[resubmitted, last post disappeared]
There are dropdown lists and there are free text fields. Both have uses.
What I think would be great is a 'dynamic' dropdown list. It would work this way. You have a free text comment field, say Suggested_Repair. After entering a large number of surveys, it dawns on you that the same long paragraphs are being typed in very frequently. You're sick of retyping this text over and over again. So...
Next to the field on the form is a little button. You click it. The form software analyses the previous entries for Suggested_Repair and then presents a dynamically built drop down of all the past entries, but sorted by frequency of entry. So that comment you are so sick of typing is right there to click on. You click on it and bingo, the text is used to populate the text field.
As an alternative, rather than build the dropdown list dynamically from past entries, you could allow the user to explicitly populate the list. It could work like this... The user clicks a button next to a free text field, a table opens. they type into this table the commonly used text items they want to be able to subsequently use. Then next time they are filling out the form, they can go to this table 'quick pick' from the list. This copies the selected text to the related textfield, and they are free to modify it. Its a bit like having notepad open in the background with frequently used text in it, and using Copy and Paste.to transfer it to iforms.
I think this would be a huge time saver, and overcome the conundrum for the form builder of how to provide time saving dropdown lists when you don't know what they will find in the field.
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