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  1. #1
    Platinum Lounger
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    Alternative to forms?

    Hi,

    We've used forms quite successfully for many situations- where we have form fields and protect the document.

    The major limitations of this though are:
    .You cannot do spell checks
    .That you cannot apply formatting such as bold, italics, bullet points, or any of the other nice features of Word.

    We can get around the first be means of a macr, but the second one is a problem.

    We've tried breaking the document into sections, and leaving sections unprotected. That came the closest to what we wanted, but it was much less intuitive about where data was to be entered, and the users wanted to get away from taht (we did put in the command at Autonew to show text boundaries, but that wasn't sufficient enough prompt for them).

    ActiveX controls do not allow formatting.

    Any other ideas please?
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

  2. #2
    Silver Lounger Charles Kenyon's Avatar
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    Re: Alternative to forms?

    Geoff,

    Have you reviewed the information on forms at the Word newsgroups MVPs site? I think they had workarounds for the problems you are mentioning. http://www.mvps.org/word

    Otherwise, possibly a UserForm putting info into document variables / document properties and retrieving in the document using fields.
    Charles Kyle Kenyon
    Madison, Wisconsin

  3. #3
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    Re: Alternative to forms?

    Charles,

    That's where I picked up the spell checking on form fields. The code there didn't go quite far enough- it didn't spell check unprotected sections in a protected document- but that's something I could pick up.

    The formatting though is a bigger problem.

    I may possibly end up going as you suggest with a userform- they will have to enter all the data once only, then go back and apply formatting, etc.

    It's a pity form fields are so restrictive- they can be so useful otherwise.
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

  4. #4
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    Re: Alternative to forms?

    Hi,

    If you use a userform instead, you're not limited to allowing the users to enter data only once; it should be possible to allow them to reshow the form and edit the data there if they needed to. To do this, you need to insert text to bookmarks in the document, and preserve the bookmarks when doing the insert, to enable retrieving the text later if necessary.

    The second thing is just an idea, and may not be practical, but you might be able to introduce some basic text formatting functionality into a userform through the use of tags, which superficially would resemble the tags we use in messages here for bold, italic etc. You could add buttons on the userform to for instance bracket text which the user has selected in a textbox, with "[ i ]" and " [ /i ]".

    Then when the form is executed, you could have functions that would parse the inserted text for the presence of the formatting tags, apply the text formatting as appropriate, and remove the tags. Kind of a wacky idea, but it might work.

    Gary

  5. #5
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    Re: Alternative to forms?

    Gary,

    Some nice creative thinking there!

    I've used the first approach in simpler documents without fomatting- but in order to preserve formatting, I'd have to be using the second approach as well. And that would mean I'd have to do double parsing as well, to insert the markup from formatted text as well as back again.

    I suspect that this might be beyond the scope of some of the users- we have to put in explicit instructions on how to unprotect a form, so markup might not be satisfactory.

    Thanks for the idea though- it's a seed which could be used for something else.
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

  6. #6
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    Re: Alternative to forms?

    Hi Geoff:

    I think that the reason the formatting is unavailable in formfields is that Microsoft was trying to allow the administrators a way to restrict formatting.

    If you want to allow users to format & to spellcheck, why not just use the macrobutton nomacro method & let users jump from one area to another by pressing F11?

  7. #7
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    Re: Alternative to forms?

    Phil,

    I'll play with it and pass itonto the users.

    If it works- perhaps I could map the tab key onto the same command which F11 triggers and make it look more like they're used to?
    Subway Belconnen- home of the Signboard to make you smile. Get (almost) daily updates- follow SubwayBelconnen on Twitter.

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