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Word 2007: Forms in Depth
Illustration by Neil Webb

Troubleshooting form issues


From:

Word 2007: Forms in Depth

with Gini Courter

Video: Troubleshooting form issues

Let's take a look at a few of the things that can go wrong with the Word forms saved as templates, and what you'll hear from users when you have those issues. For example, you might have users tell you that they can delete labels, or they'll just send forms back where the labels are deleted. Another possibility is that users will tell you, I got this form but when I go to click to enter data it won't let me change anything. Both of these possibilities are permissions issues. They're issues created because we restricted the editing in the wrong way or not at all.

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Word 2007: Forms in Depth
2h 23m Intermediate May 24, 2011

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

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
Subjects:
Business Forms
Software:
Office Word
Author:
Gini Courter

Troubleshooting form issues

Let's take a look at a few of the things that can go wrong with the Word forms saved as templates, and what you'll hear from users when you have those issues. For example, you might have users tell you that they can delete labels, or they'll just send forms back where the labels are deleted. Another possibility is that users will tell you, I got this form but when I go to click to enter data it won't let me change anything. Both of these possibilities are permissions issues. They're issues created because we restricted the editing in the wrong way or not at all.

So let's go take a look at a document that was created from our current template and as soon as I go in and I see that this insertion point is flashing up here, I know I have a problem, because the user shouldn't be able ever to select up here, because if they can select they can make mistakes too. I didn't protect this form before I saved it as a template the last time. So I need to go open the form so that I can correct that. I'm going to choose Open.

I'm going to go to my Office Templates folder I created, because this is a form that's actually sitting right here, and I'm going to open the template. If I'm not sure if this is the template, I can right-click and choose Properties just in case, but it will tell me that it's a template here. I can also scroll across and widen this type column and see that. But let's open this template. When I do it correctly, notice it brings in the name of the template, not document 1, or document 7, or whatever. If I go to the Developer tab now and I go to Protect Document > Restrict Formatting and Editing. I missed it.

This is an easy enough thing to do. Because you'll change your templates, you have to turn off the Editing Restrictions in order to modify the template itself, and then you simply forget. So I'm going to turn his back on. Now if I simply click Yes, Start Enforcing Protection now, I'm saying that there can be no changes, and that creates my second problem, where a user can't edit anything in the form, because I've locked the whole thing down. Another way to do that accidentally is to say that a user can only enter comments, those are comments that are created on the Review tab, where they insert a new comment, not information put in content controls.

So if the user can type anywhere or can type nowhere, both of those possibilities should send you back to this Protect Document > Restrict Formatting and Editing pane. We're going to say only allow filling in of forms, Yes, Start Enforcing Protection. We provide a password and say OK, and then we would Save our form again, as a template and close it so we don't get lost. Another possibility is that a user may tell you I got the form from somebody, but it's already all filled in; it's got all of John Smith's information in it.

The way this usually happens is: John Smith had used the template to create a new document, had filled stuff in, and another user said, " Hey that's a great form. Can you send it to me?" And John simply sent them a copy of the document, filled in with all of his information. As you noted earlier there are a lot of users that actually use forms this way because they don't know any better. They simply type stuff in and when they want to create a new form, they delete the things that were in there already. So you can direct this user how to create a new document based on the template by sending them to that Workgroup Templates folder.

Another possibility is that some, but not all content controls already contain information. Specifically if someone says, yeah a just a couple of them near the bottom or just one control has something in it, that's probably your mistake rather than a user mistake. Let's go back to our document. Here's that document that was created from our template and if we scroll to the bottom, we've had a report that there's already date recorded for this been noted in payroll. That's a real problem here because we haven't even filled out the donor's information and yet supposedly it's already recorded.

And how we did this? We did it accidentally. We were testing the form and we forgot to remove all of the data. Now again, don't start fixing this here. We're in a document. We need to return to the template. So let's click the Office button, go to Open, go to our Office Templates folder, to the Forms, and open our Pledge form again. Now we just protected this form a moment ago . It's not going to let us make any changes. So we'll go back to the Developer tab, go back to Formatting and Editing > Stop Protection, and then we can go down we can actually see this data is here.

A reminder of how to edit this data : we have to do it in Design Mode. So let's switch to Design Mode, go back between the tags here, and select and delete the data. Arrow in any direction and our original prompt will come back. I'm going to make a mistake now and save this template right now. Because this is the fifth type of error, you'll see users reporting to you.

They'll say there are funny shapes all over in the form. That's your mistake too and one that I've made at least once I can remember. If I'm in Design mode when I save my template then when a user creates a new form based on the template, they will see all of the tags. They won't know that they could go to Developer and get out of Design Mode, and they shouldn't have to know that. So I'm going to close this document. I'm in my form and I'm going to make sure now that I'm not in Design mode anymore, that I have my enforcement in place, that all of my fields are empty.

I'm going to do my basic check once again, say okay I'm ready. Filling in forms, Start Enforcing Protection, provide a password and say OK, and then I'm going to come back and save this again. I could always do a Save As and save in the same location, but this is my pledge form, open from the only public place I use. I'll be fine right here. Now I'm going to close this form and I'm going to create a new document in the My Templates folder based on the pledge form and it looks just fine.

It doesn't have those funny shapes. It doesn't have any extra data recorded that I'll wish I hadn't recorded. It behaves and I can make choices in my dropdown list. Very good. That's how you troubleshoot forms in Microsoft Word 2007.

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