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Word 2010: Forms in Depth

Testing the form


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Word 2010: Forms in Depth

with Gini Courter

Video: Testing the form

So here's our beautiful, easy to use form that we created earlier and now we're going to test the form. Let me talk to you a little bit about how you think about testing a form. The easiest way to test a form is to go get somebody who has nothing to do with it, plop them down in front of it, open it up and say try to fill this out. The reason that's a great way to do it, that naive user approach, is that you already have in your head how this Form is going to work, somebody else might have totally different thoughts about how they believe it should work, and by watching somebody you can get a good idea about whether your form is easy to use or not.

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Word 2010: Forms in Depth
2h 4m Intermediate May 24, 2011

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In this course, author Gini Courter introduces the form creation tools found in Word 2010 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 check 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 2010 Essential Training

Topics include:
  • Setting up a form
  • 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
Subjects:
Business Forms
Software:
Office Word
Author:
Gini Courter

Testing the form

So here's our beautiful, easy to use form that we created earlier and now we're going to test the form. Let me talk to you a little bit about how you think about testing a form. The easiest way to test a form is to go get somebody who has nothing to do with it, plop them down in front of it, open it up and say try to fill this out. The reason that's a great way to do it, that naive user approach, is that you already have in your head how this Form is going to work, somebody else might have totally different thoughts about how they believe it should work, and by watching somebody you can get a good idea about whether your form is easy to use or not.

But if you don't have easy access to somebody and you just want to do an initial test, what you want to do is you'll want to check each and every item in the form. In other words, the drop-down lists should behave like drop-down lists. When you choose items, you should have the ability to re-choose a second item. Text boxes should behave like text boxes. You should be able to click in them and type, click out of them, return and remove the data that's there if you wish. If you totally remove an entry from a plain text box or a rich text box, the original item on the top of the list, that placeholder, should come back.

You'll want to test your date pickers and make sure that they behave and that they present dates in the format that you chose. You'll want to test your checkboxes. Click on it, make sure it turns on, click on it again, make sure it turns off. Make sure that there is adequate space around the controls. If for example we enter a number here, when we move on is there adequate space? Go ahead and make sure your combo box works. Does it work if I choose a list item? Does it work if I simply need to type in it? You'll notice that in all of the text boxes, your proofing tool should be working as well.

There is not even a way you can turn that off easily, so we'll just keep that going. It's useful for users. Check each of the controls as you work your way through the form and make sure that they work for you and will work for your users. Check out each specific control type and each specific control. When you're all done, if everything works, you're fine. Simply close your form. You've tested it well enough. Now have two or three people in your office test it for you as well. When you're all done and you are quite pleased, go ahead and save the form as a final version without any data in it.

Any data that I leave in this form like a picture will actually end up being in my template so make sure that you get rid of it. You can go ahead and press Delete and when you move out of that field then your photo holder will come back. One more thought as you're working through your form. There is something called a normal tab order that says when I leave one field and tab it should actually go to the next field and work its way through the form. So notice that I'm just hitting the Tab key and it's working its way down. So after you've checked the functionality of each of the types of controls and of each specific control, go ahead and work your way through the form, making sure that it Tabs in a logical order that makes sense to you. All done, all set.

Your form is well tested, ready for other users to do quality control testing on it. This means you've done a good job creating your first form in Microsoft Word 2010.

There are currently no FAQs about Word 2010: Forms in Depth.

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