Helpful eForm & Note Formatting Tips

eForm formatting can be useful to make your Ocean eForms and Ocean-generated clinical notes easier for the reader to efficiently interpret the text. The following describes a few methods you can use to format your eForms and the clinical notes that they generate.

Using HTML to apply formatting styles:

In the eForm editor, you can use simple HTML tags in captions to make parts of the clinical note that is generated from your eForm either bold, underlined or italicized.

For example:

"This <b>word</b> will appear bold, these <i>two words</i> will appear italicized and these <u>last words</u> will appear underlined." will appear in the clinical note in your EMR as:

"This word will appear bold, these two words will appear italicized and these last words will appear underlined."

Including messages or simple text:

Add item(s) in your eForms as "Labels" for messages, such as instructions or consent information (as opposed to section captions, which are bolded automatically and can be overwhelming to read through). 

Adding blank space(s) between question items within forms:

If you just want to insert a blank line within the clinical note, the eForm editor has a quick and easy way to do this. Simply add in a "Blank Line" item from the dropdown menu from the blue plus (+) sign, which is next to Add Section.

Technically speaking, a blank line is just a "Label" item that can be built by following these steps:

  • Choose "Add Item".
  • In the General tab, enter a blank line in the Caption box and choose the type "Label".
  • In the Note Formatting tab, for "Create a note for this item", choose "Always".
  • (optional) In the Scripting and More tab, set "Show this field if:" to "false". This will hide the blank line in questionnaire mode.

Alternatively, you can format a custom note in order to put additional white space before or after an item. To do so:

  • Open your form in the eForm editor.
  • Click on the item that you want to surround with white space.
  • To insert a blank line before the item, copy and paste the item caption (from the General tab) into the "Custom Note" field (in the Note Formatting tab). Move your cursor to the beginning of the text in the "Custom Note" field and tap the "enter" key on your keyboard to insert a blank line before the caption text, i.e.:


Item Caption

  • To insert a blank line after the section, copy and paste the item caption followed by "$$" in the "Custom Note" field. Then tap the "enter" key on your keyboard to add a blank line after the text, i.e.:

Item Caption: $$


(Note: "$$" is a special tag in Ocean that represents the embedded note of the section.)

Changing the colour, order, spacing, etc. of eForm answers in the clinical note:

There are many customizable formatting options for the Ocean-generated clinical note, which can be configured in the Note Formatting tab of the eForm editor. For more on this, please see this article.


Learn More 

1. Getting Started with eForms 8. Multi-Page eForms
2. Creating a New Form & Understanding Form Structure 9. Action Menu - eForm Properties
3. General Tab - Adding eForm Items & Item Types 10. Action Menu - eForm Actions
4. Menu Choice Tab - Editing Menu Choices 11. Editing an Existing Form
5. Note Formatting Tab - Note Formatting for Items 13. Formatting Clinical Notes that Appear with Completed eForms or Sections
6. Scripting and More Tab - The Basics 14. Using Keywords to Automatically Insert Content
7. Adding a Section - Overview  
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