Basic rules: Create the form using the forms toolbar. Protect it. Here's the
First, you need the Forms toolbar. Turn it on by going to ViewàToolbarsàForms.
Here's the Forms toolbar, let's get to know it better.
I have never used the tables or frame tools here, so I don't
explain them. However, I do strongly recommend tables to create forms whenever
your forms are laid out in "boxes".
From left to right, here's the buttons we're reviewing. The
options dialog boxes are accessed by double-clicking the field, or by hitting
the Form Field Options button.
Text Form Field
This inserts a field designed for text entry. You can format it
for other things by double-clicking it, or by hitting the Form Field Options
icon. Change the type drop-down to a desired field type, such as a number or
date. You can set a maximum number of characters to be entered for items like
account numbers. You can choose Date as the type, and change the Text format to
read Sunday, June 19, 2005 instead of 6/19/2005.
You can also set a bookmark name here. Leave it as the default
Text# or change it to something meaningful, such as CoName. Then, when you later
want the Company name to appear again without making the user type it again, you
can create a
reference to the bookmark. If you plan to use the values entered in these
text form fields later in calculations, please check the Calculate on exit box!
Doing so makes your calculation field update as the values on which it is
dependent are entered.
Check Box Form Field
I don't think I've ever checked these options out before, but
here they are. Unfortunately, checkboxes don't work like option buttons do. If
you place multiple checkboxes, then multiple checkboxes can be chosen. If you
want only one checkbox to be chosen, you need Office VBA:
Macros You Can Use Today, which contains a macro by
Cindy Meister that
you can use, or you need to use Option buttons from the Control
Toolbox. Either option requires macro code.
Drop-Down Form Field
Drop-Downs are very cool and extremely easy to make. The only
drawback is that you're limited to 25 entries, so you can't use it for days of
the month or to list the US states.
Tip: If you don't want an item chosen by
default (or perhaps you want your form to be "blank" for printing), enter spaces
in the Drop-down item box to create a "blank" item, just make sure you move it
to the top.
Protect the Form
This button is used to test your form while you create it.
Protect the form to see how your form fields will work. Unprotect to continue
building your form.
You don't have to use it, but I recommend it. When your form is
completely built and you're ready to distribute it, choose ToolsàProtect
Document from the menu to bring up the Protect Document task pane. Choose
Editing restrictions, and Filling in forms.
You may only want to
areas of your document. Once you're done, hit the Yes, Start Enforcing
Protection button and (we highly recommend) enter a password.
For best results, create your forms in tables. Place the label
in one cell and the form field in another cell next to it.
To restrict entry to a certain amount of space, insert a
one-row, one-column table, and set the row height to "Exactly".
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