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How to Create a Fillable Form in Word

Forms are an excellent way to collect information from people in a structured way. You can use them for surveys, job applications, and feedback.

Have you ever wondered how to create a fillable form in Word? This blog post teaches you how.

What to Know

  • Templates: You can save forms as templates to reuse them.
  • Content controls: The sections where users enter information into a form.
  • Tables: Used in documents or forms to align text and form fields. Also, to construct borders and boxes.
  • Protection: Users can fill out the form fields but cannot change the text or look of the form.
How to Create a Fillable Form in Word

How to Make a Fillable Form in Word

Here, I’ll guide you through making a fillable form in Word. We’ll cover accessing the Developer tab, inserting form controls, customizing form controls, and finalizing the form. Let’s begin.

Enable the Developer Tab

First, enable the Developer tab, which contains essential tools to help you create a fillable form in Word. Here’s how:

  1. Select the ‘File‘ tab in Word’s ribbon menu.
  2. Select the Options > Customize Ribbon tab.
  3. In the ‘Main Tabs,’ check the box next to the ‘Developer‘ command.
  4. Select ‘OK‘ to apply the changes. It will enable the Developer tab in Word’s ribbon menu.

Insert Form Controls

With the Developer tab enabled, we can insert various form controls to create a fillable form. Here’s how to add different form controls:

  1. Place your cursor where you want to insert a form control.
  2. Choose the ‘Developer‘ tab in the ribbon menu.
  3. In the ‘Controls‘ group, select the type of control you want to insert (e.g., Text BoxDrop-Down List, or Checkbox).
  4. Click on the desired control icon to insert it into your document.

Customize Form Controls

Now that we’ve inserted the form controls, we’re ready. Let’s customize them to suit our needs. Follow these steps:

  1. Select a form control in your document.
  2. Click on the ‘Developer‘ tab.
  3. Select ‘Properties‘ in the ‘Controls‘ group. It opens the control-specific settings dialog box.
  4. Change the options as per your requirements.
  5. Select ‘OK‘ to confirm your changes.

Types of Form Controls

There are numerous types of form controls that you can add to a form to allow individuals to provide various kinds of responses.

Form Content Controls:

  • Rich Text: A text input area with extensive text formatting.
  • Plain Text: A text field containing plain text and no design.
  • Picture: Accepts only one image.
  • Building Block Gallery: Displays a gallery of formatted designs from the Quick Parts option.
  • Check Box: Adds a check box to a form.
  • Combo Box: Displays a list that users can easily edit/update.
  • Drop-Down List: Users can choose from several options by selecting the list arrow.
  • Date Picker: When a user selects a date, the control automatically formats the date’s look.
  • Legacy Tools: Includes form controls in earlier Microsoft Word versions.

Finalize the Form

Finally, let’s protect our form to prevent unintended changes and share it with others:

  1. Click the ‘Developer‘ tab on the ribbon.
  2. Click ‘Restrict Editing‘ in the ‘Protect‘ group. It will open the ‘Restrict Editing‘ panel on the right.
  3. Check the box next to ‘Allow only this type of editing in the document.‘ A drop-down menu will appear.
  4. Select the ‘Filling in forms‘ option.
  5. Click ‘Yes, Start Enforcing Protection.‘ 
  6. Enter a password (if desired), then select OK.

If needed, you can convert a Word document to a PDF and share it with others. They can fill out the form but not alter the form controls or document content.

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