Creating Custom Forms


  • Understanding Legacy form fields versus modern content controls
  • Working in Design mode
  • Creating forms using legacy tools
  • Creating templates using content control tools
  • Importing Word forms into InfoPath

It seems that just about every time you turn around, someone has a form you need to fill out. There are job applications, credit applications, school forms, medical forms, subscription forms, tax forms… the list goes on and on. All these forms aren't just on paper, either. Many of the same forms—and plenty more, to boot—are now online.

Word's form-building capabilities have evolved over time. Word currently provides multiple methods for creating forms. Each approach has its own strengths, as you'll see in this chapter. Let's dive in.

Forms Basics

Word 2013 has three different sets of tools that can be used to create electronic forms:

  • Content control tools
  • Legacy form fields from Word 2003 and earlier
  • ActiveX form controls

Ostensibly, legacy form fields and ActiveX form controls are included with Word 2013 only to provide limited support for legacy documents. However, because while Word 2013's Help focuses on the new content control features when you ask it how to create forms, Word's other options give you reasons you may want to use legacy form fields from Word 2003 and earlier (and not the ActiveX tools).

Two Word options—designed to save forms data and print only forms data—work only with forms having legacy controls. Choose ...

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