i have a form at http://ganinfo.org/get-involved/membership/
i need to change the name format to first and last name fields. unfortunately, my form field is locked out to change the name format.
This is because you already have entries for that form, and Gravity Forms doesn't want you to break anything (if you have old data using one format, and new data using the new format, Gravity Forms gets all wonky). Your easiest solution would be to duplicate your form (then the duplicate won't have entries) You can then change the format and embed the duplicate on your site.
that's what i thought. can i just instead, add a new name field, and hide the old one?
You could, but I think my way would be better/safer. I just don't want you to have any data issues later on when you do your export (because that hidden field will have a bunch of empty values).
It is up to you though. You should export your current data before you mess with the form. Also, maybe make a duplicate just in case. :) Let me know when you get it tested and working.