How to Create Fields in a Word Template

By Craig Witt

Microsoft Word gives you the ability to create a wide range of print-formatted documents and templates, including letters, envelopes, labels and forms. The 2007 and 2010 versions of the program also allow you to insert form fields in a template, although this functionality is hidden by default. Fortunately, once you reveal the corresponding menu tab, creating and formatting your own fields becomes a quick process that requires only a few clicks.

Reveal the Developer Tab

Click the "File" or "Office" button near the top left corner of the program window.

Select "Options" if you use Word 2010. In Word 2007, select "Word Options."

Select the "Customize Ribbon" tab in the resulting dialog box if you use Word 2010. In Word 2007, select the "Popular" tab.

Check the "Developer" box if you use Word 2010. In Word 2007, check the "Show Developer tab in the Ribbon" box.

Click "OK" to confirm the change and enable the selected tab.

Insert a Form Field

Press the "Ctrl" and "O" keys. In the resulting dialog box, locate your Word template and then open it by double-clicking its icon.

Select the "Developer" tab located near the top of the program window, and click on the area of the template where you want the form field created.

Look to the "Controls" section of the "Developer" tab, and then click on the icon that represents your preferred form field type (e.g., "Text," "Drop-Down List," "Combo Box"). The form field is inserted immediately.

Click the newly inserted field to select it, and then click the "Properties" button in the "Controls" section of the "Developer" tab.

Specify in the resulting dialog box the styles and behaviors you want to apply to the field, and then click "OK" to confirm your choices.