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Word 2019 problems with Text, Drop-Down & Date Picker Content Controls

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    Word 2019 problems with Text, Drop-Down & Date Picker Content Controls

    Many years ago, I created a form in Word97 that had text form fields & drop-down form fields. I'm a small remodeling/building contractor & used the form to notify my vendors/subcontractors of projects I am bidding on & Inviting them to Bid their specialty to me. The type of projects I worked on changed many years ago & I stopped using the form & actually forgot that I had created it.

    Recently, a need came up for the form again. I currently have a Win10 machine & running Word2019. Found the file & noticed that it was saved using compatibility mode. When I opened the document, the form fields weren't operating properly & I couldn't figure out how to open them & "debug". I decided that I should make a new form in 2019 with a couple additional fields I want to add & have probably spent 16 hours & been unable to get it to operate properly. i hope there is an expert at this forum that can help me.

    My skill level with Microsoft products is beginner/basic & I get frustrated with multiple google searches for solutions that can sometimes be confusing. During my initial attempts, I couldn't find a Form Fields command. Google searches told me to add the Developer tab (which I did) & I noticed there were various Content Controls like text & drop-down list. Have these replaced the form fields? I tried making some test templates & test documents but couldn't get them to work properly. I also noticed that even though I used the Restrict Editing command before saving it, when I opened the document again, a yellow ribbon across the top would appear with a box asking if we want to allow editing. No - I don't. Is there a way to prevent that ribbon from appearing?

    If anyone can help me, here's what I'm thinking:
    *The form should start as a Word Template that will be located in a general folder in File Explorer.
    *When a project comes up to bid, I open the template & save it as a document in a specific folder that I have set up for that particular project.
    *I then open the document; fill in all the text;drop-down; & date picker boxes & save it in a "protected mode" that can not be changed & that I don't get the yellow ribbon across the top when it's opened.
    *From there, I will attach it to an email that I will be sending to the affected vendors/subcontractors.

    Is what I'm thinking possible? What I need are the following form fields; etc.
    1. Insert my logo at the top of the page. this seems easy enough using the Insert tab, then Picture. Or do I use the Picture Content Control under the developer tab?
    2. A text box or form field for the "Project Name". The project names size varies so I would think a maximum of 50 characters would work.
    3. A date picker box or form field for the "Bid Date & Time". I.E. May 9,2022 5:00pm.
    4. A drop-down list or form field for the "Project Type". The two choices are (1) NON-PREVAILING Wage, & (2) PREVAILING Wage.
    5. A text box or form field for "Bid Documents are Available HERE". This needs to be large enough to insert a link to a website where the PDF of the drawings is located. Again, the size varies depending on the link, but I would think a full page width would be enough.

    Thank You in advance for any help that is given.

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    Re: Word 2019 problems with Text, Drop-Down & Date Picker Content Controls

    You say:
    Quote Originally Posted by CayukChris View Post
    When I opened the document, the form fields weren't operating properly & I couldn't figure out how to open them & "debug".
    In what way weren't they updating properly? Formfield behaviour hasn't changed since Word 97.
    Re:
    Quote Originally Posted by CayukChris View Post
    I noticed there were various Content Controls like text & drop-down list. Have these replaced the form fields?
    Content Controls and Formfields are quite different. Both are supported, but you shouldn't use both in the same document. Formfields are accessed via the 'Legacy Controls' icon.

    Re:
    Quote Originally Posted by CayukChris View Post
    *The form should start as a Word Template that will be located in a general folder in File Explorer.
    *When a project comes up to bid, I open the template & save it as a document in a specific folder that I have set up for that particular project.
    *I then open the document; fill in all the text;drop-down; & date picker boxes & save it in a "protected mode" that can not be changed
    That's not how Word templates (files ending in .dot, .dotx or .dotm) are used. If you're using a true Word template, merely double-clicking on it will create a new Word document (typically given an initial name of 'Document1') that you can fill in and save. Any edits you make won't affect the template itself.

    We'd have a better idea of how to help if you attached a copy of the actual document to a post. Can you attach a document to a post with some representative data (delete anything sensitive)? You can do this via the paperclip symbol on the 'Go Advanced' tab at the bottom of this screen.
    Cheers,
    Paul Edstein
    [Fmr MS MVP - Word]

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    Re: Word 2019 problems with Text, Drop-Down & Date Picker Content Controls

    Paul, Thank You for replying. I did find the Legacy Tools button after my original post & "played with it a little bit". I'm sorry, my computer skills aren't the greatest.

    Ok, I think I just uploaded two files. 1. BID SOLICITATION which was the original form I built back in Word 97. Back when I built this, there was no internet or websites,etc. #2 Is a newer form from a different contractor that is more up to date.
    I want my new form to be closer to that taking into account that now the form will have a link to the pdf file that will be located on my website.

    I made a new test template & tried to attach that too but it said that it was an invalid file type.

    I understand that once I open a template it becomes a document. My understanding was that the template would be the "blank form" with the empty fields that stays the same. then I open it (It becomes a document which i fill in the data specific to the project and save that as a document for that project.

    I did a test of this new document by filling in the data, then saved it (1st I restricted editing to Read Only). Closed Word then emailed the document to myself as an attachment. When I opened the email & the attachment(in Word) I would still get the yellow ribbon across the top with the button that says allow editing.
    Also, all the form field boxes were shaded a light grey. I don't want that or the yellow "Allow editing " ribbon across the top.

    Once I figure out how to use the Form fields correctly, then I will design a good looking presentation form.

    Out of curiosity, is there a better way to build a form like this?
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    Re: Word 2019 problems with Text, Drop-Down & Date Picker Content Controls

    See attached template, which uses content controls. To use content controls, you must use the dotx or dotm template format.

    If you save the document in the default docx format, the content controls will still be accessible.

    Since you don't want recipients editing anything, I'd recommend saving a completed document in the PDF format and sending that to them. Alternatively, you could save it as a Word document using the older doc format - which will result in the content controls being converted to their results and the document content inaccessible due to the 'filling in forms' protection. I don't recommend that, as your hyperlinks will also be inaccessible.
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    Re: Word 2019 problems with Text, Drop-Down & Date Picker Content Controls

    Paul - Thank You so much! You have been an immense help. I didn't even think about saving the completed document as a PDF document to send to them. That is a great , simple solution.

    One final question is: If I save the document as a PDF, will the hyperlink still work? I'll try it it out & if I have problems, get back in touch with you.

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    Re: Word 2019 problems with Text, Drop-Down & Date Picker Content Controls

    Quote Originally Posted by CayukChris View Post
    One final question is: If I save the document as a PDF, will the hyperlink still work?
    Yes, the hyperlink will still work.

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