Did you know that you can create an interactive form in Microsoft Word? To do this, you\u2019ll need to use the \u2018Developer\u2019 tab. And in this post, we\u2019re looking at how to add this tab to the main ribbon in Microsoft Word, plus a few key controls you can use to make a fillable form.\r\nHow to Find the Developer Tab\r\nFillable forms are perfect for collating standardised information. And to create one in Microsoft Word, you\u2019ll need to add the developer tab:\r\n\r\n\tIf you're using Word for Windows, go to File > Options > Customize Ribbon. Alternatively, if you're a Mac user, go to Word > Preferences > Ribbon and Toolbar > Customize the Ribbon > Main Tabs.\r\n\tIn the Main Tabs section, find and select the Developer check box.\r\n\tClick OK (or Save on Mac computers) to add the tab to the ribbon.\r\n\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_49479" align="aligncenter" width="479"] Adding the Developer tab.[\/caption]\r\n\r\nWhen you select this tab, you\u2019ll see a variety of options, including for macros and add-ins. Here, though, we\u2019re going to focus on five key tools:\r\n\r\n\tText boxes (i.e. fields in which users can type freely)\r\n\tCheck boxes (i.e. options that users can select or deselect)\r\n\tDropdown lists (i.e. a menu with options the user can select from\r\n\tDate pickers (i.e. a menu that lets users select a date)\r\n\tPicture controls (i.e. a field that lets users quickly add an image)\r\n\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_49475" align="aligncenter" width="581"] The Content Control options on the Developer tab.[\/caption]\r\n\r\nRead on below to find out how each of these controls works.\r\n1. Text Boxes\r\nText boxes allow a user to type their own responses, so they\u2019re most useful for fields with a wide range of possible answers (e.g. names, addresses).\r\nYou have two options for adding a text box via the Developer tab: Rich Text Content Control and Plain Text Content Control. The rich text version will let the user format individual words or characters in their response, but the plain text option will be adequate in most cases.\r\n\r\nIn either case, clicking these buttons will add a default text box.\r\n\r\nTo customise the default text, click Design Mode in the Developer tab. This will let you type your own instructions in text boxes. And when you're finished customising the text box, deselect Design Mode to exit.\r\nFor more customisation, you can also select the text box you want to edit, then click Properties in the Developer tab. Here, you can:\r\n\r\n\tGive the content control a name and tag.\r\n\tControl the style of the field and text within it.\r\n\tLock the field so it can\u2019t be deleted or so its contents can\u2019t be edited.\r\n\r\n\r\nYou\u2019ll be able to do the above for all the following controls, too.\r\n2. Check Boxes\r\nTo add a check box, click the Check Box Content Control option.\r\n\r\nYou can then add text before or after the check box to label it on the form.\r\n\r\nAs well as the standard options noted for text boxes above, if you click Properties after selecting a check box, you will be able to customise the image used for the \u2018Checked\u2019 and \u2018Unchecked\u2019 symbols.\r\n3. Dropdown Lists and Combo Boxes\r\nFor fields with a limited set of options, use a dropdown list. To do this:\r\n\r\n\tSelect where you want to add a dropdown list with the cursor.\r\n\tClick Drop-Down List Content Control in the Developer tab.\r\n\r\n\r\nThis will add a default dropdown list in the place selected, as shown below.\r\n\r\nYou\u2019ll then need to click Properties, where you can add items. To do this, click Add\u2026 in the Drop-Down List Properties section, then add the item in the Display Name field (you can also designate a value for each item here, but these are only important if you\u2019re using VBA).\r\n\r\nYou can also remove or modify list items via these options. When you\u2019re done, click OK and the items will be selectable from the list.\r\nFor more flexibility, use a Combo Box Content Control. This works like a dropdown list, but users can also type into it to give a custom answer.\r\n4. Date Pickers\r\nIf your form includes a field for dates, use the Date Picker Content Control.\r\n\r\nThe user can then click the down arrow on the date field and select a date.\r\n\r\nAs well as the standard customisation options, selecting a date field and clicking the Properties menu will let you set the date format.\r\n5. Picture Control\r\nIf you want users to be able to add a picture to a form, you can use the Picture Content Control option shown below.\r\n\r\nClicking this adds a default blank picture field.\r\n\r\nThe user can then click the picture icon in this field, which opens a menu where they can select an image from their computer or the internet.\r\nFillable Form Presentation and Proofreading\r\nTo make sure your fillable form looks good, it helps to place fields in a table.\r\n\r\n[caption id="attachment_49445" align="aligncenter" width="633"] A fillable form set in a table.[\/caption]\r\n\r\nThis will also let you label all fields clearly, making the form easy to use.\r\nTypos in official documents like forms will look unprofessional and could cause confusion, though. So, to make sure your fillable forms are always error free, why not try our business proofreading services?\r\nSign up for a free proofreading trial today to find out more.