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  1. #1
    5 Star Lounger
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    How to create a fill-in form

    After days of unsuccessful searching, thought I'd try the Lounge although it's a different sort of issue from what I usually bring here!


    I'm trying to create a form that a user does not have to "Submit" anywhere, but simply fill in on his/her computer, save, return to anytime, print and be able to re-use by clearing all its fields. User will access the form from a screen in one of our on-line learning programs.


    I've researched SurveyMonkey, JotForm, FormLogix, Wufoo. Tried to make sense out of how to do it in Word 2007 (totally confused), Adobe ... well, you see what I mean. I am not a programmer nor a "databaser" - just hoping for some program or suggestion as to where I can go to do this.


    Hope there's a "forms for dummies" expert Lounger out there who can give me some direction.


    As always, many thanks for any thoughts!


    Linda

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger t8ntlikly's Avatar
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    Linda,
    I use Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro for this, however the Pro Extended version has a few more features. V10 is now available.
    I tried to geet away from Adobe, but because I do these forms. I couldn't. IMHO there just isn't anything that I have seen at least that matches Adobe for forms. But Hey! I've been wrong in the past!!
    Last edited by t8ntlikly; 2011-06-08 at 11:16.
    Thanks John
    Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy other people to shoot at. (Murphy's War Laws #39)

  3. #3
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    Thanks so much for this suggestion. Like you, I'm not crazy about Adobe being the solution (cost, support), but glad to hear there IS a solution!

    A couple of follow on questions (I've not used Adobe or created a form like this before!):
    1. Can users access the form via a link in our program; fill it in partially; save it on their computers so they can return to add to it later?
    2. When they've completed one form, can users access a new blank form to use in a different situation?

    I'll get on-line to check out both programs, too, but am sure your answers will be easier to understand than Adobe's promotional text!

    I really appreciate this suggestion: I was pulling my hair out in handfuls! Everywhere I was looking talked about databases and data records and we don't need to keep any data: just want users to be able to access again what they've inputted.

    Thanks again,

    Linda

  4. #4
    Silver Lounger t8ntlikly's Avatar
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    You can hyperlink to the form on your website, the second part to be honest I am not sure of as that has not come up in the ones that I have done. Given the scope of the program however I would venture that yes they can, but don't hold me to that one.
    When users complete the form, they have a couple of options that you as the creator have given them. 1 is to e-mail it to you, and in that scenario, only the data is sent not the form. or 2 they can print and fax to you. With that scenario they would be able to save it to their desktop.
    Each time they go to the form, the form is blank. I hope that answers you question.
    Just FYI, If you are running Windows XP, and can get your hands on a licensable copy of Adobe Acrobat 7 Pro, that is where I would start. That version was complete, where as V9 Pro is good, but in order to get all of the features that are in 7 you need 9 Pro extended, but Adobe 7 and Windows7 don't play well together.
    Last edited by t8ntlikly; 2011-06-08 at 12:03. Reason: needed a cup of coffee
    Thanks John
    Teamwork is essential; it gives the enemy other people to shoot at. (Murphy's War Laws #39)

  5. #5
    5 Star Lounger
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    OK, I think I understand. The product site has a chat feature so I'll check on #2 there to be sure. Unfortunately, I have Windows 7 now so the older version won't work. I can see why it would have been a good solution: it's considerably cheaper (or, to be more accurate, less expensive)!!

    "Each time they go to the form, the form is blank." - does that mean that a partially completed form can't be saved by the user to open and finish later? We don't want to see the forms at all: they're to be used only as planning documents for the users.

    Thanks again - and I'm glad you got some coffee: it's a lot earlier out there than it is here!

    Linda

    Live Chat Results
    Well, according to "Arnold" at Adobe's Live Chat, the X Pro version will do all we need. Apparently, a blank form can be accessed by using the original link again or by opening a completed survey and clearing the fields. I tried to be as specific as I could to be sure of his answers, but think going with their free trial first would be a good idea. That way, we can know for sure! Again, thanks for this redirection. Will talk everything over with my partner and come to a decision. Sure feel better about our chances now, thanks to you!
    Last edited by IreneLinda; 2011-06-08 at 14:31. Reason: Added results from on-line chat.

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    Hi,

    Another way to do this is to work directly in your favorite word processor:
    1. Create your form.
    2. Do a screen shot of it, complete.
    3. Paste the image into your form template.
    4. Move the image to the back, (format image, wrapping, behind text).
    5. Set margins and tabstops to line up form entry points.
    6. Save the template.
    7. Provide the template to users to complete.

    Hope this helps.

    DVH

  7. #7
    5 Star Lounger
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    Thanks for the directions! Just to be sure I've understood you: this is done after I have a form creation program to create the template. Is that correct? Your steps are an easy way to allow a user to get a new blank form each time?

    Linda

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    You can create the form in Word or whatever you have. Nop need for specialist software.

    cheers, Paul

  9. #9
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    Thank, Paul. I had tried Word (2007), but found it very difficult to figure out how to do it, especially since the help I'd found seemed to be written for pre-Ribbon days! However, I will search out more tutorials if you think it can do what we're trying to do:
    1. create an easy to use and access form
    2. form accessible from our web site by any number of users
    3. users can fill in form online
    4. users can save the form on their computers
    5. users can also complete it later, saving what they've already inputted on their computers
    6. finally, form can be printed by user.

    Apparently, using Adobe Acrobat will add layers of technical complexity I'd like to avoid (too many places for glitches to occur). We want someone who uses the form to be able to easily get to the form and back to our content easily.

    What do you think? Could we do all this with a Word form? I'll gladly find tutorials on creating Word forms if you think so!

    Thanks for your input,

    Linda

  10. #10
    5 Star Lounger
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    Quote Originally Posted by IreneLinda View Post
    .........I had tried Word (2007), but found it very difficult to figure out how to do it, especially since the help I'd found seemed to be written for pre-Ribbon days! ........
    .........
    This may help for transition to ribbon for Office 2007 or Office 2010 .....
    Transition to the Office ribbon

    You might want to consider trying FREE Google Docs....
    Easy to create, HTML forms from Google

    Also, note the links at bottom for Documents, Spreadsheets, etc.

  11. #11
    5 Star Lounger
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    Thanks for the great suggestions! I'll check them all out and post back with results. Appreciate the input!

    Linda

  12. #12
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    Linda, I see a problem with filling in the form online and allowing it to be saved locally. If you create something that can be saved locally, you need to email or upload it to the web server. If you fill it in online you cannot easily save it, and once you do it will no longer be online. If you can choose one or the other it will be much easier.

    cheers, Paul

  13. #13
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    Hi Linda - Without indicating the wording of questions, what types of questions are anticipated? Among types of questions can be Text answers, Multiple Choice, Check Boxes, Drop Down Lists, Paragraphs, etc. Also, how many questions are anticipated on the form?

    How important is it to be able to return to a partially filled in form? Would a printout of previous session suffice?

    What would cause the need to ignore prior submissions and start with a new form?

    Just trying to get a better feel for what the goals are!!!

    Speaking of goals .... Go Bruins !!!!

  14. #14
    5 Star Lounger
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    After I say, "Go Canucks", you may not want to reply to this. Back to my forms ...

    Thanks for pursuing a solution to this. To answer your questions:
    1. the form is being used as a way to apply basic business skills user has learned in an on-line program
    2. types of questions would be pretty much the ones you outlined: mainly check boxes, multiple choice with some short text answers
    3. the issue of returning to a partially completed form arises because of the number of questions: there are 10 "skills" covered, with 2 to 4 questions for each. Most users will not want to fill in all of these at once, I suspect.
    4. paper would work for our purposes, but is not the preferred media for the target audience (20 and 30 somethings).
    5. the need to re-use a "clean" form arises so the user can apply the skills again in a different business situation.

    Does that help? We may need to go with something that is less than ideal to provide a form feature and work toward an ideal solution down the road. I ran into the "save and get back to issue" with Survey Monkey and other similar programs: they create great on-line forms (and Survey Monkey is wonderful to work with as far as customer support - even for the free version - is concerned!!), but can't be returned to and were designed to collect and forward data, which we don't really need from our form. Sigh! And, of course, I'm beginning to realize that this whole area requires a higher level of technical knowledge than I possess!

    I sure appreciate your time in helping me work through this!

    Linda
    Last edited by IreneLinda; 2011-06-17 at 13:50. Reason: Removed hockey "rant"!

  15. #15
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    If you don't mind taking time to set up your questionnaire, you can try a site called ProProfs.... they specialise in surveys / questionnaires, and even online examinations. You can set the way in which questions are asked or the time taken for each section or the whole exam..... http://www.proprofs.com/quiz-school/signup/business/

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