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Word 2011 for Mac: Insert Text Input Form Fields into Documents

3 of 12 in Series: The Essentials of Making Forms in Office 2011 for Mac

Making a form in Word 2011 for Mac is as simple as choosing appropriate form controls from the Developer tab of the Office 2011 for Mac Ribbon, placing them in your Word document, and then enabling your form by turning protection on. The text input field is the most common form field. You might have filled in thousands of them in your lifetime. Name, address, and phone number are appropriate for text fields.

To add a text input field to a document:

  1. In an open Word document, place the insertion point where you want to insert a text form field.

  2. Click the Text Box Field button on the Developer tab of the Ribbon.

    A gray box (the form field) appears in your document at the insertion cursor position, and the fun begins.

  3. Click the gray box to select it and then click the Options button on the Ribbon.

Double-clicking a form control (while the form is not protected) displays the Options dialog for that form control.

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The Text Form Field Options dialog is devilishly simple, yet brilliant. When you click the Type pop-up menu and choose a text field type, the rest of the Text Form Field Options dialog changes to offer appropriate choices based on your selection. Here are the six types of text form fields from which to choose:

  • Regular Text: Word displays whatever is typed.

  • Number: Numbers can be formatted and used in calculations.

  • Date: Dates can be formatted.

  • Current Date: Displays the current date in your form.

  • Current Time: Displays the current time in your form.

  • Calculation: Calculates values based on entries made in numeric fields.

The Text Form Field Options dialog allows these options for Regular Text:

  • Type: Choose a field type as described in the previous paragraph.

  • Maximum Length: Specify the number of characters allowed in the field.

  • Default Text: This text appears as a prompt in the field.

  • Text Format: Choose a text formatting option from the pop-up menu.

  • Run Macro On: If macros are available to this document, you can choose one to be triggered as the form field is clicked into or exited.

  • Field Settings: These settings are available:

    • Bookmark: Add a bookmark name to your form field.

    • Calculate on Exit: If you have calculated fields, select this check box to have them calculate when exiting the form field.

    • Fill-In Enabled: Select this check box so your field can be typed in.

    • Add Help Text button: This opens the Form Field Help Text dialog that enables you to add a prompt or explanatory text about the form field. This help text appears in the status bar at the bottom of the document window, or you can have it appear when the user presses the Help button on the keyboard (but not from the Help option you see when you right-click or Control-click the field).

Work with form fields and set their options while the form is unprotected (or unlocked). You have to protect (or lock) a form before you can fill in the form fields.

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