Using a fillable form it is possible to collect information within a company or with your clients. And with Word, we can design our own online fillable forms.
In several articles we have talked about the importance of feedback from the client or user, to know if they are satisfied with the service and treatment received. The same happens within a company or department, knowing the opinion and satisfaction of an employee is essential to solve performance problems or dissatisfaction.
And to find out opinions or obtain other data of interest, the best tool is the survey, which we can carry out online through tools such as mightyforms or through more traditional solutions, such as a form in Word.
Through a fillable Word form, we can collect opinions, data or information for any use we want and that is because Microsoft Word offers all the necessary elements to design a professional form with multiple responses or drop-down responses, to give two examples.
Let’s see how to create our own form. We will only need Word 2013, Word 2016 or, failing that, Office 365.
Templates to the rescue
As is common in Microsoft Word, there are two ways to approach a new document. Start from scratch or help us with a template. From File> New we can create a blank document or, from Search templates online, find a type of predesigned form that we can adapt to our purpose.
From within Word, we will have at our disposal dozens of templates to download, generic and specific for specific tasks, such as collecting numerical notes or answers to a questionnaire. Just click on the chosen template and press the Create button.
Starting from scratch or from a template, we will have to add elements or content to our form. For this, we must enable a tab that by default is hidden, Developer. Activating it is as simple as going to File> Options> Customize the Ribbon and checking the Developer box.
After clicking OK, the new tab will be displayed next to View. And to start including elements, we must click Developer> Design mode. The Word document with which we are going to work is identical to any text document. However, thanks to the Controls, located in the centre of the Developer tab, we can place forms of different types to fill in with the data we request.
Specifically, the available controls are:
- Text: To write any answer.
- Image: For the user to add an image or graphic file.
- Creation block: It serves to offer fragments of text by default.
- Combo box: A drop-down list with several options to choose from.
- Drop-down list: A list from which we can only choose one option.
- Date picker: To indicate a date in a drop-down calendar.
- Repetition of sections: It is used to reuse previous controls.
The text content control can be rich or not. In the first case, it is possible to format, as bold or italic. The most common controls are checkboxes, drop-down lists and combo boxes, and text controls, where whoever fills the form is left free to write what they want to write.
In any case, we can combine them as we want and design a form combining different options to make it more dynamic and less monotonous or boring.
Setting up the controls
As we have seen, adding the controls is relatively easy. But once added to the document we have to configure them to be useful. To do this, in the Developer tab we must click on Properties, under the Edit Mode button.
Depending on the control, the properties window will have some fields or others. In short, we can indicate a title, apply colour and/or style, block the editing of the content or the control itself and customize the element. It is important to lock the control so that whoever fills the form does not accidentally delete a question or control.
In the case of a drop-down list, for example, we will indicate the different options to choose from. When finished, we will click OK. On the other hand, it is possible to change the default text of the controls, where it usually says “Choose an element”. This way it will be possible to tell whoever fills in the form what to do.