Forms

You can create forms that enable users to choose among lists of options; forms that provide online help; even forms that guide users from start to finish.
Forms enable you to create interactive document and templates.


You can use forms if you want to make them available to users online either on a web page or on a shared network drive.
They can also be used if you prefer users complete the form on a computer before being printed or e-mailed back to you.
You can even create fields that automatically calculate the results of other fields such as multiplying values.
A form is just a regular document where the user provides specific information without the ability to change the content of the rest of the document.


If you want the forms to be completed online then creating a form is
If however some users will prefer to print out the form and complete it by hand then they will not be able to see any of the drop-down fields or the calculate fields.


Users can complete the form without changing the underlying form itself.
and if you are on a network you can use a network server as a central repository.
Form Fields added to a document when you create a form.
To make your templates easier to use you can add form fields.
Enables users to enter information more quickly and accurately.
A Form is basically a document with empty areas in which to collect and organise information.
They are typically used for questionnaires and surveys.
Form fields can be used to help build any document that is largely repetitive except for small areas of specific, individual information.


They can be used whenever you are gathering information from multiple users.


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When to use Forms ?

Forms can perform simple calculations however if you require more than just basic arithmetic you should consider using Excel or another application.
Forms built in Word can transfer their data directly to a database such as Microsoft Access.
If you want to integrate the information in the forms into a database then you should consider creating your forms in Microsoft Access instead of Microsoft Word
If your users do not have Microsoft Word (or Microsoft Access) installed then consider using a web-based form that can be used from within a browser.


Each type allows you to supply information in a particular way



Different Types of Forms

There are two different types of forms that can be created in Word.
1) Standard forms which are completed by users which have Microsoft Word installed and whose responses are limited to the specific areas and types of information.
2) Guided forms where you display a series of questions and the forms can fill themselves out as the user answers the relevant questions.



Since forms are normally protected users can only insert or select information. They cannot alter the document in any other way.


Form fields will not work unless the document is protected.



A good form requires some planning and consideration of the following questions;
1) What type of information do I want to capture ?
2) What types of questions will I ask ?
3) How much data do I want people to enter ?
4) How am I going to collate all the information ?


Try to keep your forms short and to always ask specific questions.
Be concise and careful in your choice of words and always provide additional help text.



Displaying the Form Fields




Forms Toolbar

The Forms toolbar must be used to insert the fields the user will use to fill in the data and to lock the document.
There are also some additional commands for creating tables.


Formatting Form Fields

You can format the form fields just as your would any other characters or text.
The fields will always retain their grey shading.
You can toggle the display of this shading using the Form Field Shading button on the Forms toolbar.


Controlling the Tab order

The default tab order for your form fields is from left to right and down starting with the form field closest to the top of the page.
You can change the tab order for your form fields by using an On Exit macro.

Public Sub ExitFormField1 
   Selection.GoTo What:=wdGoToBookmark, Name:="FormField2"
End Sub

Where "FormField2" is the bookmark name of next form field in the tab order.


Using Fonts

When applying font formatting to your forms always use a font that will be available on all the computers that will use the form.
If you use a font that is not available on a particular computer Windows will automatically substitute it for another font.
Always try and use the standard fonts: Arial, Times New Roman etc.


Advanced Calculations

It is possible to create complex calculations into a text form field but you need to be aware of the order of operation.
If you are in any doubt always use parentheses to make the order explicit.
It is possible to link this text field to a bookmark that you have previously created in the document.


Using ActiveX Controls

You can also add ActiveX controls from the Control Toolbox toolbar to your forms.
This will allow you to insert command buttons and other controls.
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If you are using additional ActiveX controls then the forms should not be used for the web.
Not all browsers recognise these ActiveX controls.


Using Outlook

Outlook has its own form generating capability and may be worth considering if you need good email support.



InfoPath

InfoPath is a more advanced type of form generation that enables users to create custom forms that save data in XMl format.
This makes it very easy for the data to be added to a database and used in other applications.
InfoPath is an alternative for people who use forms extensively and save them electronically.



Important

  • Forms are closely linked to macros and autotext


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