The "Working with Forms" module provides you with the instructions and devices to develop your hands on skills in the following topics: Understanding Form Elements, Working with a Legacy Form.

Lab time: It will take approximately 90 minutes to complete this lab.

Exercise 1 - Understanding Form Elements

By now, you should have the skill to easily create a printed form that recipients can write answers on and return to you. Word also allows you to create electronic forms using special fields. When you distribute an electronic form as a Word document or web page, other users can fill it out and return it with the data in digital form, so that you can use it later.

You will learn how to:

  • Add form controls to a document
  • Control form permissions
  • Distribute forms

In general, any form in any application has two necessary elements: data fields and labels. Data fields are the areas of the form that hold user input, and labels are the existing content that explains what data the user needs to enter. This means that data fields have to be editable by users, but labels do not.

In some applications, data fields and labels are explicitly paired when you create them. In Word, they're not. Labels are regular document text, and you can insert data fields, or controls, into the form wherever you like. You can even easily lock it, so that users can enter data but not modify the rest of the document.

Even if you don't lock a document, controls stand out in Word. They're visually distinct, and by default, most include uniformly formatted placeholder text. When you select one, it's surrounded by a frame, including the control's name.

Exercise 2 - Working with a Legacy Form

In addition to content controls, you can also insert the older legacy tools. These include legacy form controls, used by earlier versions of Word, and ActiveX controls, which were designed for web pages but can be used in documents via macros. Legacy tools don't have all the features and convenience of content controls, but they're compatible with older versions of Word, and you can use them in the .doc format used by Word 2003 (and earlier). Word 2003 users can't use forms with content controls, even if they have the add-on to view .docx files.

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