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Creating Basic Interactive Forms in Microsoft Word

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Creating Basic Interactive Forms in Microsoft Word

Before making your form interactive, be sure it is not a multi-part NCR form and does not have to be printed on card stock.

To create a form, open the Forms panel (View > Toolbars > Forms).

  • Use the Text Form Field (marked ab| on the Forms panel) to lay out a text field:       To make the text field easy to see, click on Form Field Shading on the panel.

    As a text field is filled in by the user, it expands as the letters are added, and can cause other characters on the same line to be pushed down into the next line. To avoid this, you can put fields on separate lines. Or you can limit the number of characters that can be typed into the field: right click on the text field, choose properties, (or click on the Form Options button on the Forms panel) and fill in the Maximum Length option. This is especially appropriate for shorter fields like phone numbers and zip codes; it allows you to have multiple fields on the same line.

  • Use the Check Box Form Field to lay down a check box: . If you right click on the check box and open Properties, you can set the size of the box and determine if it is checked or unchecked by default.

  • A dropdown form field is appropriate when the user has a number of specific options to choose from (for instance, Satisfied, Very Satisfied, Dissatisfied; Level 1, Level 2, Level 3; Poor, Fair, Excellent; etc). To insert, click on the Drop-Down Form Field button on the Forms panel:  Right click on the field and choose Properties. In the dialog box that opens up, type in the items one at a time and hit the “Add” arrow each time to add to the list. Once your list is made, you can use the up and down arrows to the right to rearrange items.

    As with the other fields, the drop-down will not be active until you click Protect Form (the padlock icon) on the Forms panel. Notice that you cannot add fields when the Protect Form button is engaged.

To secure your document so that others cannot change your layout and words (this is highly recommended), add Protect Document. Go to Tools > Options. In the dialog box that appears, click on the Security tab at the top, and then select Protect Document. The Protect Document panel will open to the right of your document.

  • Once your document is finished, check the “Allow only…” box under Editing Restrictions. From the drop-down, choose “Filling in Forms.”

  • Under Start Enforcement, choose “Yes, Start Enforcing Protection.”

  • You may choose to not enter a password, in which case anyone can open your document and make changes. Most forms on the LCPS Web site are password protected. If your form is to be put on the LCPS site, contact the LCPS Webmaster for an appropriate password.

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