Personalizing Notifications

To personalize notifications:
  1. From your Google Form, open the add-on.
  2. Click on the 'Settings' tab.
  3. Click on the 'Email Editor' button.
  4. A separate window will open and give you the ability to personalize the different notification types.
  5. Once done, click the yellow 'Save & close' button.
Tip: Any information on a notification that cannot be customized (i.e the Header and Footer as described below) will be translated automatically to your local language based on the Locale set in your spreadsheet settings.
A summary of what can and cannot be changed is included below:
  • The subject of each notification type may be amended through the Email Editor. You can also include form response data by including the question title between << and >> markers.
  • The header (request # | # of recipients | request date) is not able to be personalized, although it can be translated (refer to the Tip above). By default, the Request # includes a hyperlink for users to track the status of the request. If you do not want users to be able to track requests, refer below for how to remove tracking links.
  • The title included on all email notifications 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. From within the add-on, go to the 'Recipients' tab > click the 'More' icon > then click 'Other recipient settings'. The private message is positioned above the body of your notification.
  • The body of each notification type may be amended through the Email Editor, to include additional markers or content that you require.
    • The <<Form Response Table>> marker will include all questions that have been responded to unless you have specified sections to be hidden. See below for instructions on how to hide sections of a form response.
    • The <<Recipient Comments>> marker will include the approval history of previous recipients and any comments provided with their response.
    • The <<Edit Response URL>> marker will include a link to allow the user to edit the original form response.
    • You may also include any question title between << and >> markers
    • You may also include a calculated field, as described within the blog How to use Array Formulas with Google Forms
    For content that is specific to one recipient, use the private message.
  • The response links (e.g Approve, Decline, Comment) will be different based on the role type you select for your recipient, but are not able to be further personalized.
  • The footer (this is an automated email sent by formapprovals.com...) is a requirement of Gmail and other mail providers when sending transactional emails and is therefore not able to be personalized, although it can be translated (refer to the Tip above).
  • The sender name may be amended through the Email Editor. Refer below for further details.
  • The sender email address will be the email account that you used to set up the add-on. You can also use a generic account like formapprovals@yourdomain.com. To change the email account, refer to the question how do I change the addon administrator on our FAQ page. You can also choose to have emails sent from the formapprovals.com domain when subscribing to a paid plan.
Change the name which emails are sent from:
The add-on will default to send notifications from "Form Approvals". To change this:
  1. From your Google Form, open the add-on.
  2. Click on the 'Settings' tab.
  3. Click on the 'Email Editor' button.
  4. Within the Email Editor, click 'Other'.
  5. Change the 'From Name' as required.
  6. Once done, click the yellow 'Save & close' button.
Include attachments on your notifications:
If you would like the add-on to generate a Google Doc, Sheet or Slide complete with your form responses and approval history, and include it as a PDF on your notifications, follow these steps:
  1. From your Google Form, open the add-on
  2. Click on the 'Settings' tab
  3. Click on the 'Email Editor' button
  4. Within the Email Editor, click 'Other', then click '+ add attachment'
  5. Select the notification types that you would like the attachment included on
  6. Enter a name for the generated file. This name may also include any marker relating to the form response (e.g <<Request Number>> or a question title between << and >> markers)
  7. Select a Google Doc, Google Sheet or Google Slide template that contains markers. Here is an example Purchase Order Request Doc template, an example Purchase Order Request Sheet template, and an example Time Off Request Doc template.
Each time a form submission is made, the add-on will make a copy of the template, replace any markers that you have included, save a copy of the updated file in your Google Drive, and include the file as a PDF on the notifications you specified.
Tip: Generated files are stored automatically in the same folder as the template. So, if you move the template to a new folder, files will be generated in the new folder from that point forward.
Within your template, you may use any of the below mentioned markers:
Marker Description
Markers available for information relating to the form response
<<Request Date>> The date and time the request was submitted
<<Request Number>> The number assigned by the add-on for the request
<<Email Address>> The email address of the requestor
Any question title between << and >> markers For example, if you question is "What is your Full Name?", use the marker <<What is your Full Name?>>. The add-on will replace the marker with the response to that question. Copy the value from your Google Form question and paste it into your template to ensure it exactly matches the value between the markers (respecting spaces and upper / lower case)
Any calculated field between << and >> markers For example, you may want to include a calculation of the Tax or Total amount. To do this, add a new column to your spreadsheet and use the ARRAYFORMULA so it auto calculates the value with each form submission. For guidance on using Array Formulas, refer to the blog How to use Array Formulas with Google Forms
Markers available for information relating to the approval history
<<Overall Status>> The status of the request as a whole
<<Recipient 1>> The email address of the first recipient
<<Recipient 1 Status>> The status of the first recipient
<<Recipient 1 Issue Date>> The date and time the request was sent to the first recipient
<<Recipient 1 Response Date>> The date and time the request was responded to by the first recipient
<<Recipient 1 Comment>> The comment provided by the first recipient with their response
<<Recipient 1 Signature>> New! The signature provided by the first recipient. This marker is only applicable to recipients with the 'Needs to Sign' role type. This marker is currently only available for use in Google Doc templates.
When using Multiple choice grid or Checkbox grid question types, use the markers <<Your question title [row label]>>, where row label is the label of each grid row in your question.
Tip: When using the approval history markers (e.g <<Recipient 1 Signature>>), the recipient number is based on the recipient's position in the workflow after all logic / conditions have been evaluated. That is, their position as shown within the Detailed Approval Records sheet. If their position changes on each request, add markers for each possible position.
Remove tracking links from notifications
The add-on will hyperlink the Request # on all notifications by default. If you do not want users to be able to track the status of requests (e.g in the case of third parties), the tracking link can be removed:
  1. From your Google Form, open the add-on.
  2. Click on the 'Settings' tab.
  3. Click on the 'Email Editor' button.
  4. Within the Email Editor, click 'Other'.
  5. Deselect the notification types you want the tracking link removed from.
  6. Once done, click the yellow 'Save & close' button.
Hide sections of the form response in notifications:
When using the <<Form Response Table>> marker on your notifications, all form response data is included by default. To limit what sections are included by the add-on, follow the below steps.
This is particularly useful if your form respondent is entering information that recipients don't need to see.
  1. From your Google Form, open the add-on.
  2. Click on the 'Settings' tab.
  3. Click on the 'Email Editor' button.
  4. Within the Email Editor, click 'Other'
  5. 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.
  6. 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).
  7. Once done, click the yellow 'Save & close' button.
Note, when limiting what sections are included on your notifications, all questions must have a unique name.
What's next: