Word 2007: Forms in Depth
Illustration by Neil Webb

Inserting a ComboBox control


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Word 2007: Forms in Depth

with Gini Courter

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Video: Inserting a ComboBox control

A Combo Box Content Control is a combination of a text box and a dropdown list. You use a Combo Box when it's okay for a user to enter a value if you haven't provided it on the dropdown list. We have one control in our form that calls out for a Combo Box and that's right here, where after someone's told us how much they pledge, they want to tell us how they'd like to pay it. So, for example, we've indicated that somebody is paying it right now. They've included it with the form, actually I wouldn't have that on the list because you know whatever someone can give you right now, they could give you more if we let them pay us several more times.
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Watch the Online Video Course Word 2007: Forms in Depth
2h 23m Intermediate May 24, 2011

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In this course, author Gini Courter introduces the form creation tools found in Word 2007 and shows how to produce electronic forms that are visually pleasing and easy to navigate. The course covers designing a form; capturing data effectively with dropdown lists, date pickers, and text boxes; and adding controls for repeating data using the Word Content Control Toolkit. The course also includes tutorials on testing, protecting, and distributing forms.

Prerequisite Course: Word 2007 Essential Training

Topics include:
  • Customizing pre-built Microsoft.com templates
  • Inserting content controls
  • Saving a form as a template
  • Troubleshooting form issues
  • Understanding Building Blocks
  • Creating a schema using the Content Control Toolkit
Subject:
Business
Software:
Office Word
Author:
Gini Courter

Inserting a ComboBox control

A Combo Box Content Control is a combination of a text box and a dropdown list. You use a Combo Box when it's okay for a user to enter a value if you haven't provided it on the dropdown list. We have one control in our form that calls out for a Combo Box and that's right here, where after someone's told us how much they pledge, they want to tell us how they'd like to pay it. So, for example, we've indicated that somebody is paying it right now. They've included it with the form, actually I wouldn't have that on the list because you know whatever someone can give you right now, they could give you more if we let them pay us several more times.

But we'll have it as a choice anyway. Our users want it. A Monthly pledge, a Quarterly pledge, or an Annual pledge that would be in by December 10th, or possibly a choice of other. Now, with the Other we could have actually made this a list box, because other is everything we haven't included up until now. But Other doesn't give us information about, what this person would actually like to do. We're better off to include a Combo Box. Instead of the donor then choosing Other they can actually type in exactly what they would like us to know.

So to insert a Combo Box, it's the same as if you were inserting any other kind of Content Control. We're going to make a space for it and I'm going to go up here and choose Combo Box out of the Controls group on the Developer tab. Let's now make sure we are in Design mode and go into Properties, and this is going to be the Pledge Schedule, or Payment Schedule. We want to make sure the control can't be deleted, and then we're going to modify this first item to say Choose or type, different than the others.

Now we'll add these items that we have down here. Now, Monthly, I could also say Each Month, if that feels clearer, Quarterly, Annually (on December 10th), and that's our last choice. Now again, notice that we have a specific order. This is actually, in a way a numerical, order from right now; every month, a larger unit than now; every quarter, a larger unit than month; and every year, a larger unit than quarter.

It does not make sense for us to alphabetize these, because this list in this order is the best we can probably do. It makes perfect sense, ranging from I want to pay now to I want to pay 12 times, three times, or only once. So, let's go ahead and say OK. And we'll delete this other text that we no longer need. Again, if you're not sure where you have carriage returns that might be spacing things out, you can always go back to the Home tab and see that actually, this line is fine, it's just that there isn't enough room for this.

So we can scoot this over a little bit, maybe a little bit more so that we get the word paid here and this will all work. Okay, so far. Let' go back to the Developer tab, leave Design mode and see how this all looks, looks pretty good. So, those are my choices. We're going to make sure that we go back into Design mode in and change this prompt that we see here, to be the same as is on our list. Our placeholder should say Choose or type.

Let's go ahead and swing back out of Design mode. So the user can choose Monthly, or the user can choose Quarterly, or the user could instead choose to type Annually on September 15, another valid value. It all works. So that's our Combination Box. A combination, again, of this kind of dropdown list that we have here, or here with our title, and a kind of text box that we have here, here, here, and here. Looks good.

Don't forget that we want to take out this value where it says Annually on September on 15. We're going to just delete that, hit the Down Arrow and our prompt will come back. We're all set now to save this, and then we'll come back and put in a Date Picker Control.

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