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Microsoft Word 2010 lets you create beautiful, easy to use forms. It also lets you create ugly hard to use forms. Word 2010 includes tools for layout and content controls that will help you create beautiful forms. Part of the power of Word is that it's incredibly versatile. You can put text anywhere you wish. For example, if I just click in a document and start typing, the typing would be in the upper left corner, but if I double- click somewhere, I can type text anywhere I wish.
Here or even here. I can also insert images or SmartArt or anything anywhere I would like on the page. With Word, you can create many different types of unstructured documents. You can write a short story, create an event brochure, write a blog post, write some haiku, or compose a love letter. Just sit down, click somewhere, and start typing and you're creating a document. Forms, on the other hand, are not unstructured. they require advanced planning because the data you're collecting in the form is structured data.
If you're collecting someone's personal information, you want very specific data, name, address, phone and so on, and you want them to put their data in a very specific place. For example, their name near the name label that you've provided. Not in some random spot elsewhere in the document that they felt like clicking. The more you tame Microsoft Word by providing structure, the easier it will be for your users to fill out your form. I'm going to open one of those ugly Word forms I mentioned earlier.
This might be similar to a form that you've received. When I click and begin typing my name, the line starts shifting because the line was created by someone holding down the underscore key and the more you type the more the line moves. That's true for all of the lines in this document. And when I double-click on a checkbox or click to check it, it's not really a checkbox at all. It's a special box symbol that was inserted by using the Insert > Symbol command. This is a frustrating form for a user to try to fill out.
It might have been good enough to print and fill out with a pencil or pen, but as an electronic form, it leaves a lot to be desired. In our forms, we are going to use tools to avoid these problems and create forms that don't frustrate users. In this version, the first thing we've done is we've used tables to be able to structure the information that we want to collect. You can see the gridlines here. It creates a nicer look, but beyond that, it immediately gives us a benefit. When I began to type my name here the underscore character shifts, but the border on this table does not.
So, it makes it easier for a user simply to type in this form even if we did nothing else. But we are actually going to add some content controls that allow the user to know where the information is and allows us to work more easily with the information that we've collected. To do this, I'm going to go to the Developer tab on the Ribbon. In the next movie, you're going to see how to turn this tab on if you don't see it in Word right now. And I'm going to choose a text box control. Simply click and it drops a box in where a user could type information and it's easy. They click and they type, easy to work with.
Let's go ahead and put a checkbox in here. And you'll notice that my checkbox actually checks on and off, just like a user would expect it to. So with content controls and layout tables, you can quickly and easily create a non-ugly form for any purpose that you'd like in Microsoft Word 2010.
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