Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Understanding Forms.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 19, 2019)
Word provides a way that you can create standardized documents rather easily, allowing users to enter only the information that changes from one document to the next. These are called forms and they consist of a protected document template that has special fields inserted within the template. These fields indicate where the user of the form inserts their information.
Forms are typically used for documents in which there are only a few items that change in each iteration of the document. For instance, if you have a standard service contract, the only items that may change from one contract to another are the name of the person entering into the contract, the type of services provided, and the amount being charged for those services. Documents such as this are prime candidates for being defined as a form.
To create a form, you basically follow these steps:
Later, when the form is being used, someone creates a new document using your template. They can then only enter information in the fields you have defined. The new document can then be saved under any name desired and later recalled.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8302) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Understanding Forms.
Learning Made Easy! Quickly teach yourself how to format, publish, and share your content using Word 2013. With Step by Step, you set the pace, building and practicing the skills you need, just when you need them! Check out Microsoft Word 2013 Step by Step today!
Word doesn't require you to protect entire documents. Instead, you can protect different sections within a document, as ...Discover More
Word allows you to protect documents that are intended to be used as forms. If you want to convert the form responses ...Discover More
Are you developing a form with Word? In some instances it is advantageous to copy whatever is entered in a form field to ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.