Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Creating and Working with Forms
Creating and Working with Forms
Another type of document collaboration is to use a form. Similar to a printed form on
which someone provides information with pen and ink while not modifying the base form,
a form in Word can enable users to ill in requested information using Word. Such a form
has several advantages over its paper counterparts:
For each field you can provide instructions and guidance to assist the person filling
out the form.
You can use specialized controls that make filling out forms faster. For example, a
date picker content control displays a calendar on which the user can click a date. List
box controls offer a list of choices from which the user can select.
You can place limitations on certain types of form controls (such as allowing the entry
of numbers only).
The completed form is not only neater in appearance, but with some programming
expertise, you can extract data from the completed form and add it to a database or
a different document or application.
If you’ve used any of the sample templates furnished with Word 2010, you’ve probably
seen the light-blue frames that surround certain text-entry areas and contain an
explanation of what to enter to replace the placeholder text. Those framed areas are called content
controls , and it turns out that they’re perfect for data-entry fields in forms as well as other
types of documents.
Creating a Form Template
To make a form, you can start with a new, blank document. But why reinvent the wheel?
You might find a form template on Office.com that does what you need or, at the very
least, provides a starting point for customizing your own forms. Click File, New and then
explore the choices under Office.com Templates. A good place to start, naturally, is by
clicking Forms, but you might also want to use the search box to locate an appropriate
template.
Before you get into the nitty-gritty of entering form fields, create the document’s static
elements—items such as your company logo, form title, tables, and field labels. Use standard
editing techniques; there’s nothing special about a form document.
Save your work as a Word template. For the greatest convenience, save it in your template
files folder (by default, %AppData%\Microsoft\Templates). That way you can ill out the
form by choosing File, New, My Templates.
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