Using the Building Block Gallery content control
Video: Using the Building Block Gallery content controlNow we are ready to connect the quick parts that we created earlier with this template. Before we do that, we are going to actually drop a quick part in here that we use in all of our documents and that's a signature block. It's on our Quick Parts Gallery and it's in the General list. It shows up no matter what document I am in. So, I am going to just go ahead and drop that in so that's done. Now, our choices though we would like to provide for the user. So, let's go to the first location where we need to allow them to make a choice.
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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
- 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
Using the Building Block Gallery content control
Now we are ready to connect the quick parts that we created earlier with this template. Before we do that, we are going to actually drop a quick part in here that we use in all of our documents and that's a signature block. It's on our Quick Parts Gallery and it's in the General list. It shows up no matter what document I am in. So, I am going to just go ahead and drop that in so that's done. Now, our choices though we would like to provide for the user. So, let's go to the first location where we need to allow them to make a choice.
We're going to go to the Developer tab and we are going to add a Building Block Gallery content control right here in the document. In Design mode, we're going to change its properties. Specifically, we are going to say that what we want to have happen here is we'd like to choose that logistics location information. We can give this a title if we wish. It will show up and help us when we are in Design mode, so this is the Training Facility. And the tags are often entered in lowercase.
It's a convention for XML and without any spaces. And I want to make sure nobody accidentally deletes this content control. Now, if there was a possibility that there would be no location, we should allow either an entry of a choice of text that says there is no location information or location information is not provided because this is a webinar course rather than a specific training course, or this is for a service rather than a training.
Unless there's a reason that you can't imagine providing text for every option, it's always better to keep your document structured by saying if I put a control in, it should stay there. So, this is basic stuff we've done with all the other controls we have added. Here is where the magic of building blocks comes in. We say there's a Quick Parts Gallery that we put some things in in this document and if you go take a look, here are our specific categories that we created. So, this is for the Training Facility. Just go ahead and say in Quick Parts, anything that's in the Training Facility category works for us here, and I am going to say OK.
Now, notice the text Choose a building block. We could say Choose training facility information. Let's go ahead and exit Design mode and when you look at this template now and I click the drop-down for Training Facility, notice that all that comes up are the three quick parts for Training Facility. I am not going to choose any of them. Instead I am going to drop down here and we are going to enter the information for our second drop-down list that I created which has to do with the method of reproducing materials and whose responsibility that is.
So, let's just take a quick step sideways. You didn't see me create these, but they're under Materials and there are these three choices here that I've created for different options for Materials. So, let's go back to the Developer tab and let's choose our Building Block Gallery quick part. Set its properties, Materials, don't allow it to be deleted, and choose the Materials category.
Change my prompt and let's go ahead and drop out of Design mode again. And you'll notice that when I click the drop down here for Materials, it's only the quick parts that are on the Materials list. So, now if I save my temple again and let's say I want to allow anybody to use this template, so I'm going to go ahead and put that up in my Workgroup Templates. It's a great place to put it and this is a particular-- this isn't a form actually. This is a contract. So, I'm going to create a new folder for Contracts, a specific kind of form in other words, press Enter and I can say that this is our Letter of Agreement for Training.
Word template in the right place, save it. I am going to go ahead now and close this and say File > New. This is how we test our template. Remember, when I say go to File and it shows me Recent list, this is the template. I don't want to open the template and it's a good idea at this point to remove it from the list so I don't accidentally edit it. I'm going to go to New > My templates. There's the Contracts folder I just created. Here's my Letter of Agreement for training. When I choose my Training Facility, there is my list. When I choose my Materials information, here's my list. I'm all set.
Now, if I want to edit this to remove some other spaces in the boilerplate, I could have. Remember that there was already a carriage return or a line feed when I entered, so I can edit this however I might like to. If I need to edit it, I go back, I open the template again, I create another quick part with the same name and simply save over the one that's there already. That's a great way to do it. I can first insert that quick part in the document. So if I wanted to edit this quick part, I could insert it here in the document in my template just like this.
Go in and make whatever changes I wish and then go back and save it again in the gallery in the same place with the same name. So, we've created some building blocks. We have saved them very specifically here in the template because we want to use them in this template. We then went to the Developer tab and used the Building Block Gallery content control to provide the mechanism for the user to easily grab exactly the building blocks that match the criteria that we set by saving them in a specific manner with a specific category.
Put those two things together and you have a very powerful form creation tool for boilerplate text that's specific to the template.
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