Marshall Adult Education



Create a Form in Microsoft Word

You can create electronic forms using Microsoft Word.  It’s quick an easy to create simple forms and with a little practice, you can create more complex forms.  This Tech Tip will give you the basics of creating a form in Word.


The first thing you need to do is show the Forms menu bar.  This menu bar will provide you all the elements you need to create a form.  Here’s how to show it.  Click on the View menu, point to Toolbars, and then click on FormsThe Forms menu bar will appear – probably on the right hand side of one of the other menu bars. 

There is another way to have the Forms menu bar appear.  Move the cursor to somewhere in the menu bar – anywhere.  Then right-click.  A pop-up menu will appear which shows all the menu bars available.  Those with a check mark next to it are open menu bars.  Simply click on the menu bar you want to show or hide (check or uncheck).  That’s the quick and easy way to show menu bars.


The Forms menu bar has only 10 icons. Here is a rundown of the icons and what they are used for.

The first 3 icons (from the left) are the elements (form fields) that can be inserted in your form.

  • The first icon is for inserting a Text Form Field.
  • The second icon is for inserting a Check Box Form Field.
  • The third icon is for inserting a Drop Down Form Field.
  • The fourth icon is the  Form Field Options and is used to format one of the form fields mentioned above.  You actually may never click on this icon because if you want to format a form field, it is easier to just double- click on it. 
  • The fifth and sixth icons are for Inserting a Table.  You may use a table for many of the forms you create. 
  • The sixth icon is form Inserting A Frame.  You click on it and draw out a frame in your document.  You can place the frame anywhere you want in the document.  And you can add one of the elements in the frame.
  • The last 3 icons you will use when creating your form and testing it.  The third icon from the right, Form Field Shading, will shade each form field placed in your document.  Use this when you are creating your form.
  • The last icon on the right, the Protect Form (the padlock), will lock the entire form.  You will want to lock the form when your test it or when you complete the form. 
  • And the second icon from the right, Reset Form Fields, will reset all the form fields to blank fields (or default fields).  Use this when you are testing your form.


OK – so let’s give it a try.  Do these steps to create a simple form.

  1. Type the word NAME and press the Space Bar a couple of times.
  2. Now insert a Text Form Field by clicking on the first icon on the left.
  3. Click on the Form Field Shading icon so that the Text Form Field is shaded.
  4. Double-click on the Text Form Field you just inserted into your document.  The Text Form Field Options pop-up menu will appear.  You can format the Text Form Field in several ways.  The 4 options in the Text Form Field section are the ones that you will use to have this form field work the way you specify.  Try some of the options.  Click OK when you are finished.
  5. Press Return.

  6. Now click on the Check Box Form Field.  Press the Space Bar twice.
  7. Type the word Male and press the Space Bar 5 times.
  8. Click on the Check Box Form Field again and press the Space Bar twice.
  9. Type the word Female and press Return.
  10. Double-click on the first check box to show the Check Box Form Field Options.  Choose the Text Box size and the Default value you want to use and click OK.  Do the same for the second check box.

  11. Now type the word AGE and press the Space Bar twice.
  12. OK, this time click on the Drop-Down Form Field.
  13. Double click on this form field you just created to show the Drop Down Form Field Options.
  14. Type the words 20 to 30 in the box below Drop Down Menu and then click on Add
  15. Type the words 30 to 40 in the box below Drop Down Menu and then click on Add
  16. Type the words 40 to 50 in the box below Drop Down Menu and then click on Add
  17. Type the words Above 50 in the box below Drop Down Menu and then click on Add
  18. Click OK.

That’s it – you just created a simple form.

You just created a simple form using the 3 form fields available.  Now, to test the form, Click on the Protect Form (the lock) to lock the form fields.  You can also click on the Form Field Shading icon to hide the shading (deselect it).

Your cursor will automatically move to the first form field you created. 

  1. Fill out this form field by typing you name.
  2. If you are Male click on the Male box and if you are Female click on the Female box.
  3. Click on the third form field – the drop down box, and select the appropriate age.

Well, you have learned the basics of creating an electronic form.  Practice creating other forms and soon you’ll be a forms expert.

One last thing - You can go to the Computerized Forms page on the ABE website and see several examples of forms created using Microsoft Word.  Check them out here:




Lyon County Government Center  •  607 W. Main St.  •  Marshall, MN 56258  •  (507) 537-7046

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