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  1. #1
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    Question Set TAB behavior in Word 2010 form controls

    I've create a document using the new forms control in Word 2010, and set the document protection on so that the user can only fillin the form fields. I'd like the user to be able to navigate between the fields using the TAB key, but instead hitting the TAB key just jumps to the next TAB stop within the field. How should I set the fields so that the user users the TAB key to navigate from field to field.

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  3. #2
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    I don't know a way around that content control behavior (hopefully someone else here can come up with a solution), but one way around the problem is to just use the 'legacy' form fields when creating simple forms, even in Word 2007 and 2010. In my opinion for simple forms, the legacy form fields are still a valid way to go.

    Gary

  4. #3
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    This reply may be off-topic, but this issue makes me wonder. Another similar situation has to do more with Windows, I guess. There was the ability to save settings for Office so that, in network situations where the security settings didn't allow them to automatically populate when the machine is turned on, it took a couple of clicks to restore the settings.

    Another one, more directly related to Word and Office involves the fact that we used to be able to custom design tool icons to use for things like macros, and now we have to just select them from the default group or, I suppose, design them in a third party program.

    My question...the thing I wonder about...is why does Microsoft remove funtionality? It makes no sense to me. I can definitely see adding functionality in new versions. But if something works, why the heck would they want to delete it? I cannot imagine ever wanting to design a form where the abililty to tab between controls...text boxes mostly, but also list boxes, etc....isn't part of the form's design. Not keeping this feature in Word has made form design in Word almost useless.

  5. #4
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    Sorry to be a little late to this party.

    There are two ways to get the tabbing behavior with content controls instead of legacy form fields. Using legacy forms protection, though, is not one of them.

    One way is to use the same Restrict Formatting pane, but under the "Editing restrictions" label, choose "No changes (read only)". Then you have to click in each content control and check the "Everyone" box under Exceptions.

    The other way is not to use "protection" at all. Instead, select the whole document and click Group on the Developer tab, then click Group in the dropdown menu. With this, unlike the various "protection" schemes, you can click in the text between content controls -- but you can't edit or format anything except inside the controls.

    There's one exception to tabbing through content controls: If the cursor lands in a Rich Text control, hitting the Tab key just inserts a tab character. There are no workarounds for this other than some fairly complex macro programming.

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    The last post says that using legacy forms protection is not a solution, but is the only solution so far that works. You can use the content control and click, but that is very inefficient if you are using a form for data entry. Clicking each control makes the user take their hands off the keyboard and click the mouse, very slow. This was a bad decision by Microsoft in thinking that data entry users want to move their hands back and forth between the mouse and the keyboard. Microsoft seems intent on taking an easy to use product, Office, and making it unintuitive, with less features, and more difficult to use with each release.

  7. #6
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hagridore View Post
    This reply may be off-topic, ... we used to be able to custom design tool icons to use for things like macros, and now we have to just select them from the default group or, I suppose, design them in a third party program.

    My question...the thing I wonder about...is why does Microsoft remove funtionality? It makes no sense to me. I can definitely see adding functionality in new versions. ...
    They removed customization functionality at the request of corporate IT departments who were being called in to fix problems users had created through the easy customization.

    It still can be done, for the most part, and even more, using XML which is beyond most user's knowledge base. Customize the Ribbon (It Doesn't Take Rocket Science)



    RibbonX: Customizing the Office 2007 Ribbon - by Robert Martin, Ken Puls, and Theresa Hennig
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

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    The last reply is off topic. Of course customizing the ribbon is not "Rocket Science", but that is not the issue. The legacy form fields are still available and are still the solution if you want a protected form, that the users can tab through.

  9. #8
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    Plain text control

    Instead of using the Rich Text content control box you can insert the Plain Text Content Control to enable users to tab between form-fields.

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  11. #9
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    This is perfect and so easy! Thank you so much.

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