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Microsoft Word 2003/2004

Word Forms: Creating a Word Form

Word forms are a convenient option for forms that are used regularly by multiple users. When saved as a template and stored on a shared network drive, they are accessible and can be completed using Word. Word forms can be used repeatedly and modified without making hard copies. This document helps you, the form writer, begin to create a form and save it for completion by the user. If you are unfamiliar with forms and would like tips on planning and designing a form, refer to Word Forms: An Overview.

return to topCreating a Form

A Word form is basically a Word document with some special features for inputting information or answering questions. These features include form fields accessed through the Forms toolbar. The actual prompt or question is text typed by you into the Word document; the location of the answers or information entered by the user are controlled by the form fields you insert.

  1. Windows: From the File menu, select New...
    The New Document task pane appears.

  2. Windows: In the New section, click BLANK DOCUMENT
    Macintosh: From the File menu, select New Blank Document

  1. Display the Forms toolbar
    NOTE: The Forms toolbar allows you to insert and customize form fields.

  2. Type the form, including form field headings and prompts and/or questions

  3. Using the buttons on the Forms toolbar, add the desired form fields
    HINT: For help with form fields, refer to Working with Form Fields.

return to topProtecting a Form

Protecting a form de-activates the Forms toolbar and activates the form fields, so users cannot alter the template itself (prompts/questions, headings, format) but can input information into the form fields. Unprotecting the form re-activates the Forms toolbar and de-activates the form fields so that the form writer can make changes. A form must be protected to be completed; likewise, it must be unprotected to be edited.

A form may be protected with or without a password. It is not necessary to protect a form with a password if you are merely testing the form fields as you continue to create and edit the form; however, a password-protected form is less likely to be tampered with once the form is saved for users. If a password is used to protect the form, the same password will be used to unprotect the form. Similarly, if no password is used to protect the form, no password will be required to unprotect the form.

NOTE: At anytime while creating or editing a form, you can test "completing" it. To do this, the form must be protected.

Protecting a Form: Without a Password

  1. On the Forms toolbar, click PROTECT FORMProtect Form button
    The Forms toolbar is de-activated and the form is protected.

To unprotect the form:

  1. On the Forms toolbar, click PROTECT FORMProtect Form button
    The Forms toolbar is activated and the form is unprotected.

Protecting a Form: With a Password

Windows:

  1. From the Tools menu, select Protect Document...
    The Protect Document task pane appears.

  2. In the Editing restrictions section, from the Allow only this type of editing in the document pull-down list, select Filling in forms

  3. From the Start enforcement section, click YES, START ENFORCING PROTECTION
    The Start Enforcing Protection dialog box appears.

  4. In the Enter new password (optional) text box, type a password
    NOTE: You will need this password to unprotect the form so choose something that you will remember, or write it down.

  5. In the Reenter password to confirm text box, type the same password

  6. Click OK
    The document is protected.

Macintosh:

  1. From the Tools menu, select Protect Document...
    The Protect Document dialog box appears.

  2. In the Protect document for section, select Forms:

  3. OPTIONAL: To protect only parts of a form,
    1. Click SECTIONS...
      The Section Protection dialog box appears.
      NOTE: Your form must be in separate sections to use this option.
    2. Deselect the sections you do not want protected
      NOTE: A section is not selected when there is no check mark in front of it.
    3. Click OK

  4. In the Password (optional) text box, type a password
    NOTE: You will need this password to unprotect the form so choose something that you will remember, or write it down.

  5. Click OK
    The Confirm Password dialog box appears.

  6. In the Reenter password to open text box, enter your password

  7. Click OK
    The document is protected.

To unprotect the form:

  1. From the Tools menu, select Unprotect Document
    OR
    Click PROTECT FORMProtect Form button
    The Unprotect Document dialog box appears.

  2. In the Password text box, type the password

  3. Click OK
    The document is unprotected.

return to topSaving a Form

It is important to save your form in Word so that it can be retrieved for later use. You can save the form using either of two methods: saving as you work or saving when you are ready for users to complete the form.

Saving Forms: As You Work

As with any Word document, it is recommended that you save periodically as you work on a form.

  1. From the File menu, select Save As...
    The Save As dialog box appears.

  2. Windows: From the Save in pull-down list, select a location for the file
    Macintosh: From the Where pull-down list, select a location for the file

  3. Windows: In the File name text box, type a file name
    Macintosh: In the Save As text box, type a file name

  4. Click SAVE

Saving Forms: When Ready for Use

In order to share the form from a central location, you should save the form as a template. When users open the template, they will receive a copy of the form to complete. Each time the template is opened, it will appear in the form in which you last saved it.

  1. Protect the form

  2. From the File menu, select Save As...
    The Save As dialog box appears.

  3. Windows: From the Save in pull-down list, select a location for the form
    Macintosh: From the Where pull-down list, select a location for the form
    NOTE: You should save this template with your other templates.

  4. Windows: From the Save as type pull-down list, select Document Template (*.dot)
    Macintosh: From the Format pull-down list, select Document Template

  5. Windows: In the File name text box, type a file name
    Macintosh: In the Save As text box, type a file name

  6. Click SAVE
    NOTE: For help using a Word form that has been created, refer to Using Word Forms

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