Although Microsoft Word is primarily used to generate letters, mailings, newsletters, and other types of documents, you can use Word to gather data as well. Thanks to the Forms feature, you can turn your document into a fillable form. You can add text fields, check boxes and drop-down menus to your form and retrieve the information you need from users. Before you can make a fillable form, you'll need to protect the form, so your form fields won't be edited.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Open a new document in Microsoft Word.
Make the "Forms" toolbar visible by right-clicking anywhere in the toolbar and selecting "Customize" from the pop-up list. Then add a checkmark to "Forms" under the "Toolbars" tab and click on "Close".
Type in the instructions for your form at the top of your page. Then press the "Enter" key a few times.
Type in the first data you want to gather in your fillable form, such as "Name". Then press the "Tab" key on your keyboard.
Select the "Text Form Field" button from the "Forms" toolbar. A shaded rectangle will appear on the line. Double-click on the rectangle to edit the text field.
Choose the type of form field you want to create from the "Type" drop-down list in the "Text Form Field Options" dialogue box. Type in the default text you want displayed beside it. Then pick the format of the text in the "Text format" drop-down list or leave it blank and press "OK".
Repeat steps four, five and six to add more questions and text fields to your Word document.
Type in the data you want to gather on your page for a drop-down box, such as "Gender". Then press the "Tab" key and select the "Drop-Down Form Field" button from the "Forms" toolbar.
Double-click the shaded rectangle on your page to edit the drop-down form fields. The "Drop-Down Form Field Options" dialogue box will open.
Type the first menu item you want to gather (e.g., "Male") in the "Drop-down item" text box. Then click on "Add". Proceed to add another menu item (e.g., "Female") and click on "Add".
Select "Drop-down enabled", then click on "OK" to return to your document.
Type in the data you want to gather on your page for a check box, such as "You are between 20-29 years old." Then press the "Tab" key.
Add a check box field to your form by selecting the "Check Box Form Field" button from the "Forms" toolbar. A shaded check box will appear on your page. Double-click on the check box to edit it. Then select the "Default value" for the check box in the "Check Box Form Field Options" dialogue box and press "OK".
Select the "Protect Form" button in the "Forms" toolbar and save your work.
Tips and warnings
- You can protect your form even further by adding a password to it. To do so, select "Tools" and "Protect Document" from the toolbar and go to the "Protect Document" task pane. Then add a check mark to "Allow only this type of editing in the document" and choose "Filling in forms" from the drop-down list.
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