Create and use fill-in fields

A fill-in field will create a "blank" in a document template that can be filled in by a user. The difference between a fill-in field and a form field is that a fill-in field will prompt the user for input when the user starts a new document with the template. If you have multiple fill-in fields in a document, each prompt will appear and pause for user input, then the document will appear with all fields filled in.

To create a fill-in field

  1. Position the insertion point where you want the text that will be entered by the user to appear.
  2. Choose Insert → Field.

    Field dialog box

  3. In the Field names list, choose Fill-in.
  4. In the Field Properties Prompt box, enter the text you want to appear to prompt the user for input.
  5. Optionally, enter default text.
  6. Click OK.
  7. You will be prompted once by the Fill-in field. Enter a response. While it does not matter what you enter, if you have configured default text, you should enter that same text.
  8. Click OK.

After inserting one or more fill-in fields, you treat the document like other Word forms.

  • Save the form as a template. Choose File ? Save As and, from the Save as type list, select Document template.
  • Use the form by choosing File ? New and starting a new document based on the template.
  • When a new document is started using the form template, you will be prompted by each fill-in field in the document.

There are some important distinctions between fill-in fields and form fields:

  • There are several types of form fields: text box, check box, and drop-down list. Form fields can also include formatting and calculations. A fill-in field is only text.
  • Fill-in fields prompt the user prior to fully opening the document. A user must navigate to each form field.
  • Form fields require that the document (or at least the portion of the document with form fields) is protected. Documents with fill-in fields do not have to be protected, although you may choose to do so for other reasons.

Like form fields, you can bookmark a fill-in field and then insert a reference to the bookmark elsewhere in the document, allowing you to automate document creation.

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