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Thread: Field prompts

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    Field prompts

    I am trying to set up a form affidavit that will prompt the user for offense/charge names and State statute number/citation(s). Ideally, I'd like to have something I could select the charge(s) from as well as the respective statute/citation(s).

    I've looked into using the ADDIN and ASK fields but I do not think this is what they are for. I'm also wondering if some sort of a merge data source would be appropriate.

    In the case of more than one offense being placed in the affidavit, I would also want to add their respective statute citations in the same order as the listed charges.

    I've attached a copy of a similar type (blank) affidavit. The offense name(s) go in the area beneath the bold "AFFIDAVIT", after "committed the offense(s) of". The statute citation(s) go in the affidavit after "in violation of", and in the same order as the previously listed charges.

    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks in advance,

    Steve D. Gardella
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    Re: Field prompts

    Display the Forms toolbar. This will allow you to put a dropdown form on the document. Right click to display properties. You then put in the items for the dropdown list, etc.

    Hi Steve

    You will then need to do some VBA code which is referenced in the field's Run Macro on Exit box. The VBA code will call up the Citation and insert it in the appropriate place.

    There may be quite a lot more to do but this may give you a start.
    David Grugeon
    Brisbane Australia

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    Re: Field prompts

    Gidday Steve,

    You've touched on an area which can be huge.

    Short answer- put your list of charges in a drop-down form field instead of a text form field. You can enter up to 25 charges to choose from.

    More than one charge becomes more complicated. It can be done but it starts to get a little beyond a Q&A session as we have here.

    Try the dropdown boxes, and see how that goes for you. Ask questions, and see if we can answer your needs.

    I work for a law enforcement agency, so I can see your needs- but I can also see your complications, so I'm reluctant to go much further without specific questions.
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

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    Re: Field prompts

    O.K. my first choice would be to set up a mini-database in Access and merge the data to a Word document.

    However, another option could be to create a template. In the template under the paragraph where the citation info is to go, create a 3-column table. First column will be a form-field check-box. Second column could be the #/citation. Third column is the offense/charge names.

    Set the bookmark name for each checkbox (under properties for the checkbox) to chk# where # is the citation #. Bookmark the entry in the second column under a bookmark name of num# (where # is the citation #). Bookmark the entry in the third column under bookmark name of words# (where # is the citation #). Insert two text box form fields where the collected data is to be inserted. Disable these two check boxes. Protect the document.

    In the Exit macro property for the last form field the user touches, set it to a macro called IfChecked. This macro will piece together the data from each row of the table where the checkbox is checked. It then deletes the table and releases the document for further tweaking/saving, etc.

    I've attached a template with a sample table. The macro will probably need to be tweaked as it assumes each citation # is EXACTLY three digits. WARNING! This macro is set to delete the first table it finds in the document. If you add another table before this listing table you'll need to tweak the macro to ensure it deletes the correct table.

    Good luck.
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    Re: Field prompts

    Thanks for your response. Quite interesting and informative.

    I'm only vaguely familiar with merging data. How would I go about selecting specific data from the Access database. Not all charge names and statute citations would be in the order shown or set up in any given database?

    I really like the idea of using a table. Your example looked pretty interesting. My experience with bookmarking is pretty basic and, so far, has only been used to make an index in a manual I developed for my shift. I'll have to read up more on bookmarking.

    Thanks again,

    -Steve-

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    Re: Field prompts

    Thanks much for your reply to my post. Sorry to have to admit that I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to macros and VBA. They are on my "to do" list of things to learn in Word.

    Hope all is well with you and yours down under.

    -Steve-

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    Re: Field prompts

    Steve,

    I gathered from the fact that you're listed in the form as the police officer that you're not a professional programmer or a Word expert as some of us are. That's why I suggested using drop down boxes. They're simple to set up, but limited in their capabilities.

    I'm assuming in the next bit that you know nothing- but obviously you do know something to get as far as what you've got. So bear with me- just in case (even if you know all this, it *may* help somebody else).

    To set one up (just in case you don't know) , make sure the "forms" toolbar is visible (View, Toolbars, Forms) and select the one just to the right of the square box with a tick. Double click on what you've selected- you will get a
    dialog box. You can enter things to put in your dropdown box- type the text in the "drop down item", and click on "Add" when you've added the text. You can move items you've added up and down the list, delete or add items.

    Obviously, you need to protect the form when you've finished.

    This will probably not take you a long way towards where you want to go. You could go any level of sophistication toward where you want to go. I have worked for some years on mainframes, then PCs, to achieve what you want. I've also done a lot of work on Word forms to go in a similar direction. You can get huge amounts out of it- if your officers are anything like ours, you can spend heaps of time just filling out paperwork- and a fair percentage of that is just filling out your own name on every single piece of paperwork, from an affadavit to an aplication for leave. At lweast our people don't have to do that little bit time and time again- every form an officer opens has his/her own details already filled ouy; changing a detail on one form changes it for every form after that.

    I'm digressing- my point is that there's **many** things you can do with Word and other bits.

    Do you have an IT department? How much can you put into the system yourself? is it a mainframe or PC type system? Do you know what language it's written in?

    I ask that because there's also a lot of potential for tying in your existing systems with Word, Excel, Access or whatever. A system can genertate a Word form for you based on data already entered, or link to Excel to produce nice graphs.

    I'm not trying to scare you off. It's just that here, we have been limited by not knowing the potential of the products we work with. It's taken us some years to get where we're going now, just because we've developed in isolation, without seeing what else is possible. With ideas we could have got a lot further, faster- and probably could go a lot further. I'm just trying to give you a lot of ideas about where you could go.

    I hope I'm not out of order- and I hope you can see where I'm trying to go!
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

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    Re: Field prompts

    Thanks for the info. No way you scared me off. The possibilities to which you refer are just a bit overwhelming. I can see that I have quite a bit of learning to do. I intend to get with our I.T. folks as well as few friends who are more experienced with Word than I am.

    Thanks again,

    -Steve-

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    Re: Field prompts

    Hi Steve:

    I downloaded & looked at the affadavit. I could be wrong, but I'm guessing that having a form with a drop down list may be more trouble than its worth. I am making the following assumptions:

    1. The personal information is copied from a report, rap sheet, etc. & so is different for everyone.
    2. The only place where you're seeking to enter the description is the last box on the form. I'm guessing you left off a box (for the code section). However, legally the description is more important than the code section. A defect in the code section should not be fatal.
    3. The attachments are the crux of any warrant, because the most important issue is establishing probable cause to arrest.
    4. Code sections change from time to time, so you'll have to update it several times a year. Furthermore, I'm guessing that 80% of the warrants involve only 10-20 sections.

    If so, it might be easier to type a table that contains 2 columns:
    Col 1: Col 2:
    crime Code Section

    You could have 2 tables, one sorted alphabetically by crime & one sorted by code section (so if someone remembered either one, they could look up the other). I realize it's heresy to suggest using a paper document, but I think it's easier to scan a one or two page document than it is to scroll through two drop down lists containing two dozen items. If you use a drop down list in Word, it will have to be complete. It will be to cumbersome for someone to unprotect the document (possibly lose all the other fields in the process), just to they can type an uncommon charge that wasn't included in the drop down list.

    You could still use your form. Just protect it for forms & the user can tab from one field to the next. Or, leave it unprotected & the user can press F11 to hop from one place to the next. Don't forget to add one more field where the code section goes.

    If you want to use the latter method (not protecting the form), you can replace the text formfields with the following fields:

    {macrobutton nomacro "put whatever you want to use to prompt the user here"}

    Either way, you can use autotext to help complete the entries & make them consistent. For example, instead of writing "first degree burglary of an inhabited dwelling house" (assuming that were the name of the crime), you could have an autotext entry that said "burg" (w/o quotes) & then press F3 to expand it. You could do the same thing with code sections. Instead of writing Part(i) of subsection (2) of Section 314, you could abbreviate the code section to something commonly used (e.g. 314) & have it expand to include whatever you need.

    Hope this helps.

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    Re: Field prompts

    Hi Texas:

    I downloaded your document to look at it. When I try to open it, I get a message that "the document name or path is not valid". This actually happened to me before with a download from this lounge. Any idea why?

    Thanks,

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    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Re: Field prompts

    <P ID="edit"><FONT SIZE=-1>Edited by gwhitfield on 01/01/26 09:57.</FONT></P>*** From Geoff W: I've added live links ****
    You may want to download and explore the following:
    Form / UserForm
    I suspect that what you want is a "form" rather than a "userform." A
    userform is a VBA component used for building your own dialog boxes.

    Take a look at:
    http://www.addbalance.com/usersguide/forms.htm (very rough but good links)

    You may want to download the following and take a look at them.
    http://www.addbalance.com/word/download/AskForm.zip and
    http://www.adrdbalance.com/word/download/UserForm.zip.

    See also http://www.mvps.org/word/FAQs/TblsFl...nesInForms.htm
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    Re: Field prompts

    Steve, i'm attaching my "instructions to me" to make a template. i learned from lots of tips from other people on chat rooms, forums! i now work in a law office, but was a 911 operator in dade county fla for 10 years. the template i made was similar to your attachment, in that it is a legal pleading. the bookmarks make it so you only have to enter once something that might be filled in in mucho places. i then save the filled template as a document on its own. another way is a primary merge document where the 'usual' answer is filled in but can be overwritten in the dialogue box, i then save that secondary document in case i have to merge it to another primary document using some or all of the same info.
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