Friday, May 15, 2009

Replicating data in a word document using a front page form.

A cheat sheet prepared by Andrew Laws of Web Care Takers.

Written for Microsoft Office Word 2003

On the front page of your document in normal text write a label for your first bit of data, for this example we’re using the fieldname ‘UniversityName’. Position your cursor where you want your input field and click the ab| button on the forms toolbar. If you don’t have the forms toolbar go up to View/ Toolbars/ Forms and it will pop up.

When you see the grey box pop up, double click on it to open up the properties box. Put a tick in the Calculate on exit box, and in the Bookmark: box enter a name that clearly described the data that you will be inputting. It’s worth noting that this description can’t contain spaces, in the example below we have solved this problem by capitalising the start of each of the words. The name you give this input is referred to as a ‘bookmark’.

When finished click the OK button.

Next go to the first place in the document that you want the data you input to be shown and place the cursor exactly where you want it to appear. Go to Insert/ Reference/ Cross-reference…
When the box pops up, chose which ‘bookmark’ information should be shown. Click insert, and then close (the cancel button you see below changes to close after you click insert).

Now do the same at each point in the document that you want the information to be replicated. To create another input field on the front page of the document simply run through these steps again.

Protecting your document
To make the document easier to fill in for operators you need to ‘protect’ the document. When a document is protected in this fashion the user can not change the bulk of the document. Protecting the document also makes filling it in a lot faster as the user can use the tab button to move quickly between the fields. To protect the document go to Tools/ Protect Document…
When the sidebar appears put a tick in section 2 and choose Filling In Forms form the drop down box, then click the button in section 3

When the next box pops up choose a password and click OK, it’s remarkably important to remember this password as you’ll come unstuck in the future without it!

Your document is now protected, and filling in an entire document is as simple as tabbing between the boxes on the front page!