Create A Form In Word 2010

Forms in Microsoft Word provide a way for you to gather information from the people you send them to. Once the respondents have returned their completed forms, you can then use another program like Excel or Access to store the results, or just view them in Word.

Form Fields In Word 2010

The form fields toolbar of Word 2003 has been relocated to the Legacy Tools button in the Controls group in Word 2010 (in fact, this change occurred in Word 2007). However, the Controls group is on the Developer tab and this is not displayed by default. If you can’t see the Developer tab in the ribbon, click the File tab > Options > Customise Ribbon, and ensure that “Developer” exists in the right hand pane and that the option is checked. Read more about displaying the Developer Tab.

Suppose we need to create a form that enables attendants to a course to give their feedback. Let’s list the information we might need:

  • Date
  • Name
  • Branch
  • Overall Rating

These pieces of information will appear in our form for the respondents to fill in.

Creating The Form In Word

Many people find that tables are a great help when aligning the elements of a form, so we’ll use a table for our form too.

Create a new document (ctrl-n) and save it immediately (ctrl-s). Save it as a template by changing the Save as type to .dotx and give it a name. We do this so that we always have a “clean” version of the form on which to base individual document copies for distribution. This means that we can send out a feedback form called Dave_Feedback.docx to Dave that is based on the template we are about to create. Dave will fill out the form and return it to us. Similarly, we can create documents based on this template for Anne, Pete, Christine and Kev.

Insert a table by clicking Insert > Tables > Table, and click the square that represents a table with 4 rows and 2 columns. We need to type in the name of the piece of information in the left hand column and insert a form field in the right hand column.

We should now have something like this:

Using Tables For Forms In Word

We’re going to be adding form fields now, so the first thing we need to do is change to Design Mode: click Developer > Controls > Design Mode. The first form field we need to add is a date picker. Place the cursor in the table cell in the second column and first row and then click the Date Picker Content Control in the Control group.

Date Picker Content Control

With the date picker still selected, click the Properties button and give it a title. I called mine “date”.

Date Picker Title
The title will be displayed next to the date picker when it is active, to give a visual clue about what the field is.

Let’s insert a form field for Name. Place the cursor in the next blank cell down and this time click the Plain Text Content Control button. Again, we’re going to title this field by clicking the Properties button and typing in the title.

We can repeat the same process for adding a “Branch” form field, but things get a little racy when we add the Overall Rating field. We’re going to give the reader a choice of 1-5 for their rating score. Click the Drop-Down List button and then click Properties. Give the drop down list a name (like “Rating”) and then add the ratings 1-5 to the list. We do this by clicking the Add button and typing in the Display Name and the Value. Something like this would do:

Do the same for all the ratings and we should have a list like this:

Drop Down List

If you’d like to get rid of the “Choose an item” entry in the list, select it and then click Remove.


Even though the form is in a table, pressing the tab key moves the cursor to the next form field – not the next table cell.