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So here's our great-looking form. It has images and labels, content controls to hold data. Now, before we save this form as a template or distribute it to our users, we want to lock the form down so that those users can't accidentally edit parts of the form that we don't want them to edit. For example the labels, we don't want somebody to accidentally do that. So if we had created this form in earlier versions of Word, we would have protected the form by restricting editing.
So we would have gone to Restrict Editing and said only allow the type of editing where people fill in forms, and we would have enforced our protection. You will still do that if you use the legacy form controls right here, because that's the way we protect legacy forms. But if you are using the Word 2010 content controls--this set of controls here--then you don't want to restrict editing because when you protect your form in that way, it can interfere with the way the Word content controls work.
So protecting a Word 2010 form is actually a little more straightforward, but it doesn't use the word protect. So what we're going to do is select and group the controls that we want to have behave in a particular fashion. I'm going to go ahead and close the Task pane. If everything on my form is an area where I don't want users to accidentally type, that I only want them to use the controls, I can just do Ctrl+A to select the entire form. And then I'm going to go to Group and choose the Group command, and that's what we'll do with our form.
If I had some area I was willing to let them type that I didn't have a field for them to type in, then I wouldn't group the entire form; I would select the sections that I wanted to group. But I want the whole form grouped and that's what it looks like; it really looks like almost nothing happened. Except, when I click in the form now, notice that I can select controls and I can actually use them. I can click on the checkboxes, turn them on or off. I can select the image, but I can't do anything with it.
I can't, for example, cut it and when I select text, I can't format it. So users can select labels and images outside of the content controls, but they can't edit them. And inside the content controls that we've placed on our form, users are able to edit, to enter information, to choose items from dropdown lists, to do anything that we want them to do--any choice that's appropriate in the controls that we've provided. So this is how we're going to protect a form using the Word 2010 content controls.
The process is a little different than the process you may have used in earlier versions of Word, but it's incredibly easy for us to secure this form that we created in Word 2010.
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