How to Save a Word Document As a Usable Form

By Terri H. Weisser

Use Microsoft Word to create a usable form that limits users to form fields only.
i legal form image by max blain from

You have used the Forms toolbar in Microsoft Word to create a great looking form. But, now you need to figure out how to make it really work to gather data. The process of creating an interactive form that allows users to enter text only in the form fields you have created without being able to change any of the document content or layout isn't too difficult, once you take a few important steps.

Create Locked and Password Protected Forms

Open the Microsoft Word form with your completed layout and all form fields inserted.

Verify that the "Forms" toolbar is displayed. If it is not, select the "View" drop down menu then click "Toolbars" and "Forms."

Click the "Protect Form" button on the "Forms" toolbar. (It is shaped like a lock.) This will restrict cursor movement to form fields only.

Select the "Tools" drop down menu and click "Protect Document." The "Protect Document" task pane will display.

Select the "Allow only this type of editing in the document" check box and then choose the "Filling in forms" option in the list of editing restrictions.

Click the "Yes, Start Enforcing Protection" button on the "Protect Document" task pane. The "Start Enforcing Password" dialog box is displayed.

Enter and re-enter a password for the document. (This prevents form users from changing the document or layout.) Click the "OK" button.

Save the locked and password protected document.