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Microsoft Office 2007 has a lot of different tools that you can use to create forms. For example, you can create forms in Microsoft Visio. I have a friend who's recreated the entire United States 1040 Tax Form in Microsoft PowerPoint; I'm not sure why. But the tools that are more typically used to create forms in Microsoft Office are some of the core applications. For example, you could create forms in Microsoft Access. If you already have an Access Database and people need to enter information or view information, the odds are good that you have created forms already for that database.
You can also use Access to create forms to view information and enter information in Microsoft SQL Server. Microsoft Excel is a great form creation tool if you have needs for calculation in a Form. Microsoft Excel is the best calculation engine we have in Office, so if I'm creating an expense form that has subtotals and totals, I might be drawn very quickly to Microsoft Excel. The newest form creation tool in Office 2007 is called InfoPath, and it is exactly that: a Form Creation tool. Unlike Access and Excel, it doesn't have a way to store information and then put it somewhere else.
InfoPath was originally conceived as a front end Form tool for an orchestration engine called BizTalk. But it's more commonly used today to create forms that you want to distribute to others by email, or where you want to share the content or store the content in SharePoint. Microsoft Outlook also has a Form Editor and you'd use it to create, for example, a New Meeting Form, a New Appointment Form, to revise the Contact Form, to customize the existing Outlook forms to extend their functionality for use in your workplace.
So with all of these different tools to create forms, why do we create so many of our forms in Microsoft Word? Well, one reason is, there are more Word users than there are InfoPath users or Excel users, or Outlook users. There's a large installed user base. So I can assume that if someone uses Office at all, that they probably will be using Microsoft Word. Microsoft Word is also a very easy to use product, so if I send someone a form in Word, the odds are good that they'll actually be able to use it without any additional assistance from me.
The same is probably not true of a form that I send them in Access or in Excel. Finally, Word lets you create beautiful forms. This isn't the only gorgeous form creation tool here, but it's one of the best. And so I can create really good forms, easy -to-use, that have lots and lots of folks able to use them because there are so many Microsoft Word users. This will drive me back to Microsoft Word for my form creation over and over and over again. So we know there are lots of different ways to create forms, but in this course we're going to focus on the fabulous forms that you can create using Microsoft Word 2007.
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