## Learn how to use masks to format the information being collected in your Smart Form.

A mask contains a pattern that defines the answer value. Respondents must enter an answer that fits the mask pattern. A mask can also be used to change the answer’s appearance by adding spaces or other characters. Here are a few simple mask examples.

### Answer must contain a specific number of characters

Let’s say the answer is an employee number. If all employee numbers are 10-digits long, you would use the mask **9999999999**.

The mask has 10 numbers, which means the answer must contain 10 numbers. Each number in the mask represents the highest number that can be entered in that position. In this example, any number from 0-9 can be used for each digit in the employee number.

### Answer is a phone number

If the answer is a phone number, you could use a mask like **(999) 999-9999**.

As in the previous example, the mask specifies that the answer must contain 10 numbers, and each number can have a value from 0-9. This mask also adds formatting with parentheses around the area code, a space and a dash.

### Answer is a postal code

If the answer is a postal code, you can use the mask **@9@ 9@9** to make sure it’s entered correctly.

The mask specifies that the answer must contain 6 characters. The 1st, 3rd and 5th characters must be a letter; the 2nd, 4th and 6th characters must be a number from 0-9. The mask also adds a space after the 3rd character.