How to create fillable lines in Word

Looking for an environmentally friendly way to manage your paper documents?

If you use Microsoft Word, you can lose the paper altogether and create digital forms with fillable lines. 

The first thing you need to do is make the developer tab visible in Word.

Go into File and choose Customize Ribbon from the Options menu.

This will make Developer Tools visible at the top of Word, alongside more familiar sections like Home, Insert and Help.

From there, you can insert your form fields into a document or template using Content Controls.

In this article, we’ll provide a detailed step-by-step guide on how to create a fillable Word document.

But first, let’s learn more about fillable lines and where to use them.

What are fillable lines in Word?

Fillable lines allow others to write in certain parts of a Word document, allowing you to create fillable forms. 

Users can fill these forms out on Microsoft Word online or via email.

This means you save on the cost of paper and ink and reduce the environmental impact of paper use.

You also won’t have to struggle to read someone else’s handwriting!

Where can you use fillable lines in Word?

You can place fillable lines anywhere on a document that you see fit.

This enables you to create a variety of different forms. 

If you know how to insert a signature in Word, you can make legal forms too.

So the list of things you can create includes:

  • Market research questionnaires
  • Customer feedback forms
  • Work orders
  • Quote templates
  • Employee onboarding forms
  • Contracts

You can save the forms you’ve created as templates.

This is particularly useful for those documents you’ll use again and again.

There are also protections that stop users from editing other parts of the document and ensure they can only interact with pre-designated areas.

How to create fillable lines in a Word document

Okay, let’s get to it. 

Open Word and make the developer tabvisible on the ribbon, which displays the settings and tools at the top of the screen. 

  1. Go to File
  2. Choose Options
  3. Choose Customize Ribbon
  4. From the column on the right, check the Developer box
  5. Choose OK

You can now create fillable lines. Next, open an existing document or template and let’s create a form.

  1. Place the text cursor at the location in your document where you’d like to insert the form.
  2. From the ribbon, choose the Developer tab.
  3. You’ll see a section that says Controls. Select the Design Mode button from that section. 
  4. Next, select from the Content Controls buttons to choose the type of control you wish to insert. More on these later.
  5. Click the Design Mode button again once complete. 

Once you’ve left design mode, you should be able to use the content you created.

Try it out to make sure it’s working right.

Next, you’ll need to add protections to the document to prevent users from editing or formatting it.

You can limit editing to only apply to the filling in of the fields you’ve created for the form.

  1. From the Developer tab, choose Restrict Editing
  2. To limit formatting of the document, check the Formatting Restrictions box.
  3. Click Settings to make your choices.
  4. To limit editing to the filling in of forms, check the Editing Restrictions box.
  5. Got to the Start Enforcement section.
  6. Choose Yes, Start Enforcing Protection.
  7. Save the document.

Your form is now usable, protected, and ready to use.

There are many integrations from PandaDoc for Word. So you can use PandaDoc’s toolkit to manage your newly created form.

What are the types of form content controls in Word?

You can create many different kinds of forms with fillable lines in Word.

The content controls give you several options for how to present them. 

  • Rich Text. This is for using custom-formatted text or features such as tables or images.
  • Plain Text. Simple text without any other items or customizations.
  • Picture. Used to insert a single image whilst preventing users from editing it.
  • Combo Box. Users can select and edit from a drop-down list of entries. This is limited to a single paragraph.
  • Drop-Down List. Users can select from a drop-down list of entries. This differs from Combo Box as the users can’t edit entries. 
  • Date Picker. This allows users to choose a date from a calendar.
  • Check Box. Allows users to check a box.
  • Building Block Gallery. Used to give users a selection of predetermined text from which to choose.
  • Group. Protects any part of a document that you wish to prevent users from editing.
  • Repeating Section. Contains any text or content control you wish to repeatedly insert.
  • Legacy Forms. Used to define decimal places for numbers. Also, used for Help text.

Collect information more easily while maintaining a readable Word document using fillable lines

Fillable lines provide a flexible way to create forms on MS Word, and PandaDoc Forms allows you to share your documents via direct link.

You can even embed them on your website.

Choose from a selection of templates to create the forms you need. Request a demo today!