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With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company.
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Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Understanding Forms.
Word provides a way that you can create standardized documents rather easily, allowing users to enter only the information that changes from one document to the next. These are called forms and they consist of a protected document template that has special fields inserted within the template. These fields indicate where the user of the form inserts their information. Forms are typically used for documents in which there are only a few items that change in each iteration of the document. For instance, if you have a standard service contract, the only items that may change from one contract to another are the name of the person entering into the contract, the type of services provided, and the amount being charged for those services. Documents such as this are prime candidates for being defined as a form.
To create a form, you basically follow these steps:
Later, when the form is being used, someone creates a new document using your template. They can then only enter information in the fields you have defined. The new document can then be saved under any name desired and later recalled.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1010) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Understanding Forms.
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