Intermediate Word Processing with Word Creating a Template from Scratch We are going to start the workshop today with an activity that may not make much sense to you but you just have to trust me, this is leading somewhere very useful. What we are going to begin the day is create a template from scratch. But before we do that let me give you some information about templates, what they are and how they work. First of you need to know that Word is full of templates. Microsoft has already created several templates for you and some of them are quite useful. In fact, you use a template every time you open a new document. One of the built in templates is a template called “normal.dot.” You probably already know that when you create and save a Word document the extension (the last three letters in the file name, after the “.”) for that document is “.doc.” That tells your computer that what you have here is a word processing file created by MS Word (or possibly by Word Perfect). However, when you (or anyone else) create a template, the extension is “.dot.” (That is “do” for document and “t” for template.) Every time you open a document, unless you tell it otherwise, Word employs a template called “normal.dot.” Now, what exactly is a template? A template is a pattern for your documents. When you choose a template for a new document, you are telling Word what information – text, formatting, and graphics-- that you want to appear in that document automatically. Think about that for a minute. The more information that you can automatically add to a new document, the less you will have to add manually, and the more efficient you will become in your work. That is what we are after here, you becoming more efficient in your work. Knowing how to create and utilize templates can drastically reduce the amount of time that you spend creating documents from scratch and typing in information. But templates don’t simply place information in a new document; they also enable you to create custom editing environments for specific clients, projects, companies, agencies or whatever it is that you create documents for. Templates can store all the information that you need to create, edit and format a document as efficiently as possible. Let me be a little more specific. A template might include… All the styles that you need for a document. (If we have time we will talk about styles a little later in the day.) All the “boilerplate” text for the document that the template will be used for. For example, if you type a letter to clients over and over and some or most of the information remains the same from client to client, you can include all of that information in your template and you will never have to type it again. Does that sound like a work saver? Graphics can be included in the template and you never have to insert them again. Formatting features such as choice of font, margins, borders, all those things that you do to make your document look just like you want it to can be included in a template and then you don’t have to manually format a letter. For example, if you have a particular document that you want to use different fonts in than you find when you open a new document with the normal template, you can create a template that contains those particular fonts as the default fonts and you don’t have to go hunting for them every time you begin that particular document. If you regularly create documents with tables and you manually enter and configure the tables every time you create your document, you can create a template with a table already set up in it and ready to go. You create it once (for the template) and you never have to create it again. As you can see, templates can be very powerful time/work savers if you know how to create and utilize their power. That is what you are going to learn to do in the first part of this workshop. Let’s start off with a quick look at some of the templates that are included in Word. Open Word and then click on File – New. The task pane opens on the right. Click Templates>on my computer. -You will notice that there are eight tabs at the top of this dialogue box. Each tab represents a different group of templates. Click on the “Letters and Faxes” tab and double click on the “Contemporary Letter” template. I want you to notice several things about this letter. First of all notice that it has some graphics in it. You don’t have to add those graphics; they are included in the template. Also notice that there are several styles in this template. Click on the “Company Name Here” text and look in the Format> Styles and Formatting list box. Notice that the name of the style is “Company Name.” Now click on the drop down arrow on that same box and you will see a list of all the styles that are in use in this template. Each one of them serves a particular function related to this template and the documents that you would create using it. Click on each part of the “letter” and look in the Styles box to see what is highlighted. Every part has been saved as a style. If we took the time to examine the other built-in templates, (and I would encourage you to do so latter) we would discover that all of them have different fonts and graphics and formatting features related to their purpose. And if one or more or those templates fit your work, they will save you much time and effort. However, the chances of many of them being useful to you on a regular basis are not very high. So, in order to tap in to the real power of templates, you have to learn to create them yourself. Let’s create on from scratch. We are going to do a simple letterhead template that will include some of the things that you might want to use in the future. However, even if you never create a custom letterhead template like the one we are going to create, you will find the processes of creating a template are pretty much the same regardless of what you are going to include in your template. Go through “Instructions for Creating A Custom Letterhead Template” exercise. Ask: where would be good places for templates at your school or office? Lead discussion. Creating a Template Using An Existing Document You already have “form letters” that you use on a day-to-day basis that are not templates (although you may think of them as templates and use them as templates). Maybe you have blank spaces in them where you fill in information that is different for each letter but much of the information is the same from one letter to the next so you leave that information in tact. It is a really simple thing to turn that type of document into an actual template instead of a document that you use as a template. Now you may be wondering why you would want to do that. There are a couple of reasons, I will give you one now and the other(s) will become apparent as we proceed with the workshop. If you use a document as a template, (that is, the format of the file is .doc instead of .dot) when you are finished you either have to save the document as another file (save as) or delete the information in the document that will changes from letter to letter. Additionally, you will probably have to spend some time making sure everything is lined up as it should be after you have added information to it. That is all time consuming. Once you have created a template using the document, you never have to worry about or do any of those things. Word takes care of it for you in the way that it handles templates. Plus, you don’t have to go hunting for the document every time you want to use it. You will be able to see the template in the “New” dialogue box. It’s easy and it is a work and time saver so let’s learn how to do it. On your disk there is a file named “Discipline Referral Form.doc.” Please open that document and we will transform it to a template. Here’s how you do it. 1. Click “File – Save As” 2. In the Save As dialogue box in the “Save as type” list box (see below) select “Document Template.” 3. When you do that, the “Save In” location changes to the default location for all templates used by the program. It is important to store the templates in the designated location. If you do, they will appear in the new documents dialogue box and be very easy to access. Click on the Save button in the lower right hand corner of the dialogue box. 4. Close the file and select “File – New.” Look at the right side of the screen in the Task Pane and find “Templates on My Computer.” Click on it. You should see “Discipline Referral Form” as one of the templates. That is all there is to creating a template. Go ahead and open it and let’s use it to see how it differs from just using a document as template. 5. Click in the line for the date and type today’s date. 6. Fill out the form. Fix any problems necessary. 7. Click on File – Save and give it a name and a location and click on the button that says Save. Now close the file, click on file – new and open another Discipline Referral document using the template. As you can see, the template is in tact and ready for you to use. That is how you create a template from an existing document. As you can see, to create a template from an existing document, all you do is create the document with the appropriate blank spaces and save it as a template. Be sure that you store it in the correct place and it will be readily available for you any time you need it. Plus, as long as you don’t open the template as a template or fill in some information and save it as a template again, you never have to worry about taking any of the “changing information” out of the document. The original blanks will stay in tact from one use to the next. (I need to tell you that that worked better than it was supposed to. It doesn’t always work quite so flawlessly.) Form Fields Let’s take this particular template a step further and make it more user friendly and easier to use. We are going to add something called fields to the template. Fields are used as placeholders for data that might change in a document and for creating form letters and as you will see, the template will become much easier to work with when we add these fields. 1. Click on File – Open. In the “Files of type” list box, select “Document Templates” and navigate to the location of your templates folder. Word 2003 stores them in “c:\Documents and Settings\UserName\Application Data\Microsoft\Templates.” (The Application Data folder is a hidden folder. You may have to show hidden folders to see this. You can do that in Tools > Folder Options > View > Show Hidden Files and Folders.) Find the template named “Discipline Referral Form.dot” and open it. 2. Click on “View – Toolbars – Form” to view the form toolbar. 3. With the cursor placed one space after the colon in the date heading, click on the ab| button (the text box tool) on the toolbar. A small gray box should now be visible after the date heading. 4. Do the same after “Referred Students:” “Referring Teacher:” “Room #:” “Time of Incident:” “Location of Incident:” “Detailed Description” and “Time Sent to Office.” 5. Before you make a form available to users, you always need to protect it by clicking Protect Form on the Forms toolbar. Protection allows users to fill in the form but prevents them from changing the form's layout and its standard elements. When you want to go back to writing or modifying the form, click Protect Form again to unprotect the form. Also, when you don’t protect the form it is not as user friendly and useful as it is when you protect it. Save and close the template. 6. Open a new document using the Discipline Referral Form.dot template. The first field should be highlighted and ready for you fill in. Fill it in and hit the tab key. You are taken directly to the next field. Continue until you have filled in all the fields. At this point you can either save the document (not as a template) or you can print it without saving it, depending on what you want to do. 7. Close the document and don’t save it. Click on File – Open, select Document Templates, navigate to the location of the Discipline Referral Form.dot, and open it. 8. Select View – Toolbars – Forms and un-protect the form. 9. Select the date field and click on the field properties button on the tool bar. In the “Type” list box select “Current Date.” (Please note that every time you open a document using this template, the date will be changed to the current date. This could be good or it could create some problems.) 10. Select each individual field, one at a time, and click on the underline button. 11. Protect the template, save it and close it. Open a new document using the template. 12. Notice that the date is already filled in for you, you don’t have to type it. Also notice that you can tab from field to field but you cannot get into the body of the document to make any changes. This is a time saver, a productivity increaser, and a way to keep someone from accidentally messing up your template. Can you see how our template has developed into something quite useful and user friendly? Well, believe it or not, we aren’t finished yet. There is a way that will make this template even more user friendly and eliminates even more chances for time consuming and productivity destroying errors and mistakes. We are going to create what is called a prompting form. A prompting form is a form that asks users a series of questions and then automatically fills out the form based on their answers. This can be very useful when it comes to filling out a document that has a lot of “boilerplate” text surrounding a few changing entries. Here’s how you do it. 1. First, open the Discipline Referral Form.dot template as a template and be sure that the protection is turned off. (That is always necessary if you are going to make changes to the template. If you don’t turn it off, you will only be able to fill out the form fields and that is not what we want to do here.) 2. We are not going to change the date field, although you could if you wanted to. It seems to me that the date field is set up in the best manner possible… you don’t have to type anything. So click in the Referred Student field to select the field. 3. Select “Insert – Field,” from the “Categories” column select “Mail Merge,” and in the “Field Names” column select “Fillin.” (See Figure 1) 4. In the Prompt box type “Enter Student’s Name” (no quotation marks). Click OK. 5. A dialogue box will appear asking you to enter the student’s name. Don’t type anything in that box. Simply click OK again. 6. Repeat this process for the Referring Teacher, Room Number, time, location, detailed description, and time sent to office fields in the form, supplying the appropriate prompt for each field. (You may have to make some adjustments along the way to the alignment and other formatting features.) For the Referring Teacher field check the “default response to prompt” check box and add your name to the text box. 7. Protect the form. Save the form and close it. 8. Select File – New and open a new document based on this template. You should see the dialogue box asking you for the information for the first field. Supply the information and click OK. The dialogue for the second field will appear. Click OK. Continue until the dialogue boxes stop opening and the main document has the focus. You should now have a completed document ready to print. As you can see, if you have a document that contains a lot of information that remains the same from one time to the next, using templates can be a real time saver as well as a way to increase productivity and eliminate many mistakes. It is essential to remember that forms are best based on or used as templates. While you can make a form a regular document, you would have to re-create the form each time you used it. That decreases productivity and ease rather than increases it. If you want your users to be able to access the form by choosing File – New and opening the Templates dialogue box, you must save the form in the designated Templates folder or one of its subfolders. Thus far in our study of Word’s form features, the only form field that we have used is a text form field and a fillin form field. There are several other form fields that are easy to use and might be useful to you from time to time. What you will really discover is that in cases where these form fields will be useful, they will really be useful. Let’s take a look at them. Text Form Field Options 1. Select File – Open, templates and open the Discipline Referral Template if it is not already open. Be sure that you can see the Forms Toolbar and be sure the form is unlocked. 2. Let’s start with a little bit more in depth look at the text box form field. Select the Referring Teacher field in you document. Click on the Field Properties button on the form toolbar. 3. In the type drop down list you will find several different types of data that can go in your text form field. Regular text – used to allow entry of any key. This is the default option. Number – restricts entry to numeric keys only. If you use a non-numeric key, a zero will be placed in the field. Date – restricts entry to a valid date or time. If you enter an invalid number, an error message will alert you that an incorrect entry has been made. Current Date – automatically inserts the current date when the document is opened. Current Time – automatically insert the current time when the document is opened or printed. Calculation – sets the field to be equal to the equation that you put in the Default Text box. (This is especially useful in tables for doing calculations.) 4. The Default Text box gives you the option of having a default entry in your text form field. You can change the default text in the document when you open it. For example, if you have a text box that contains the name of the city and most of the documents that you are going to create using this template will have Corpus Christi in this field but occasionally it will have another city, Corpus Christi should be your default text. Then the only time that you will have to type the city is when the document should have another city in this field. (Please note that this field is not available if either the current date of current time options is chosen. When Calculation is selected as the field type, the box will be titled “Expression” and will start with an equal sign.) Add your name as the default text. 5. Maximum Length – This property sets the number of characters that can be input into the text box. This could be useful in a field that contains zip codes or phone numbers to insure that at least there won’t be too many numbers entered. 6. Format Type – This property determines the formatting applied to the text form field. The options depend on the Type chosen. 7. Add a default value for the Room Number field. Adding Check Boxes to Your Forms Check boxes are a very clear and handy method of indicating a selection of one or more options that are not mutually exclusive. Check boxes let your uses quickly indicate preferences, or, by omission, rejections among a series of elements. For example, a check box is the method of choice when you see the phrase “Check all that apply” as in a survey or questionnaire. Let’s add some check boxes to our form so you can see how they work. 1. Click in front of the word “Tardy” and select the check box button on the forms toolbar. 2. Do the same thing for each item in the list. Now you will notice that the check boxes are empty. If you want them to be empty when the form is opened you should leave them empty here. Before you can test your fields you must protect the document (use the Lock button on the toolbar). Lock the document. Your cursor should be in the text box. Add some text. 3. Tab to the next element. In the check boxes you can either click you mouse in the box or you can hit the space bar to place an X in the box. If you click or space a second time the X disappears. 4. Make sure the text and check boxes are empty and unlock the form. Let’s take a look at the properties associated with the check box. 5. Select the first check box and click on the properties button. Check Box Size – If you choose the Auto radio button, the size of the check box will be determined by the size of the font that you are currently using. If select “Exactly” you can determine the exact size of the box without regards to the size of the text. Default Value – gives you the option of having the check box checked or not checked when the template is opened. The other two settings are beyond the scope of this workshop so I will leave you to discover them on your own (although we may cover macros briefly). Adding Drop-Down Form Fields To Your Forms Drop-down fields can be useful and functional when you want to present your user with a variety of specific options from which only one selection can be made. Drop-down fields are useful when the information that you are seeking is from a list of possible choices and that list remains static for the most part. Gender is a good example. The Human Resources Department might create a document asking your applicants to choose between three different dental plans. Using a Drop-down list would be useful, functional, and again, eliminate chances to make a mistake. Let’s add one to our form. 1. Make sure the form is unlocked. Click in front of the Referring Teacher field. Hit the enter key twice and then move up to the middle blank line that you just created. 2. Type “Grade Level:” and select the drop-down form field button on the tool bar. Select the Properties button for the drop down that you just created 3. In the drop down item text box type the first item you want in your list. For our example type “9th .” Click the “Add” button. 4. Type in the other items, (10th, 11th, 12th) clicking add after each one. Please note that there is a limit of 50 characters per item and a limit of 25 items for the entire list. You can also type in a blank space and add it if you want to have a blank line on the top of the list. Do that now and move it to the first position in list using the arrows. 5. Lock the form, save it, and close it. (Be sure to leave all the prompts empty. Just click OK.) Select File – New and open a new document based on this template and check out all the features that you have added to it. Adding Radio Buttons to Your Forms You should all be familiar with radio buttons; you see them all the time in databases and on the web. But did you know that you can create a template that contains radio buttons also? It is really quite simple. 1. Open a new document 2. Select View – Toolbars – Control Toolbox 3. Click on the radio button control and a radio button will be added to your document 4. Click in the document and them click the radio button control again. Another radio button will be added. Add one more. 5. Select the radio buttons and click on the properties control. In the drop down list at the top of the properties sheet, select optionbutton1. Change the caption property to Yes and the group name property to Group One. 6. Select the optionbutton2. Change the caption property to No and the group name property to Group One. 7. Add two more radio buttons to your form. Give them a different caption and name their group Group Two. 8. If you want all the radio buttons to be empty when you open the form, change the value property on all of them to false. If the value property on any button is true, that button will be selected by default when you open the template. 9. Protect the form, save it as a template, close it and open a new document using the new template. There are many other controls that may be useful to you along the way. I encourage you to explore them. You will find that in a situation where one is useful it will really increase the productivity of its users. Merging With Word Simple Mail Merge – Creating a Form Letter Now we are going to turn our attention to another useful and powerful feature of Word, its ability to merge information from external (or internal) data sources to create form letters, mailing labels, print envelopes and send emails. This is a real time saver and “productivity increaser.” Once you get your data sources set up the way they need to be for the purposes for which you are going to use them, you will find that Word’s merge tools are very useful and helpful. The first thing you have to have in order to perform a merge is a data source. I have provided two data sources for you and we will create a third one in the course of the workshop. We are going to start with the file called “FB-Parents.mdb” and we will start with a form letter to the parents on the list. 1. Open a new document using the normal.dot template (blank document) 2. Select Tools – Letters and Mailings – Mail Merge 3. In the Mail Merge Task Pane, select the type of document that you want to create. In this case we are going to create a letter. Click Next: at the bottom of the task pane. 4. In this step you can choose to use the current document to create you merge, start from a template, or use an already existing document. Choose the current doc option and click Next at the bottom of the task pane. 5. In this step you are going to choose your data source or create a new one. We will start by choosing an existing data list. 6. Click the browse button and find the FB-Parents2000 database. A window will open showing all the available tables and queries that you can use as a data source. Choose the Master Student Table. 7. The next window allows you to make some decisions about the records in the table selected in the previous window. Click OK 8. Click Next at the bottom of the task pane. 9. Type the letter as follows… 10. Click Next. In this step you can preview your letters using the Recipient Navigation buttons at the top of the task pane. Also notice that you can choose to exclude one or more recipients in this step. 11. Click Next. In this step you complete the merge. If you click the print button in the task pane one letter will be printed to each recipient in the database. If you choose Edit Individual Letters, you can choose a range of letters to use to create a new document. You can then edit the individual letters before you print them. Now, not only can you use Access as a data source, you can also use Excel. You don’t have as much latitude and power using Excel but if all you need is a simple address database, Excel might work just fine. Let’s create the same merge document but this time use the Excel table on the disk. (The steps are identical) Now let’s use this feature to create set of envelopes. 1. Open a new document, select Tools – Letters and Mailings – Mail Merge. (Use Envelopes and Labels to print one envelope) 2. This time choose Envelopes and click on Envelope options… 3. On this property sheet you choose the envelope that you are going to use and how you want to print it. Click OK and then Next. 4. Use an existing list and click Browse. Find the FB Parents-2000 database and choose the Master Student Table. 5. In the next step you set up your envelope. 6. Type your return address in the upper left hand corner. 7. This step is a bit tricky. There is a text box for the address of the recipient on the envelope. You have to “click around” until you find it. 8. Once you find it, click inside of it and click on the Postal Bar Code option in the task pane. Hit the enter key and add Parent’s Name, enter, Street Address, enter, city, state zip. 9. Click Next to preview you envelopes and next to complete the merge just like before. I told you that we would create a merge using an internal data source. An internal data source is a data source that you create right in Word. Here is how it works. 1. Open a new document and select Tools – Letters and Mailing – Mail Merge 2. On step three choose Type a new list and click Create. 3. Create a list using the provided interface When you close this document you will be asked if you want to save the data source. If you do, you will be able to use it again in the future for other merges just like Access or Excel.
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