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: Stopping Enter from being Pressed In a Form.

Stopping Enter from being Pressed In a Form

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 7, 2017)

Amy created an electronic form, based on a table format so the entries are aligned. She included form fields in both text and number format, adding a maximum field length for each field. This prevents the person filling out the form from entering text beyond the maximum. However, the person can still press Enter and add blank lines to the form and cause it to be "distorted." Amy wonders how shc can prevent users from pressing Enter and messing up the layout of her forms.

It is possible to disable the Enter key, but doing so disables it for the entire document, not just for the form. Also, the key would need to be disabled by using a macro. If the user disables macros by default (due to security settings or by explicitly disabling them when opening the document), then the Enter key would not be disabled. Because of these drawbacks, disabling the Enter key may not be the best way to approach this problem.

A better approach would be to modify how you set up your table; the one that contains your form fields. Follow these general steps:

  1. Unprotect your form.
  2. Select the table that contains your form fields.
  3. Right-click the selected table and choose Properties from the Context menu. Word displays the Table Properties dialog box.
  4. Display the Table tab. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Table tab of the Table Properties dialog box.

  6. Make sure the Automatically Resize to Fit Contents check box is cleared.
  7. Display the Row tab. (See Figure 2.)
  8. Figure 2. The Row tab of the Table Properties dialog box.

  9. Make sure the Specify Height check box is selected and specify an exact height for your rows.
  10. Click OK.
  11. Protect your form.

These steps won't stop someone from pressing Enter, but it will stop it from messing up your table format if they do press Enter. And, since the user won't be able to see what they type after pressing Enter, they'll quickly get the idea that they should not press the key.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9441) 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: Stopping Enter from being Pressed In a Form.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Understanding Object Anchors

Do you have documents that contain objects? Understanding how Word handles objects and the way they are anchored can make a ...

Discover More

Item Not Available in Library

When sharing workbooks with others, you may find that the macros in those workbooks may not work as you expect. This tip ...

Discover More

Hiding Smart Tags

If you don't want to see Smart Tags displayed in your document, you can instruct Word to hide them. Here's how to make the ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More WordTips (menu)

Working with Form Fields

You know you want to use form fields in your document (they are essential in creating forms, after all) but you need to ...

Discover More

Protecting Parts of a Document

Word doesn't require you to protect entire documents. Instead, you can protect different sections within a document, as ...

Discover More

Field Calculations in Locked Forms

When adding form fields to a document, you may want some of the fields to be automatically calculated from other fields. If ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is five minus 0?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.