One of the biggest advantages of using forms in Microsoft Word is that you can send them via email to customers or clients to get quick feedback or data from them. Whether you want an application form to be filled up or plan on conducting a survey for a new product launch, Word makes it possible to create a fillable form to match your requirements. If you are not sure how to get started, this tutorial should be your guide.
Note: This tutorial was done on Word 2010 but should work in Word 2013 as well.
How to Create a Fillable Form in Word
Step 1: Activate the Developer Tab
1. Open Word.
2. Select the File tab and then select Options.
3. In the Word Options dialog box that opens up, select the Customize Ribbon tab.
4. In the Customize the Ribbon list box, check the Developer check box and click OK.
Now you will see the Developer tab displayed on the Ribbon with its own set of groups and commands.
Step 2: Use a Predesigned Form Template (Option 1)
Microsoft offers a wide range of form templates that can be readily modified to match your requirements. You can make use of these predesigned templates or you can create a fillable form from scratch.
1. To use a predesigned template, select the File menu and click New.
2. In the Office.com Templates section, click Form.
3. Select a form from the gallery and then on the right pane, click Download.
4. Once the download is complete, the form will open up and you can start editing it.
Although the Office Template gallery has plenty of forms in its repository, you may not always find a form that best suits your work needs. In such cases, you’ll want to create a fillable form from scratch. Let’s see how to do this.
Create a Fillable Form in Word from Scratch (Option 2)
1. Select the File tab and click New.
2. In the Available Templates section, click My templates.
3. In the New dialog box that opens up, verify that Blank Document is selected. Then at the bottom of the window, select Template and click OK to create a blank template.
4. Save this template as Form Template 1.
5. Start populating the form by entering all your required information. Let’s say you want to create a form to collect information from potential recruits to your firm. You need to ask some basic questions such as:
a. Your Name:
c. Date of Birth:
h. What is your dream job and why?
i. If you were the CEO of Apple, what is the number one thing you would do for your employees?
For each of these questions, you will need to prepare different types of response controls.
Name will require a text response; Age can be selected from a drop down list, Date of Birth will require a date response; Sex can be registered via a check box; Address, phone number and email will require a text response; the last two questions will require a lengthy response so a rich text response is required.
Once that is determined, you are ready to start populating your form.
6. Select the Developer tab. On the Controls group, select Design Mode.
7. On the blank word document, enter Name: Then on the Developer tab, in the Controls group, select the Plain Text Content Control button. This will allow users to input plain text with no formatting.
Then enter your next question Age: this requires a dropdown input. On the Controls group, click the Drop-Down List Content Control button.
Then right-click the button and select properties. In the Content Control Properties dialog box, click Add.
In the Add choice dialog box, add your first age range, say 25-35. Click Add again to add another age range and repeat the process until you have covered the required age ranges.
To check the end result, click the Design Mode button to disable it. Now click inside the age group. You should see options like this:
Now on to the 3rd question, which is the Date of Birth. For this, you click the Date Picker Content Control. This will display a calendar for the user to select a date.
For inputting Sex, you first need to enter male, then, in the Controls group, click the Checkbox control. Again enter Female and then add another Checkbox control and so on.
For questions e.f.and g add a text control as you did for question 1.
For the last two longer questions you can add a Rich Text Content Control button. This will create a field that will allow users to enter their response.
This is how your form will look in Design mode.
And this is how it will appear when you disable the Design mode.
If you want to apply some formatting to your controls, say you want to highlight a control in a light blue color, you simply turn on Design mode, add the highlight color and then disable the mode.
Protecting Your Form with Editing Restrictions
You can protect your template to ensure that anyone using the form are only able to edit information inside the form controls. To do this:
1. On the Developer tab, in the Protect group, click Restrict Editing.
2. In the Restrict Formatting and Editing pane on the right, check the Editing restrictions box and select Filling in Forms from the drop down menu.
3. Then, click Yes, Start Enforcing Protection.
4. In the Start Enforcing Protection dialog box, enter an optional password if you want the form template to be password protected. If you don’t want password protection, just leave it blank and click OK.
5. Save the protected template.
That’s it! You have just learned how to create a basic fillable form in Word. When you send the DOTX file to others, it will open up as a normal word document that they can fill out. When the form if filled, they can send it back to you via email.