Join David Rivers for an in-depth discussion in this video Exploring the client interface, part of InfoPath 2007 Essential Training.
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In this lesson, we are going to get you comfortable in your surroundings by exploring the InfoPath 2007 user interface. You can see here on my screen that I have closed up the Getting Started window, which typically appears here right in the center. When you launch the application, the Getting Started window appears by default. When you close up a form you are filling out or designing, the Getting Started window will appear. Now we can always get that back as well and we are going to do that in this lesson. But let's start at the very top of the screen where we see Microsoft Office InfoPath. Currently with no form open to either fill out or design, that's all I see here on the Title Bar. But when I start to work with forms, I will see the form name appear as well in the top left corner. In the top right hand corner, you can see I have got three buttons, Minimize, there is a Restore Down button and a Close button. Now the Close button is in red because it does close the entire application, not just the form you are working on. So be careful.
You will be prompted to save changes if you haven't saved your form when you hit this button. But it could be dangerous. If you don't want your InfoPath window taking up the entire screen, you can restore down by clicking this button. It just changes it to a smaller size that you can move around your desktop. You can also go down to the bottom corner here and start resizing it if you wanted to. And if you prefer to have the InfoPath filling the entire screen, that Restore Down button just became a Maximize button. So clicking this button will maximize it back to filling up the entire screen. And I like this view when I am in InfoPath because it gives a lot more space to work with.
A minimize button will get it out of the way without closing it so you can do other things and then return back to InfoPath. It puts it down there on the Task Bar. Below our title bar is the menu bar where we see File, Edit, View, all the way cross to Help just like any other application. These are menu headings indicating that if I click on File for example, I am going to see a File menu with file related commands. Filling out a form, designing a form, opening a form, exporting a form, all of these are file related commands and that's why they are on the File menu.
Some commands will display keyboard shortcuts next to them. Ctrl+Q for fill out a form. Remember that one for a little bit later on. Fill out a form here on the menu shows me Ctrl+Q as the keyboard shortcut. But you may have more than one keyboard shortcut for a command. You will see that in a second. Ctrl+O for Opening. Some command will have little black arrows next to them like Export. So when I move down to Export, I can expect to see a submenu. Export to the Web. Find add-ins for other files formats or export to Excel for example.
Now at the bottom of this menu, I am going to see recently used files. I have got down here. MyExpenses08 form. I have used it recently. So it appears down here. By default, you will see the last four forms that you have used. But you can change that number. Customizing is something we are going to talk about later on in this title. Here is another way to exit the application. Exit InfoPath is the same as clicking the Close button in the top right corner. So you want to be careful with that as well. Under the Edit menu, we see editing commands. As we said all of these are grayed out right now, I can't click on them. There is nothing to Undo or Redo, Cut, Copy, Paste, etc. Under the View menu, I have got some options here such as the task pane. The task pane can be turned on and off from the View menu here and it will appear on the right hand side. So let's give it a click.
Now the task pane appears over here on the right hand side of my screen with Fill Out a Form showing up here by default for me. And down below, I can fill out a form I recently used. There is MyExpenses form. I could choose more forms. I could search My Computer for forms. Or I could right to designing a form. The task panel is contact sensitive, meaning it's going to change depending on your scenario. For example, if I go up here to the Fill Out a Form drop down and click on it, there are other task panes.
I am trying to put Clip Art into a form. The Clip Art task pane is very handy. If I am doing a Find and Replace, it's going to open up over here. You can see I have got Find and Replace option as well. For formatting my forms such as Fonts, Paragraphs, Bullets, Numbering, Spelling, there are task panes for each of those tasks as well. So all those panes will appear when they are needed. Right now, the only available is Fill Out a Form and that's why you see that check mark there. I am going to click out here in the empty space. And if I want to close this task pane, I can go to the Close button right up here or I could go back to my View menu and click on Task Pane which now has a check mark. By the way, Task Pane also appears down below under Toolbars.
Toolbars here on the right have check marks. I have got a Standard Formatting and Task Pane showing up because I see those check marks. I can close the task pane by clicking it here. Let's go back to that for a second. Under View and down to Toolbars, the Standard toolbars and the Formatting toolbar are appearing on my screen and that's according to what work I did last. You may be seeing Ink, Tables and may be even another toolbar that we are going to talk about in a second. When I go to Ink and click on it, you can see what it looks like. I have got some ink commands for Pens, Erasers, Ink Colors and Styles. And we go back up to View here, down to Toolbars and turn on my Tables toolbar. It appears here next to my Ink toolbar. And all of these toolbars can be moved around. You will notice on the left hand side, a series of vertical dots. When you move over that with your mouse, you will see the four sided arrow and that's what you use to move a toolbar up, down, and around.
Another option is to right click when you see that. And from that little pop-up, you can choose which toolbars you want o view. If you don't want the Tables toolbar, just deselect it. I am going to do the same here by right clicking on the left hand side of my Ink toolbar. And I am going to turn it off as well. Here I am back where I started. Toolbars can be customized. We are going to get into customizing and even creating your own toolbars at the end of this title. But you can go this little drop down button and Modify your toolbars. Now let's start with a Standard toolbar here just below our menu. We see some commands that are more frequently used than others. So Fill Out a Form and Open which appear on the File menu, also appear here on the Standard toolbar. The shortcut buttons and you will notice as I hover over Fill Out a Form, this keyboard shortcut tells me its Ctrl+Shift+I. Holding down Ctrl+Shift and typing the letter I on the keyboard simultaneously will take me to the Getting Started window. So same as going to File and choosing Fill Out a Form here, which shows the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Q. Interesting! I have also got a number of buttons, which I can't use at this time. There is nothing to save, print, cut, copy or paste, nothing to undo or redo, user commands that show up under the Edit menu for example. So a series if buttons on the Standard toolbar are what Microsoft feels are commands you might use more often. But if they are some here that you have never use or you find there is one missing, you can go to that little drop down on the far right hand side and choose to Add or Remove Buttons.
It's a form of customization. I am going to go over to standard here. Look at all the check marks. These are all the buttons that are currently on my standard toolbar. If I like to have a Close button in there, I can click on Close and it now appears up here on my toolbar. I am going to go back to that drop down, over to Standard and start turning a whole bunch off. Just click on a few. It turns them off. Click on some other ones to turn them on. And when you forget what the standard was, what was that default? I want to get back to where I started. The easiest way is just to go down to very bottom and choose Reset.
Click Reset toolbar to reset it to the Standard Default. The same goes for our formatting toolbar. For formatting text, we have got Font Sizes, Attributes, Alignment, we have got Numbers and Bullets as well, a little Highlighting and Font Color. I can click this drop down go down to Add or Remove Buttons, over to formatting in this case and turn other ones on like Line Spacing and maybe ones I never use like Highlighting to turn off. So now again, the Reset appears down at the bottom, now it will reset everything. Are you sure you want to reset changes made to the Formatting toolbar? In this case, I want to click OK, even though I didn't make any changes. So those are the actual toolbars. Up here on the top right corner, you can see a little area what says for me create a custom toolbar. It probably says Type a question for help. For you, this is the last question I typed. You can click in there and type any question.
One way to get to help is to use the Help menu. And from here, you can open up the Help application. It's a window that will appear on your screen. Microsoft Office InfoPath help, F1 is the keyboard shortcut. You could also access help online if you are connected to the Internet. Same goes for Developer Resources and contacting Microsoft. You have got check for Updates, Diagnostics, Activate your product and Privacy options here as well. But when I am needing help, I find the easiest thing to do is just come up here and type in my question. Not only does it launch the help window, but it also takes me directly to my issue. In this case, I am typing in Create a Custom toolbar. So when I hit enter on my keyboard, I am going to see help related to creating a custom toolbar, there's Rename. Remove a toolbar, button or menu; Show or hide toolbars. They are right at the top. Here's where I go to create a custom toolbar, I click that link and it takes me to everything I need to know about creating that toolbar. When you are done, click the close button and again your last question will appear up here on the top right corner.
And just before we get back to that Getting Started window, there is a big workspace area here. This is where you are going to do most of your work when you are designing or even filling out forms. But down at the very bottom of the screen, you may have seen it up at the top under the View menu. You are going to see information or messages down there. And you will notice that it's called the Message bar. And currently, it's grayed out. There is nothing to be displayed down there. On the Message bar here, you are going to see information such as where your form template is located. If you are filling out a form, where is the actual template? Where did it come from? It might come from a server, your own computer or even somewhere on the web, or you will see that path down here. Very helpful! The Getting Started window, if we need it back, there is a couple of different ways to do that. If you are going to be designing a form, you will probably go up to File and come down to Design a Form Template and that's going to open up a window for designing form templates. But if you want to get back to Getting Started, all you can do that by using Customize a Sample. There is that Getting Started window. I am going to close it by clicking my Close button and show you that clicking on this button here to fill out a form does the exact same thing.
Here's my Getting Started window. So in this case, if I choose Fill Out a Form, that's probably what I want to do. I am going to go to Form Categories or Open a Form as a pose to the Design a Form section down below. Let's open one up on our computer. I am going to click On My Computer and navigate to my Exercise Files, which I put in the InfoPath folder here, and I am going to go into the Lesson1 folder, which displays one form. There it is, Expenses08. So when I click on this and click Open, and by the way, double clicking is the shortcut, it opens up the form to be filled out. What's important about this is something that's happened up above. I want you to see the Standard toolbar has a new button at the beginning here, the Submit button.
This particular form has also been designed with its own Submit button, which will do the same thing. But this is a form I might fill out. I just come back from a trip. I am filling up my expense report. So I fill in certain information in these fields. And when I am done, use the Submit button up here. Or if I wanted to, I could just save the form on my own computer, for example, to keep that data. But submitting in this case is actually going to submit to the Manager. You can see the email address is mandatory for the Manager. It's been designed this way so that it actually sends in Outlook email message, the form becomes an email and goes directly to the Manager.
I am not going to fill in anything here. I am just going to close the form by going up to File and down to Close. And just before I do that, you may have noticed up to the top, my form is being called Form 8 up here. Yours if it's your first time, it's probably Form1. I have been filling out a few forms already so I am up to Form8. But I could rename that to something else if I wanted to using Save or Save As. I am just going to close it. When I close a form, even though I was just filling it out or if I close a form that I have been designing, this is what I am greeted with. The Getting Started window comes right back to me so I can move on to opening another form or designing a new form. Designing forms is what we are going to get into beginning in the next chapter.
- Building a form from samples or creating a brand-new form from scratch Inserting a repeating table into an existing form Adding and modifying buttons to simplify form functions Creating specialized views in a single form for different users Connecting newly created forms to SharePoint Customizing the work environment to improve form efficiency