for-multiple-choice-or-dropdown-questions but as an advanced user this feature would be amazing and should be achievable using pre-existing features in conjunction with each other, just need the ability to pass it to the multiple choice/dropdown questions!

A more immediate but temporary fix to our problem would be solving the issue brought up in this thread: Bug: Hidden fields pre-filling vs local storage priority issue.

Hey, @lucash.

You are correct that multiple-choice and dropdown options cannot be generated dynamically and may only be pre-selected instead of the more traditional pre-filled like a text question where arbitrary text entered in the query string makes its way directly into the answer.

Due to current technical limitations, this will remain this way for the foreseeable future. However, in reference to the pre-filling priority, you can add force=1 onto the query string to override automatic save and resume later values and use pre-filling explicitly.

Manual input will always override anything no matter what, but this should help out with your hidden fields having their values saved using automatic save and resume later considering a user could never manually override that.

A calculation never pre-fills anything as the mechanism isn’t there to allow that, so that wouldn’t currently be a viable solution without some reworking of the way pre-filling works throughout the product.

Hope this helps clear your questions up. Feel free to ask anything else if any of that isn’t clear.

Danny