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  1. #1
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    text form field 'blanks' on print (2003 (so far))

    HI

    I have a unique problem which some of you may know about or provide some sensible suggestion for it.

    I have a document with 'text form fields' which I expect my users to fill in & print. No problems so far. BTW: the form is protected so that the users can only fill in the fields. But what I have noticed is that when ever I update the form/document (i.e. add/remove fields) & print the form, it goes blank. All the fields that have been field in are cleared out. After some soul searching and quite a bit of time in experimenting what I have found is this:

    1. If the document is protected - the fields are not cleared after a print
    2. if the document is not protected - the fields are cleared after a print (BTW: If I clear 'update fields' on the Print tab Under options - this works fine, i.e. nothing is cleared and everything is fine). What is the relation between update fields and protected/unprotected form?

    Does anybody know why this happens and what is the logical reasoning behind this? Also, is there a way to avoid this problem (obviously, I have to unprotect the document to edit the form & it's not always easy to remember that I how to unprotect the document before printing it)? It seems like a straightforward bug to me but ...

    Thanks.

    Robie.
    Thanks.
    Robie

  2. #2
    Plutonium Lounger
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    Re: text form field 'blanks' on print (2003 (so far))

    Form fields are intended to be used in a protected document. They don't work correctly in an unprotected document. You should never print a filled in document with form fields while it is unprotected.

    Normally, you'd unprotect the "template" document if you want to modify its design, then protect it again. Since the form fields in the template haven't been filled in, nothing is lost.

    If you need to unprotect an already filled in form, you should use the Lock button on the Forms toolbar to unprotect and reprotect the document. This preserves the content of form field. Alternatively, you can use VBA code. The Protect method of the Document object has an argument to prevent the form fields from being reset:

    ActiveDocument.Protect Type:=wdAllowOnlyFormFields, NoReset:=True

  3. #3
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    Re: text form field 'blanks' on print (2003 (so far))

    Thanks Hans but it just seems silly to blank out fields just because the form is unprotected. (Rant On) In fact, I think the protection/unprotection is not properly implemented in word. (Rant Off).

    Oh well got to live with it - no choice. Thanks for the response Hans.

    Robie
    Thanks.
    Robie

  4. #4
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    Re: text form field 'blanks' on print (2003 (so far))

    I don't think this is a bug or an improperly implemented feature; you're misunderstanding the nature and purpose of form fields.

  5. #5
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    Re: text form field 'blanks' on print (2003 (so far))

    You obviously know 1000 times more about WORD then I do. I am just a novice user and just getting into WORD. Perhaps as I gain more knowledge of WORD - I will understand it more. :-).

    It just seems silly to me that it blanks the fields (I see no real purpose behind it doing this) when we print an unprotected document. I fully understand your explanation of locking/unlocking etc. I would have expected it to behave in exactly the same manner in both instances - that's all. I will just have to be careful (protect the form) when updating already filled in forms in future.
    Thanks.
    Robie

  6. #6
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    Re: text form field 'blanks' on print (2003 (so far))

    Normally, there should be no need to unprotect already filled in forms. There are some situations in which you have to; I usually create a macro that

    - Unprotects the document.
    - Performs an action that neds the document to be unprotected.
    - Protects the document with NoReset:=True

    and make this macro available through a custom toolbar button and/or keyboard shortcut. That way, the user doesn't have to remember to re-protect the document.

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    Re: text form field 'blanks' on print (2003 (so fa

    When you update a form field which is unprotected, its value returns to the default value - which just coincidentally happens to be blank on most fields. This is the behaviour I would expect since it provides a simple way to reset the form for the next set of data.

    As Hans has indicated, you can control this by locking the fields. However, from your question I would guess that you have a reason to be unlocking the document after the fields have been filled with temporary data. Have you investigated the possibility of adding section breaks and only locking the sections which contain form fields? This would allow you to keep your form fields safe but still allow normal text edits in other areas of the document.
    Andrew Lockton, Chrysalis Design, Melbourne Australia

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