Review of Microsoft Word’s Fillable Forms Tool-Awkward

A few weeks ago, a client asked me to develop some forms for him from some screenshots he’d taken. I was up for the challenge, so I thought about the right tool for the job, did a little research and saw that Microsoft Word has a fillable forms tool. What I didn’t find, until I was way into the job, was how awkward, bordering on difficult it was.

From my research, I knew I needed to install/invoke the Developer Tool add-on for Microsoft Word. The video (at end of article), tells you how to do this. Once it’s installed, then you’ll need to use some of the tools I’ve highlighted in the image. You’ll be able to add check boxes, radio buttons, dropdowns and more to develop your form.


I had to read up on how to add the buttons I needed because it wasn’t very intuitive. Once I got the button creation down, I thought it looked pretty cool – until I discovered that the block of buttons I created would not align with my text. I’ve taken a screenshot from one of my forms of my workaround.  I made it work by inserting a text box (note the dotted lines around the text), and aligning the text with the buttons – very awkward. I found that after I got my series of buttons created, they were pretty much impossible to move anywhere. I tried quite a few ways and could not find something that would work. (If any one out there knows how to move them, PLEASE leave a comment).

So parts of the forms were built with text boxes in order to match the buttons – it took much longer and was tedious.


I was thinking of doing a video on how I accomplished making these forms, but decided it’s probably not the best method to promote.

Then I found one of the Office Webinar videos on Creating Forms in Word. I eagerly watched it only to find out that the presenter went to the ‘backstage’ area of Word, typed in ‘Forms’,  and simply found one there to show on the video. He didn’t really ‘make’ a form, so I was rather disappointed about that – but he probably knew how painful it is to try to really create something.

So, lesson learned. If I need to create another form, I think I’ll surf through the many, many available on-line and see if I can revise it to work. If you want to check out the forms on Microsoft Word, here’s how: while in Word, click on ‘File’, click ‘New’, then in the search box, type in ‘forms’ and it’ll show you quite a few.


Here’s the video from Doug, the office guy, if you care to watch it. So if you need to create a form, I’d stay away from Word, unless you can find a template that won’t need much revising.

Creating Forms in Word

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