Enter data easily using forms in Numbers

Forms make it easy to enter data into spreadsheets on smaller devices like iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch.

In Numbers on iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch, you can enter data into a form, then Numbers will automatically add the data to a table that’s linked to the form. Forms work great for entering data into simple tables that have the same kind of information, like contact information, surveys, inventory, or class attendance.

And when you use forms with Scribble, you can write directly in a form with an Apple Pencil on supported devices. Numbers converts handwriting to text, and then adds the data to the linked table.

Create and set up a form

When you create a form, you can create a new linked table in a new sheet or link to an existing table. If you create a form for an existing table, the table can't include any merged cells.

  1. Create a new spreadsheet, tap the add button   near the top-left corner of the spreadsheet, then tap New Form.
  2. Tap Blank Form to create a form that links to a new table and sheet. Or tap an existing table to create a form that links to that table.
  3. In Form Setup, tap a field to edit it. Each field corresponds to a column in the linked table. If you chose an existing table that already has headers, the first record is shown instead of Form Setup. If you want to edit the form, tap the settings button  in the record or edit the linked table.
    • To label a field, tap the label, then type a new label. That label appears in the header column of the linked table, and in the field in the form.
    • To remove a field, tap the delete button  next to the field you want to remove, then tap Delete. This also removes the corresponding column for this field and any data in the column of the linked table.
    • To reorder fields, touch and hold the reorder button  next to a field, then drag up or down. This also moves the column for that field in the linked table.
    • To change the format of a field, tap the info button , then choose a format, such as Number, Percentage, or Duration. Tap the info button next to a format in the menu to view additional settings.
  4. To add a field, tap Add Field. A new column is also added to the linked table.

When you’ve finished making changes to your form, tap Done to see the first record and to enter data into the form. To see the linked table, tap the table button .

You can rename the form and the sheet containing the linked table. Tap the spreadsheet or form name, tap Rename, type a new name, then tap anywhere outside the text field to save it.

Enter data into a form

When you enter data for each record in a form, Numbers automatically adds the data to the linked table. A single record can contain one or more fields for data, like a name, a corresponding address, and a corresponding phone number. The data in the record also appears in the corresponding row in the linked table. You can enter data by typing or writing. 

Enter data by typing

To type data into a form, tap the tab for the form, tap a field in the form, then enter your data. 

Here's how to navigate records in a form:

  • To go to the previous or next record, tap the left arrow  or right arrow button .
  • To scroll records, drag up or down on the dots to the right of the record entries.

To add a record, tap the add button. A new row is added to the linked table.

If you need to edit the form again, tap the settings button .

You can also enter data into the linked table, which will also change the corresponding record. And, if you create a new row in the table and add data to the cells, Numbers creates a corresponding record in the linked form.

Enter data by writing using Apple Pencil

When you pair an Apple Pencil with a supported iPad, Scribble is on by default.* To check the Scribble setting, or to turn it off, go to Settings  > Apple Pencil on your iPad.

To write in a form, tap the form tab, then write in the field. Your handwriting is turned into text, and automatically appears in the linked table.

* This feature is available only in English, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese with iPadOS 14 or later.

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