Creating electronic forms (97/2000/2001/2002)

If you're still using Word's bullet symbols to create check boxes for printed forms, it's time to kick it up a notch. Word enables you to create interactive forms that can easily be shared with others and completed electronically.

To create an electronic form, first create a new, blank template or document. (Tip: Frequently-used forms are best saved as templates in a network folder or in the user templates folder on your hard drive. Single-use forms or forms that will be distributed via email are best saved as documents.) Next, choose View | Toolbars | Forms from the menu bar to display the Forms toolbar. Design your electronic form just as you would a printed form; however, instead of using tabbed underlines or the like for textual form blanks, click the Text Form Field button on the Forms toolbar to insert a text form field. Similarly, instead of using bullets or symbols to simulate check boxes, click the Check Box Form Field button on the Forms toolbar.

You can even add a dropdown list that contains answers to multiple- choice style questions. To do so, on the Forms toolbar, first click the Drop-Down Form Field button, and then click the Form Field Options button. In the Drop-Down Form Field Options dialog box, type one of the choices you wish to appear in the dropdown list in the Drop-Down Item text box, and then click Add. Repeat this process for each item you'd like to add. Use the Move buttons to reorganize the list order if necessary, and then click OK when you've finished.

Once your form is completed, you must protect it so that other users can fill it in. To protect the form, click the Protect Form button on the Forms toolbar. This protects your form elements so that users can add or modify the contents of the form's form fields, but they can't modify any of the form's other information. (Tip: If you'd like to password-protect your form, choose Tools | Protect Document from the menu bar, choose the Forms option button in the Protect Document dialog box, and then provide and confirm your password as prompted.) Save the form as you would any other template or document, and then distribute it as desired.


Created Date: 12/27/2001  Last Reviewed: 12/27/2001  Rev. Date: 

This site was last updated 07/20/08