Documentation/OOoAuthors User Manual/Writer Guide/Example: a simple form

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Example: a simple form

Create the document

Open a new document (File > New > Text Document). It is a good idea to write down the outline of the document, without form controls, though of course it can easily be changed later.

Document without form controls
Initial document without form controls.

Add form controls

The next step is to add the form controls to the document. We will have four controls:

  • Name is a text box.
  • Sex is two option buttons, male or female.
  • Favourite shape is a list of options.
  • All shapes you like is a series of check boxes.

To add these controls:

  1. Select View > Toolbars > Form Controls to open the Form Control toolbar.
  2. If the tools are not active, click the Form Navigator button (on the Form Control toolbar) to activate them. If necessary, also click the Design Mode On/Off button.
  3. Click the Text Box button FormTextbox.png, then click in the document and, with the left mouse button held down, drag the shape of the Name text box to approximately the size you want.
  4. Make sure the Wizards On/Off button FormWizardsIcon.png is on (shaded with a border). Click the More Controls button FormMoreControls.png to launch the More Controls toolbar.
  5. On the More Controls toolbar, click the Group Box button FormGroupBox.png. Draw a group box by the Sex: entry to launch the Group Element Wizard.
  6. On the first page of the wizard, enter two names for the options fields: Male and Female. Click Next>> three times, delete the caption and click Finish.
  7. Now create the list box. On the Form Controls toolbar, click the Wizards On/Off button FormWizardsIcon.png to turn wizards off. Click the List Box button FormListbox.png and draw a list box by Favourite Shape: in the document. This will just be an empty pane for now.
  8. Finally create four check boxes by All the shapes you like. Click on the Check Box button FormCheckbox.png and then draw out four check boxes, side by side across the page.

You should now have a document looking something like this:

Document with form controls
Document with form controls.

Configure form controls

No further configuration is required to the Name and Sex fields (though, of course, there is configuration that could be done if you wanted, such as giving a name to each control and changing the appearance of the controls).

The list box must be configured to add the list of options. The check boxes must be configured to add in the names (instead of Check Box, Check Box1...)

  1. Click on the List Box control within the document and then the Control button [[Image:]] on the Form Design toolbar to launch the control properties dialog box. Select the General tab.
  2. In the List Entries box, enter the names of the shapes: Circle, Triangle, Square and Pentagon. Type in one shape and press Shift+Enter. Then position the cursor at the end of the line to type in the next shape. You should end up with a line saying “Circle”;”Triangle”;”Square”;”Pentagon”.
  3. Click on the first Check Box. The Properties dialog box stays open but changes to show the properties for the check box.
  4. Change the Label to Circle and press Enter. The label on the check box will change immediately.
  5. Click on each of the other three check boxes in turn. Change the Label in the Properties dialog box to Triangle, Square and Pentagon in turn.
  6. Close the Properties dialog box.
  7. Turn Design Mode off FormDesignOffIcon.png and close the two Controls toolbars.

You have now completed the form and your form hopefully looks something like this:

Completed form
Completed form.

Finishing touches

The form is complete, but you are free to make further changes to the document. If you were sending this out to other people to complete, you would probably want to make the document read-only. The effect would be that users would be able to fill in the form, but not to make any other changes to the document.

To make the document read-only, select Tools > Options > > Security > Open this document in read-only mode.

Note: If the document is read-only, anyone filling in the form will need to use File > Save as to save the document.

Content on this page is licensed under the Creative Common Attribution 3.0 license (CC-BY).
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