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: Saving and Using a Form.

Saving and Using a Form

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 19, 2019)

Once you have defined all the text and fields that make up your form, you are ready to save it and use it. As the final step before saving, you should make sure you click on the Protect Form button on the Forms toolbar (this is the button with a padlock on it). This protects the form from inadvertent changes, and it means that only the contents of the various fields can be changed by the user.

Now you need to save your form as a document template. To do this, follow these steps:

  1. Press F12. Word displays the Save As dialog box.
  2. Using the Save As Type drop-down list, select Word Template. (If your template contains macros you should choose Word Macro-Enabled Template instead.)
  3. If necessary, change to the directory where the template is to be stored. (You should store the template in the same directory as your other document templates.)
  4. In the File Name field, enter the name under which you want this template saved.
  5. Click on Save.

The template is now saved, and you can close the document on your screen. When you later want to use the form, the following steps will create a blank form based on the template you just saved. Follow these steps if you are using Word 2013 or a later version:

  1. Click the File tab of the ribbon and then click New. Word displays options for creating your new document. By default, Word shows various built-in and online templates.
  2. Above the top-left option (below the Search box) click Personal. Word displays any templates you previously created.
  3. Click the form template you previously created.

If you are using Word 2010, follow these steps instead:

  1. Click the File tab of the ribbon and then click New. Word displays options for creating your new document. By default, Word shows various built-in and online templates.
  2. In the Available Templates area (near the top of the screen) click My Templates. Word displays the Personal Templates tab of the New dialog box.
  3. Select the form template you previously created.
  4. Click on OK.

Finally, if you are using Word 2007 follow these steps:

  1. Click the Office button and then click New. Word displays the New Document dialog box.
  2. In the Templates area of the pane, click the New From Existing link. This action informs Word that you want to create a new document based on a template (or document) that resides on your computer. Word displays the New From Existing Document dialog box.
  3. Using the controls in the dialog box, locate and select the form template you previously created.
  4. Click on Create New.

At this point Word creates a new document based on the template you selected. You can now proceed to use the form in the following manner:

  1. Use the Tab key to move between fields in your document, entering information as you go.
  2. When you are done entering information, print your form, if desired.
  3. Press F12. Word displays the Save As dialog box.
  4. Using the Save As Type drop-down list, select Word Document.
  5. If necessary, change to the directory where the form should be stored.
  6. In the File Name field, enter the name under which you want this document saved.
  7. Click on Save.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (8304) 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: Saving and Using a Form.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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