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Import and export forms

Rather than creating forms from scratch, you can import existing OpenForms to use as templates. We maintain a library of best-practice examples to get you started, or you can import forms from other organizations. OpenForms are imported and exported in .json format.

Almost all form properties are included in imports and exports, including workflows and data connections, however some information is removed for privacy reasons. To see what information is and isn't retained, see What's included in imported/exported forms. 

Import forms

To import a form:

  1. Download a valid OpenForm from your or another organization.

  2. Go to Forms.

  3. Select Create form, then Import form.

  4. Select Click here or drag a file to upload to open an import dialog, or drag the forms you’d like to upload to the Click here or drag a file to upload window.

  5. Select which workspace you’d like to import the form to. 

  6. Once you’ve selected all the forms you’d like to import, select Import.

If you are importing a form but do not have the admin role in OpenForms, some items, such as themes and data connections, will not be imported. See What's included in imported/exported forms for more information.

You can import multiple forms at once. If some of the files you import aren't valid OpenForms, or are corrupted, only the valid forms will be imported and we'll let you know which files failed to upload.

Once you’ve imported a form, edit it as you would any other form to adapt it to your intended purpose.

Don't forget to update important details like data connection URLS, response notifications, or workflow reviewers and reminders

Export forms

Have you created a form that other organizations might find useful? Export it to send directly, or consider submitting your form to OpenForms’ form template library. 

To export a form:

  1. Go to Forms.

  2. Find the form you’d like to export.

  3. Select the ‘...’ menu and choose Export

What's included in imported/exported forms

General form information

Forms maintain their name when they are imported (though you can edit the name of a form, as well as any other part, after importing it). Imported forms are saved as drafts assigned to the OpenForms user that imported them.

Fields and sections

All sections and fields of a form are carried across when a form is imported or exported with the following exceptions:

  • Payment field settings (such a payment gateway information) are never exported. 
  • Image fields are exported, but uploaded images are not.
  • Items that require the admin role to create, such as field sets, lists, and snippets are only imported if the importing user is an admin.

    If a user that is not an admin imports a form containing field sets, lists or snippets, these will still be imported but as individual fields and text entries, respectively. They will not be added to the field set, list or snippet databases for the importing organization.

    Predictive search lists are one exception. These can only be imported by admins and are otherwise not imported. 

Smart logic

Smart logic rules and scenarios are included in all imports and exports.


All elements of workflows are imported and exported.

When a form is imported, reviewers will be assigned only if the same reviewers exist in the importing organization and have the reviewer role. 

If you are importing a form with a workflow, make sure to update the workflow to reflect the structure of your organization.

In addition to adapting steps and transitions, you will probably need to update the reviewers assigned to steps, as well as the content and recipients of reminders and notifications

Data connections

Any data connections utilized by a form are included when the form is exported, however, data connections are only imported if the importing user has the admin role. 

It's important to note that imported data connections continue to interact with the exporting organization's middleware and external services. If you're importing a form and want to access your own external services, write new middleware and update the imported data connection's URL field.


Themes are included in form exports, but are only applied if the importing user has the admin role.

Logos are not exported, but the file path of logos is, so if your organization has the same information architecture as the exporting organization, these may be substituted in. 


The following settings are carried across when forms are imported and exported:

General settings

Scheduling No (all settings)
Save progress Yes (all settings)
Form description Yes
Receipt number prefix Yes Receipt prefixes are not validated for uniqueness when forms are imported, and may need to be changed (you'll see an error message when trying to publish a form with a non-unique receipt prefix).
Use CAPTCHA to make sure user is human, not a bot Yes
Hide from external search engines Yes
Language Yes
Google Analytics No

All settings Yes When importing forms from another organization, make sure to update response notification details.
Print and embed

Copy a link to your form or embed it in your site No
Copy a link to the printable version of your form No
Printable version header and footer Yes (all settings)
Display settings

All settings Yes
Submission logic

All settings Yes  

Editing the form Yes When importing, this setting is reset to "all" if no authors from the importing organization are listed in the Except for field.
Viewing responses for the form Yes When importing, this setting is reset to "all" if no reporters from the importing organization are listed in the Except for field.
Accessing uploaded files Yes This setting is reset to unchecked if the importing organization does not allow access in its Account > Security settings.
Buttons, text and messages

All settings No

All settings No
Data Connections

All settings


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