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Many of us who created forms in Word 2003 and then in Word 2007 were disappointed and even annoyed that there was no checkbox content control provided in Microsoft Word 2007. Word 2010 has a Checkbox content control. It's back again and that's great, because this is a very useful control. You'll use a checkbox anytime somebody has only two choices: true or false, yes or no, a zero or one value. So if I want to say yes to something or opt out, that's the perfect use for a checkbox.
The only reason you might not want to use the checkbox control is if you are creating forms that will be used by Word 2007 as well as Word 2010 users. If a Word 2007 user opens a form that has a checkbox in it, Word 2007 doesn't know what to do with it, so when they click on it nothing happens. If you're developing forms in this mixed environment with 2007 and 2010 users for right now, I'd like to refer you to the lynda.com Online Training Library Word 2007: Forms in Depth, which has a great chapter on what to do when you don't have a checkbox control to insert.
Let's go and see how we use the Checkbox control here in Word 2010 forms. Our form has seven different places that we could actually put in checkboxes to good effect. For example, we could put checkboxes in front of each of these six items and then down below we have a choice that says, 'I wish to have my gift remain anonymous', which is clearly a yes or no choice also. So let's go ahead and see what it's like to drop a Checkbox control in in Microsoft Word forms. First, I'll click where I'd like to put the checkbox, click the Developer tab, enter Design mode, and then choose the Checkbox. It is right here.
When I click the Checkbox content control, Word drops a nice little checkbox along with its tags right where the insertion point is. So now, because I'm in Design mode I can click Properties and I need to give these different names. This is the kind of time that some users will name these checkbox 1, 2, and 3. We didn't do that up here when we were naming checkboxes. Maybe we want to call out the name of the program. Whatever we're going to do, remember that the title is what the user will see and the tag is the tag that will end up on this data as it moves from the form to somewhere else.
We're going to save this checkbox can't be deleted. We can also change the symbol for checked and unchecked. Now there's not usually a reason to do this but you have the whole symbol gallery up for grabs, so you could say when somebody clicks checked, it comes back and it shows a triangle or something else. Most users however expect that when they click a box that's unchecked, the check symbol looks like an X in it. So I'm going to click OK. Let's go ahead and exit Design mode, and you'll see there's a nice little checkbox here. When I check it, that's how it behaves.
So I can now enter other checkboxes that I'll use in the same fashion. Simply click where you'd like the checkbox to appear. Click the Checkbox content control. In Design mode make sure that you're entering both your tags and your title. Make sure that it can't be deleted and continue to add one checkbox after another to all of these. Now when we exit design mode you'll notice that we actually could scoot these over closer this checkbox and it's relatively easy to get to this way, even when I click on the one above. Notice that the title will simply overlay so I don't have to leave room for that title here.
However, as I move farther down, notice that the title will obscure the item above. So if it's important that people can see the whole list, that's sort of going to dictate how far over that checkboxes is going be. I like it here. Unlike the little checkbox symbols that you put in and using the Insert Symbol dialog box in Microsoft Word, here's a real-life checkbox and when I click on it behaves exactly like I expect it to and that means that my users are going to like that Microsoft Word checkboxes well.
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