Office hacks: create a custom fillable form in Word

To create a complex fillable form, we usually need to write code or use a special online creation service, and there are many related descriptions. In fact, for our daily use of many fillable forms are relatively simple, no need for such trouble, in Word can be created. The following introduction are based on Word 2019 version.

1. Select a template for the form

First, in Word, click on the “File → Options → Customize ribbon → Home tab”, select “Development Tools”, so that the “Development Tools” menu displayed in Word interface (Figure 1).


Then, click “File→New” to create a new document. In the “New” pane, we can either directly select “Blank Document” to start working, or we can select a ready-made template from the online templates given below, or we can also enter keywords through the search box to get the online templates available for use. Here we choose the “Blue-Grey Resume” template (Figure 2). After selecting this template, click the “Create” button in the subsequent window to load this template.


2. add content to the form

If we have chosen a blank template, or if we have selected a template with some missing components, then we must first add the necessary content controls. To do this, first click on the “Design Mode” button under “Development Tools” and then add content using the control buttons provided in the “Controls” panel. For example, click on the Text Control button to add a text field, click on the Date Picker button to add a date control, click on the Checkbox button to insert a checkbox, etc. (Figure 3).


3. Define or modify the properties of the content control

Once the required controls have been added, you can modify the properties of each part based on the existing controls. First select a control, then click on the “Properties” button in the “Control” column and fill in or modify it in the “Content Control Properties” dialog that pops up (Figure 4). In the design mode, click the content control that contains the description information, enter the description text, and then close the design function to save the description.


4. Add protection to the form

Press Ctrl+A in the page, then click the “Restrict Editing” button in the “Development Tools” panel, then select the option under “Formatting Restrictions” and choose the formatting items you want to restrict editing from the From the “Formatting Restrictions” dialog list, select the formatting items you want to restrict editing (such as whether you can use annotated text or quotes, switch themes or schemes, etc.) to decide whether to allow certain styles or formats. This prevents users from applying formatting or styles directly to the document and keeps the document structure from being changed at will (Figure 5).


Next, select the restriction type in the “Edit Restrictions” option list. For example, if you select the “Fill Forms” option, you will only be allowed to fill forms in the document and cannot modify other content. Click the “Confirm” button to make the implementation protection effective. Finally, save the document and a fillable form will be designed.

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