Support articles

Key features of the new version include:
Role based workflows
In addition to approvers, you will be able to add other role tyes. For example, you may want to set an Editor as level 1 (who can add information to the form submission), Endorser as level 2 (who can recommend whether it should be approved or not), Approver as level 3 (who has the authority to approve or decline), and someone at level 4 who simply needs to be notified of the outcome. Due to this change, you will notice our documentation now refers to 'approvers' as 'recipients'. Learn more about recipient role types.

Greater control over your data
Approval records and most application settings will now be stored in your linked spreadsheet, giving you greater control over your data. Note: the add-on will rely on this information to operate so do not sort, edit, or modify this data in any way. To track recent requests, use the admin portal. To perform more detailed analysis, simply duplicate the sheet.

Reduced permissions
The add-on has removed the requirement for access to a users Calendar and Documents. These were originally required for functionality that has since been deprecated. In addition, the add-on will no longer require edit access to your Google Form and linked spreadsheet. Unlike other add-ons, approvers will also not be required to be an editor of your Google Form or linked spreadsheet. To achieve this, it required significant changes to the way the add-on operates and we are proud to be the first in market to offer this capability. Learn more about permissions on our security page.

Improved application performance
Overhauled backend infrastructure supporting the application and the ability to select the region closest to you has significantly improved the application's performance. The average wait time on 1-click response links has reduced by approx 80%, giving your approvers more time to spend on work that matters.

Customized notifications (beta only)
Change the title, subject and body of all notification types. Plus, the ability to include a private message on individual recipient notifications. Learn more about customizing notifications. This feature will be released in beta only while we monitor it's performance.

Send from an alias address (beta only)
The add-on now supports alias addresses and you will now have the ability to have notifications sent from an alias address. Learn more about sending from an alias address. This feature will be released in beta only while we monitor it's performance.

Admin portal
As the add-on administrator, you will be able to view a list of requests, search or filter on those pending, approved or declined and perform various actions like send reminders, resend notifications and amend recipients.

Support for Team Drive
The add-on now supports forms and spreadsheets that are stored in Team Drive.

Support of 'grid' question types
The add-on now supports 'grid' question types and will include the responses to these questions types appropriately in the form response table of email notifications.

A fresh new look
Green is out, blue and yellow tones are in. Color aside, the new version of the add-on has been designed mobile-first. As such, all functionality will be available across all screen sizes.

Next steps:
  • Due to the size and nature of the changes, a few quick steps are required by you to migrate.
  • Version 1 of the add-on will be decommissioned on October 13, 2018. Version 1 will continue to run when form submissions are made, accept approvals, and track requests up until this date.
  • We encourage you to migrate as early as possible. Learn how to migrate to the new version.
Migrating to the new version
To migrate to the new version:
  1. Open your existing Google Form(s).
  2. Click 'More' (three vertical dots).
  3. Click 'Make a copy'.
  4. From the new form you have just created:
    • Open the add-on.
    • Configure your settings, then click 'Save'.
    • Run a test form submission and approval with yourself as the approver to make sure everything is set up correctly. If it is your first time using version 2, you will also be asked for authorization.
    • Issue your new form to users to complete.
  5. From the form that is being replaced:
    • Open the add-on.
    • Remove all approvers, then click 'Save'. It is important you complete this step, this will deactivate the add-on on your existing Form.
    • Click the 'Responses' tab on your Google Form.
    • Toggle your Google Form to 'not accepting responses'.
    • Enter a message for your respondents.

Note, you will need to do this on each form that is using the add-on.
How do I know if I am using the new version?
The add-on sidebar will be titled 'Form Approvals version 2.0' at the top. In addition, the webpage your recipients access will be white, blue and yellow in color (the original version was white and green).
Open an existing Google Form that captures information requiring approval, or create a new Google Form. From within your Form, click 'More' (three vertical dots located in the top right corner) then click 'Add-ons'.

Type 'Form Approvals' in the search bar. Once located, install the add-on.

For further details on how to install and open add-ons, refer to Google's support page.

Once installed, open a Form that captures information needing approval > click the puzzle piece (at the top) > click Form Approvals. Note, if you are using a small screen device and cannot locate the puzzle piece > click More > click Add-ons > then click Form Approvals.

All notices sent by the add-on are sent to the email address you configure the add-on with. For this reason it is important to use an email address that you regularly check the mail of.
What's next:
Option 1: Add a recipient that will be the same for each form submission:
Click the 'Add static recipient' icon and enter the recipient's email address.
Option 2: Add a recipient that is entered or selected by the form respondent:
Add a question to your form that captures the recipient's email address. This could be a short answer, multiple choice or dropdown question. Click the 'Add dynamic recipient' icon and select the question that asks for the recipient's email address. If you have made amendments to your form while the add-on is open and the question does not show as available, click the refresh icon. Note, only short answer, multiple choice, or drop down questions will be available to select.
Option 3: Add a recipient that is selected by the form respondent, but includes other information (e.g Department name):
Within your Form, add a Dropdown or Multiple choice question. Add options that include the email addresses between < and > symbols. For example, if you need the approval to go to a particular department, enter the department name followed by the recipient's email address between < and > symbols. Similarly, you could replace the department name with a person's name. The add-on will detect the < and > symbols and use the email address in between. Once the question has been added to your Form, within the add-on click the 'Add dynamic recipient' icon and select the question that asks for the recipient's email address.
Option 4: Add a list to your form that will be selected by the form respondent, but does not include the recipient's email address:
Within your Form, add a Dropdown or Multiple choice question. Create a spreadsheet with potential responses (to the dropdown or multiple choice question) in column A and corresponding recipient in column B. For example, if you need the approval to go to a particular department, set up the dropdown question with a list of your departments. Enter the department names in column A and the recipient's email addresses in column B. Go the the add-on sidebar and click the 'Add dynamic recipient' icon and select the question that captures the user's department. Click the ellipsis icon , then 'add list of recipients'. Then, select the spreadsheet, sheet name and column. For further details and examples, refer to the step by step guide on how to add a list without the recipient's email addresses
Option 5: Add a group of people and have any one member of the group respond to the request:
Within Google Contacts, create a group of contacts. Refer to Google's support page for further info on creating groups. Once the group has been created, click the 'Add static recipient' icon and enter the group name. When you type the group name, it will autocomplete between { and } symbols. If you only recently created the group and the name does not autocomplete, click the refresh icon. The add-on will send the approval request to each person in the group. Once a response has been received from one member of the group, the add-on will move to subsequent recipients (if applicable). Should another member of the group attempt to respond, they will be advised that a response has already been received.
What's next:
To set the receiving order:
  1. Click the 'Set receiving order' icon
  2. Input fields will appear on the left side
  3. Enter an integer value in the input fields

For parallel approvals, enter 1, 1, 1, etc. For sequential approvals, enter 1, 2, 3, etc.
Tip: You may enter a combination of parallel and sequential approvals. For example 1, 1, 1, 2, 3, etc.
What's next:
Use recipient logic when you want the workflow to go to a recipient only if specific conditions are met.
  1. Click the 'More' ellipsis icon
  2. Click 'Add recipient logic'
  3. Select a question title
  4. Select a comparison operator
  5. Enter a value
  6. You can add multiple conditions by clicking '+ add conditions'
  7. When adding multiple conditions, you can define the relationship between the conditions (i.e 'all' or 'one'). If 'all' is selected, the add-on will only send approval notifications to the recipient if all conditions are met. When 'one' is selected, the add-on will send approval notifications to the recipient if any one condition is met. 'All' acts like an AND operator (for example, it will only route to the recipient if condition 1 is met AND condition 2 is met). 'One' acts like an OR operator (for example, it will route to the recipient if condition 1 is met OR condition 2 is met).

Tip: If you find yourself using recipient logic often and need more than 8 recipients, consider adding Dropdown or Multiple choice questions along with your recipient's email addresses. Refer to points 3 and 4 (Add a list to your form that will be selected by the form respondent) of support article how to add recipients.
What's next:
Before you begin, think about which form question influences the recipient required. For example, if it is the form respondent's Department, add a Drop down or Multiple choice question of possible Departments to your Google Form. Once you have added the question to your form, follow these steps:
  1. Create a spreadsheet with all potential response values in column A and associated recipient email addresses in column B (e.g Department names in column A and the associated recipient in column B)
  2. Within the add-on sidebar, add a 'dynamic recipient'. Refer to point 2 of support article how to add recipients for guidance.
  3. Select the question title that captures the information you entered in column A
  4. Click the 'More' ellipsis icon
  5. Click 'add list of recipients'
  6. Select the spreadsheet you created in step 1
  7. Select the sheet that contains the data
  8. Select the column that contains the recipient's email addresses
  9. Close the 'List of recipients' window, then Save.

Example 1: You may need approvals go to the Head of a Department / School. Enter all potential Department / School names in column A of the spreadsheet and the corresponding recipient's email address in column B.
Example 2: You may need approvals go to the form respondent's manager. In this case, enter the potential form respondent's email addresses in column A of the spreadsheet and their manager's email address in column B.

Tip: If you require multi-level approvals based on your organizations hierarchy (e.g first recipient as the manager and second recipient as the manager's manager), set up the spreadsheet with the potential form respondent's email addresses in column A, first level managers's email address in column B, and second level manager's email address in column C. Then within the add-on, add two dynamic recipients that call columns B and C of the spreadsheet.
What's next:
Select a role for your recipients:
To select a role type:
  1. Click the 'More' ellipsis icon
  2. Select 'other recipient settings'
  3. Select the role that you require. The table below outlines the role types.
The application will default to 'Needs to Approve' if no other role type is selected.
Recipients with this role type... ...can do the following
Needs to Approve Approve or decline a request. Approve will move the workflow to the next level (if applicable). Decline will end the workflow.
Needs to Recommend Recommend, not recommend, or request more info* from the requestor. Recommend and not recommend will both move the workflow to the next level. Request more info will send the workflow back to the requestor for re-submission.
Needs to Acknowledge Acknowledge receipt of the request.
Needs to Edit** Edit the original form submission, or request more info* from the requestor. Editing the form submission will move the workflow to the next level (if applicable). Request more info will send the workflow back to the requestor for re-submission.
Receives a Copy Receives a copy of the request only. No action is required.
* Request more information will only be available when 'Collect email addresses' is enabled in your Google Form settings.
** The `Needs to Edit` role must have a unique position in the receiving order (e.g a workflow with two recipients cannot be sent in parallel order if one recipient is an Editor). Learn how to set the receiving order.
Add a private message for your recipients:
To add a private message:
  1. Click the 'More' ellipsis icon
  2. Select 'other recipient settings'
  3. Enter a private message for the recipient
The private message will only be sent to this recipient.
Email notifications are mostly customizable
To customize notifications:
  1. From your Google Form, open the add-on.
  2. Open the 'Settings' tab.
  3. Within the 'General' settings tab, click 'Email editor'.
  4. A separate window will open and will first display the structure of email notifications.
  5. Click the left or right toggle to change between email notification types.
  6. Follow the instructions within the editor to change the subject, body and / or form response table.
Here is a summary of what can and cannot be changed:
  • The subject may be amended through the email editor.
  • The title included on all email notifictions is taken from the title of your form. Note, you must re-save your settings within the add-on after the title is changed for it to take effect.
  • A private message may be included on individual recipient notifications. Go to the 'Recipients' tab > click 'More' > 'Other recipient settings'.
  • The body of the email may be amended through the email editor.
  • The form response table may be repositioned or removed through the email editor. You may also hide sections of the form response (refer below).
  • The header (request # | recipients | request date) and footer (response links) are not able to be amended, however you may turn 1-click response links on/off through the 'Settings' tab.
Hide sections of the form response in notifications:
  1. Open a Google Form that has multiple sections.
  2. Open the add-on.
  3. Open the 'Settings' tab.
  4. Within the 'General' settings tab, you will see an option to select which 'sections to display in notifications'. Note, you will only see this option if you have multiple sections in your form.
  5. Uncheck the box for each section that you want omitted from email notifications (i.e the add-on will only display sections that are checked).
This is particularly useful if your form respondent is entering information that recipients don't need to see.
What's next:
To have email notifications sent from an alias address:
  1. Set up an alias address on your Google Mail account.
  2. Open your Google Form, then open the add-on.
  3. Open the 'Settings' tab.
  4. Within the 'General' settings tab, you will see an option to select which email addresses to send notifications from. Note, you will only see this option if you have an alias address set up on your email account.
  5. Select the address.
This is particularly useful if you don't want notifications sent from your personal account.
What's next:
How to access beta release features:
Some features including Send emails from an alias address and Customize notifications are available to users on our beta release program only. The beta release program provides our biggest fans first access to new features as they are developed. These features may be complete or nearing completion, but potentially may have bugs or known issues. It allows us to test new features, learn, and iterate before making them widely available.

If you would like to access these features and new features as soon as they are released, you may join our beta-release program by leaving us a review of the add-on in the G Suite Marketplace or Google Forms add-on store then upload your review to this registration form. We love feedback, so please email us at support@formapprovals.com with any issues you experience or feedback you have so we can improve.
Approval records and application settings will be automatically stored in your linked spreadsheet.
A sheet named FA-DetailedApprovalRecords will be automatically created in your linked spreadsheet. This sheet will store all approval records relating to the application.

A sheet named FA-Settings will be automatically created in your linked spreadsheet. This sheet will store the settings you save within the application.
The add-on will read and write to these sheets each time you or your recipients use the application. Be careful, the add-on relies on this information to operate so do not sort, edit, or modify this data in any way. To perform analysis, simply create a duplicate of the sheet. The 'FA-DetailedApprovalRecords' sheet contains privileged information that should not be shared with requestors or recipients. It is your responsibility (as the add-on administrator) to control who has access to this spreadsheet. Due to the limits within Google Sheets, we are only able to support up to 3,000 records per Form Responses and FA-DetailedApprovalRecords sheets. Once you reach these levels we may limit your use. When you approach this level, you should duplicate the sheets (as archives) and delete older records from the active sheets.
Each time a Google Form submission is made by a user, recipients will receive an an email notification with links to respond to the request. The links you receive will depend on the role you have been assigned. Learn more about the role types and their respective actions.
The status of requests can be tracked at any time, using one of the following methods:
  1. All email notifications sent to requestors and recipients contain a request number. This request number contains a hyperlink allowing you to track the status of request at any time. Each form submission is assigned a unique request number.
  2. The add-on administrator has the ability to view the status of all requests from the 'Admin portal'. To access the admin portal, open the add-on > click 'Settings' > then click 'Admin portal'.
  3. The add-on administrator also has the ability to review the status of all requests via the spreadsheet linked to the Google Form. Approval details will be recorded in the 'FA-DetailedApprovalRecords' sheet. Learn more about approval records.
Troubleshooting steps
The add-on will only send a notification to the requestor when 'Collect email addresses' is enabled in your Google Form settings.
Firstly, complete a test form submission and see if a new record is created in the 'FA-DetailedApprovalRecords' tab of your linked spreadsheet.
  1. If a new record is created but a recipient is skipped or the Overall Status is marked as 'Conditions not met' this is likely to mean one of the following has occured:
    1. the recipient logic (routing conditions) have not been met; Check to ensure the logic value entered exactly matches the option selected by the requestor. For more information, refer how to add recipient logic.
    2. the option selected by the requestor does not match any of the options available in your list of recipients spreadsheet; Check to ensure the option selected by the requestor exactly matches the value entered in Column A of your spreadsheet. For more information, refer how to add a list of recipients.
    3. the question linked to your dynamic approver has been updated since you last saved your settings;
    4. the dynamic approver question was not completed by the form respondent; or
    5. the approver's email address was not valid.
  2. If a new record is created and the Overall Status is marked 'In progress', check the sent items of the add-on administrator's Google account. If the sent items contains the email, but it was never received by the recipient it may have been blocked by their mail filters.
  3. If a new record is not created in the spreadsheet the add-on has encountered an error or lost authorization.
    1. Open the add-on, then click Settings > Other > toggle the add-on OFF. Once it is turned off, toggle it back ON. This process will provide the add-on the necessary authorization to run.
Once you have completed the above steps and fixed the problem, run another test form submission and see whether notifications are now sent.