Pet hates

Form Filling

If there’s one thing that really grinds my bones it’s when someone sends me a document to fill out without having made it fillable! it doesn’t make for an efficient business.

Form filling is an unfortunate necessity of everyday life – bank accounts, jobs, signing up to a website; but in the last case it is actually made easy.  If you think about it, why when probably 90% of the UK population has filled out an online form would you send out a crappy Word document which you’re basically asking the user to print, fill in; to then scan, save and forward as an attachment – not exactly a streamlined or efficient process!

Tools

There are so many tools out there, free tools I hasten to add, to make this process so much easier.  Microsoft Word has had the ability to create forms since Office 95 at least (The first time I bought Microsoft Office for myself), so why don’t people enable this feature?

Well, let’s ask another question – how many people in business have actually done a course in how to use Word, my bet is not too many.  I will confess I never did a course in Word, but I made sure I used every available resource to make sure it worked efficiently for me.

Nowadays there are so many options for creating fillable forms, some with the added benefit of actually making the captured data available for reuse outside of the document it was created in – what a novel idea!

So what are the options?

Word

Word-Forms2010

Might not be immediately apparent how to access the features depending on the flavour of Word you’re using, but as you can see in the above screenshot for 2010, ensure the Developer toolbar is visible and then click on the Legacy tools icon.  Nope..sorry, I’m not going to show you how to use it; there are thousands of tutorials, Youtube videos and the like to assist you in the process – get Googling!

Adobe

Once upon a time the form feature was only available in the Pro version of Acrobat.  Thankfully the giant has now realised that the populous at large would like an easy and less expensive life and so even Acrobat Reader DC has the ability to take a bog-standard pdf and allow you to make it fillable.  Believe me, you have no idea how great this functionality is.

I’ll give you a little help this time – How to use fill and sign.  For those with DC installed on their smartphone it also adds the capability of capturing your signature..for that you can Google.

Google Forms

The last option and in my opinion the best if you are a business and regularly get customers or clients to fill out forms.  There’s so much you can do with Google Forms !

OnPlot Solutions

All this is well and good if you’re technically minded or up for a challenge.  Frequently, we just don’t have time in business to do these things and that’s where we come in – we’ll do the work for you; from a single pdf to a suite of forms with data collection in Google.  We’re happy to advise on the most appropriate solution for your needs. Please contact us today.

 

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