If you’re about to give out forms in digital format to your target audience in order get them filled, you should consider adding check-boxes, drop-down menus, combo boxes and other types of controlled input elements that may help users in filling out forms without any issues. The input controlled-powered forms save the time that users would’ve spent understanding the required syntax of the answers. Word 2013 offers a variety of such forms input controls for creating forms without the need of having to use any specialized tool set or knowledge in programming languages. In this post, we will guide you through the process of creating simple data entry forms in Word 2013.
Word 2013 supports numerous form controls and other complementary elements that are used to make one professional user data entry form, but all these controls are not visible in default UI setup. So, before you begin, enable the Developer tab on the ribbon to access the form controls. To do so, head over to File–>Options to open Word Options window. Now, choose Customize Ribbon option from left side, check the Developer box and then click OK to enable it on the ribbon.
You will see a newly added Developer tab on the ribbon. Navigate to the tab to access form controls and many other developer-related features.
Create a Simple Form
Type in the simple form details shown in the screenshot below.
Adding Rich Text Menu
For the name option, we will use the ‘Rich Text’ feature. Place your cursor besides the name text and click the Rich Text Content Control icon inside the Controls section. While having the tag selected, click the Design Mode button. This will let you change the text of the screen tip(tag) according to your liking. We entered the phrase “Please type your full name.”, as shown in the following screenshot.
Adding a Checkbox Menu
We will use the Checkbox Content Control feature for the gender option in our form. Type in ‘Male’ and while placing the cursor in front of it, click the checkbox icon on the developer panel. Repeat the same procedure with the Female gender option.
Adding a Drop Down List Menu
We will use Drop Down List control for the Profession option. Hit the drop down icon in the controls menu. Now keeping the tag selected, click the Properties option in the Controls menu. Under Drop Down List Properties, start adding your desired options. Select OK to confirm the changes. You will see new options in your drop down menu.
Adding a Date Picker Menu
In order to let users easily select the date, you can use the Date Picker Content Control option. Simply place your cursor in next to Date text and select ‘Date Picker Content Control’ option from the Controls menu. You can select the date picker tag and go to its properties section to select the type of date format you want.
Protect Your Form
What’s the point of creating a form if anyone having access to the file can easily modify it? To protect your template from unwanted changes, move to Protect section in the Developer tab and select Restrict Editing. A new menu will pop-up, letting you choose Filling in forms option from the drop down menu. Now click Yes, Start Enforcing Protection to protect your form from unauthorized access. You will be asked to type in a password. However, if you don’t want to password-protect the form, simply ignore it by clicking OK and you’re done!
Saving Your Form
It’s recommended to save your Form as a template (.dotx) rather than a normal Word document (.docx). In order to do that, Head over to FILE –>Save As and select Word Template (.dotx) from the Save as type drop down menu. Type in the name for the document and select Save to save the form at specified location.
While the above guide may only help you create simple user data entry forms, you can further explore the form controls and even make use of VB code editor to include more input restrictions and customize native form controls.