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Friday, July 8, 2011

How to Use Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007

Microsoft Office InfoPath 2007 is a form-making program designed to work with other Microsoft Office programs and to help gather data easily and expeditiously. InfoPath forms work in several formats; forms can be emailed, opened in Web browsers or sent to mobile phones and devices. Once forms are sent to recipients, the forms are active. Recipients can fill in the open boxes on the InfoPath form with the requested information and return the form to the original sender.

Begin a form template by selecting "File" > "Design a Form Template." This will bring up the Design a Form Template window. Forms can be based on another file, such as a database, or can be created from scratch. To begin a form from scratch, choose the "Blank" option in the "Based On" box and click "OK." Your form will open with the Design Tasks window open on the right side of your blank form.

2. Design the form layout. Click "Layout." This will show you all of the possible table layouts and controls for your form. You will choose a layout table for your form and then manage the cells within that layout to create the design for your form. You can change the layout by merging cells or splitting cells vertically or horizontally. To merge or split, simply click into a cell to highlight it and then double-click the action in the Design Tasks pane on the right side of the screen.

Put content in the cells of your form. Once your layout is complete, you can add text to any cell of the form by clicking on the cell. If your form is to gather personal information, the content of separate cells might be "Name," "Address," "Birth Date" and similar headings.

Add controls to your form. Get to the list of controls available in InfoPath 2007 by clicking the "Controls" option in the Design Tasks pane. Controls that can be added to InfoPath forms include drop-down lists, check boxes and more. You can also just place a text box, which allows the form's recipient to type directly into the form. If you have asked for "Name" and "Address," for instance, you will want to put a text box next to these words so that your recipient can fill in the requested information.

Make your cells scrollable. The Insert layout Controls section includes a "Scrolling Region" option. When you click on a cell and enable this option for the cell, a scroll bar will be added to the cell, and your recipients will be able to scroll the cell. This is useful for cells that will likely contain more information than the size of the cell will hold. For example, you can ask for a 200-word bio in a cell that will only hold 50 words. When the individual filling out the form gets to the bottom of the cell, he can simply scroll down and continue typing in the cell.


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