Diet Soda or Regular? Orange Juice or Apple? Webforms or PDFs?

You are at a crossroads. Your workspace has been created. You have logged in and clicked over to the Forms tab. And now you face a decision point: Do you use webforms or PDF forms (or both)?

This decision – admittedly – is a bit more complicated than choosing between, say, two types of soda pop or fruit juice.

When applicants are set to begin work on application forms, they have to decide whether to fill out any given form in a web browser or in Adobe Reader/Acrobat. This training video – recently updated – explains the how-to of each approach to forms.

In this post, we lay out the reasoning and upsides for each option. If, by the end of this post, you still don’t know what to do, we have some good news for you, too.

Why You Might Want to Use Webforms

  • When you fill out a webform, you only need to click the Webform link within your workspace and you can begin filling in data fields in your web browser. Because of this, webforms do require an internet connection.
  • Webforms are easy to navigate.
  • Data entered into webforms is automatically saved.
  • When filling out webforms, the only offline files you need to keep track of are the attachments you will upload into a specific webform.

Why You Might Want to Use Fillable PDFs

  • When you fill out a PDF form, you only need to download the file to your computer and make sure you have a compatible version of Adobe’s software. One key benefit of using PDF forms is the ability to complete them offline.
  • PDF forms can be easily shared over email with colleagues who do not have Grants.gov accounts.
  • There’s also a comfort level that comes with filling in PDF files. The file format has been around for a long time, so many users are familiar with it.

Can’t Make Up Your Mind?

Actually, you don’t have to.

Workspace allows users to jump between form types. When data is saved to a webform, it is immediately available on the PDF version upon download – and vice versa.

So, some team members may choose to fill in webforms while others may choose to fill in PDF forms. Both approaches will ultimately deliver the same data to the grant-making agency.

To learn more about webforms and PDF forms, explore the related help articles in our Online User Guide.

One thought on “Diet Soda or Regular? Orange Juice or Apple? Webforms or PDFs?

  1. That was a fun read and I would like to add that depending on the Grantor Agency you might not have a choice. I have experienced with DHS that would only take one of form types.

    Another boring topic you could add humor to would be which browser works on Grants.gov. I recently did a FTA application and after 2 hours of struggling and engagement with the help desk I learned that Chrome was not the preferred browser for web forms, as soon we figured it out and used explorer the two hours of frustration disappeared!

    Like

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