It’s a lot easier to create custom forms in Word than you might think and, certainly, much easier than it was many years ago. Under the Developer tab, Microsoft provides nine Content Controls, 12 ActiveX Controls, three Legacy Controls, and three Legacy Form features.

In Microsoft Word, Controls are pre-programmed tools that allow you to add and customize interactive content to your Word forms, templates, documents, and webpages. This article covers six of these Content Controls: Check Box, Combo Box, Drop-Down List Box, Rich Text and Plain Text Controls, and Date Picker. We’ll add more controls in updates to this story.

A. Creating a custom form: First steps

Start with a new file, and ensure the Developer tab is available.

1. Select File > New > Document

2. Once open, ensure that the Developer tab is available on the Ribbon menu.

3. If not, select File > Options > Customize Ribbon.

4. When the Customize Ribbon & Keyboard Shortcuts dialog menu appears, navigate to the right side of the screen under Customize the Ribbon > Main Tabs. Click the Developer check box to add the Developer tab to the Ribbon, then click OK.

Now let’s create some custom forms. For this exercise, we are creating a customer survey form for the residents of the Scottsdale, AZ community to fill out regarding the new Commercial Park and mall. Once complete and distributed, you can capture or export the residents’ responses into a database (MS Access) or spreadsheet (Excel).





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