I'm constructing an order form that will use calculations, logic and then a total at the end before submitting. I cannot figure out how to use the calculation feature to add up all the line items as customer chooses options. It keeps giving me an error of:

Calculation must be formatted as a decimal ####.##.

Can anyone help?

  • Please include an example of your problem. What data are you trying to add? Mar 24, 2015 at 17:04

1 Answer 1


Cognito Forms supports calculations for many of the settings you can configure. Also, any time you are able to enter calculations, you are also able to just enter a literal/constant value.

Any option that supports calculations will have an = sign as a placeholder and a lightning bolt at the end, like the following:

enter image description here

You can click the lightning bolt to bring up the advanced editor, but you can also just enter your calculations right there.

If all you want is to provide a constant value, you can do so like this: enter image description here

But if you want to write a calculation, you must start with an = sign (similar to Excel) to let Cognito Forms know you are trying to calculate something:

enter image description here

I suspect in your case you just need to add an = sign at the front of your calculation.

If you are trying to calculate totals by adding the amounts for selections made for Choice fields (dropdown, radio buttons, or checkboxes) or for Yes/No fields (checkbox), you can use the specific FieldName_Amount property in your calculations. For example, if you have a Choice field named Model with assigned prices, and another Choice field named Wheel Package with assigned prices, you could calculate the total of these two fields with this calculation: =Model_Amount + WheelPackage_Amount.

Finally, any field marked to Collect Payment will automatically appear as line items at the bottom and will be automatically totaled for you. You may still need to use calculations for things like price discounts or custom line item descriptions, but simply showing and totaling line items is handled by Cognito Forms. Also, payment fields in Repeating Sections are automatically grouped when shown as line items on the invoice/receipt.

  • Sorry to be so daft. I have figured out the "Payment" line item part of it. I have four models and the user clicks a specific model and I want the specific price of that model to show up in the calculation; secondly, options then are calculated and conditional logic is applied when one option is chosen over another. I have not been able to format the calculations without receiving the same or similar error.
    – Deb
    Mar 26, 2015 at 14:25
  • Go ahead and submit a bug report through Cognito Forms so we can take a look at your specific form. Indicate which form and fields you are having problems with, and we'll take a look. Also, if you are using a Choice field with assigned prices, you can use the price of the selected item in your calculations using FieldName_Value, where FieldName is the name of your Choice field. Mar 26, 2015 at 14:47
  • Thanks Jamie - I'm actually quite embarrassed I cannot get the steps to this. I've submitted a bug report so you can see my dismay.
    – Deb
    Mar 26, 2015 at 16:19

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