Use a borderless table
A "borderless" table is simply a
table with all table and cell border
lines turned off. (N.B.: These are not the same things
as table gridlines or table guidelines, as explained here.)
You can, of course use some -- or all --
borders in the table, if your table form calls for them to be visible
Creating a borderless table is easily
put the cursor in a table cell and (1) select the entire table
with the Select All Cells button (image)
on the table's property bar, then (2) click the Default Line Style
button (image) which then appears
on the property bar, and choose "X";
- or (1)
select the entire table first with your mouse, (2) right-click anywhere
on the table, and then (3) choose Borders/Fill from the context menu
that appears, and choose "X" as the style for all items. [This method should bring up the Properties for Table Borders/Fill
dialog. Any button icon there that contains an "X" means the
feature is turned off.]
You can use a
borderless multi-cell table with fixed
text (or empty "spacer" areas) in locked cells (to lock
and unlock cells, see here) in
the main document window of the
template. Then fill in the variable
the unlocked cells, load your paper or label stock, and print.
Note: No watermark
image of an actual form is
needed, but of course you could use one so the fixed text (or
other items on the form) shows up on the same
page, layered underneath the table. See, for example, the scanner method below.
headings or other fixed information on the form are simply placed
inside locked cells; the user then uses the <Tab> (or
<Shift><Tab>) key to go to areas where the
form's text is needed. [To create locked cells, and unlock them if
needed, see the method here.]
If you need a line underneath any
text, simply toggle that cell's bottom border "on"
by right-clicking the cell and selecting Borders/Fill; under the Cell
tab, set the cell's bottom line to a suitable line style. Naturally,
all other cell borders typically are set "off" unless you require them
for stylistic reasons. (Also see Method E, below,
which explains how to use single-border text boxes
to produce "underlines.")
☼ For more, see Laura
Forms with Tables (a Corel Tutorial for
WordPerfect 12 -- but the information should apply to most other
☼ Consider making
a custom template
(.WPT) from the table document. This helps protect the form from
an example or a borderless table used to create a landscape form that
can rotate text on Avery (or similar) labels, cards, tags, etc., see here.
As Jim Shackleford
said on his Creating Forms web page [unfortunately no longer
available], "While table based forms can admittedly be more difficult
to set up than non-table forms, tables have several advantages:
- Users can simply
tab through the fields much like a data entry form for a database.
- If desired, one
can obtain and manipulate the data entered into the cells [e.g., via a merge] or even
export a table for importation into a database or spreadsheet.
- [For "underlines" using cell
borders:] Unlike graphic
lines, table and cell lines will print pretty much the same from
printer to printer.
- [For "underlines" using cell
borders:] Text does not
"move" when inputting data in a "fill in the blank" form on the PC,
unlike lines created by repeatedly pressing the underscore character on
cells to customize or equalize the size of
cells (shows how to split table cells in a particular row so that the
resulting cells are equal in width, which sometimes
doesn't seem possible in a multi-column table with various column
cell widths - How to create some table cells in a table form that
have variable widths without
changing cells that appear directly above and below that row. [The
trick lies in using multiple adjacent ("stacked") one-row tables.]
- Instead of manually tabbing through
cells to insert data you can use (for example) the prompted
template, macro, or keyboard
merge method descrbed below to automate the process of
inserting data at appropriate locations in the form.
Use a prompted template
This method uses WordPerfect bookmarks
locations. Using prompted templates is discussed in detail in
Templates," a PDF file that you can read or download on the
Tips page under the section, Automating
templates (and which is also found inside the author's LetterHd file in
For some forms this
is a bit more elegant than some other methods, since the user sees
a dialog window containing all the "fields" on the form itself.
recent WordPerfect versions you can have up to 64 fill-in fields.)
the information that you enter in any particular field in the prompt
dialog can be used to insert data in several document locations (a
"one-to-many" operation), you cannot use "pull-down" or "drop list"
menus to choose from among several names or other items ("many-to-one")
in the prompt dialog. However, a macro (next method below) can do this.
prompted data is not restricted to a defined section of the document
the way using a cell in a borderless table can restrict it (if the
table row's properties is set up that way). The inserted data will push
subsequent text downward. While this may not be an issue for you, you
should be aware of it before designing and creating the prompted
template. (You can, of course, use a borderless
in the prompted template to contain/restrict the prompted material to a
given location. But a lot of extra information can be "hidden" in the
table cell, so be sure to test this method.)
C. Use a macro
that creating a macro with a pop-up dialog to receive, and then
use, data input requires knowing how to write macros with the
appropriate code. However, even relatively new users might want to
explore the simple macros in the Footnotes
Here, the macro's dialog(s) collects the
information you need
and then inserts it into appropriate locations in the document.
This is similar to
the prompted template method, but it can be more flexible. The macro
can be a standalone macro to use on any document that has specific text
in it, or it can be a template macro triggered
to play when a "form document" based on that template is opened.
- A simple example
of such a macro and its associated form was created by Roy ("lemoto")
Lewis, a Corel C_Tech, and is downloadable from his website here
- Another example is
shown in Footnote 2, which uses
a macro to find and select paired bookmarks and their text
placeholders, replacing the placeholders with the desired data.
- Another, simpler
example is shown in Footnote 3.
It uses a macro (but without an "input" dialog) to find and select text
"fields" (i.e., text placeholders) that were previously typed into the
document (e.g., [NAME], [ADDR], etc.).
Use a keyboard merge
If you plan to fill
in the form in one sitting, you can set up the form
as a "merge form" with "keyboard stops".
This is a one-choice-to-one-location
type of operation. (It is similar to the macro examples mentioned in
section 1C above. However, a keyboard merge is a built-in program
feature, and it can also prompt the user at each location on the form.)
If you need to enter
the same information in multiple
locations, consider using an automated prompted
template or text variables (text variables were introduced in WordPerfect 10).
applies to WordPerfect 12 and later versions, but the process is very
similar in earlier versions.]
the form document
Step 1. To set up
your form for a keyboard merge, open the form document, go to Tools,
Merge, Form Document button, and select "Create Form Document".
In the Data File
Source dialog that appears, choose "Use file in active window" then click OK.
Associate Form and Data dialog that appears, choose "No association"
and click OK.
Note: You can
combine a normal merge of data from a data source with a keyboard
merge. Choose the data file, address book, etc., that you want to
associate with the form. (In the form file, click the Go to Data button
on the Merge Toolbar to locate the data file you want to use.) Then add
normal merge fields and text in the form document that will be filled
by WordPerfect during the merge. When finished, add the "stop here"
keyboard merge codes as explained in the following paragraphs.
You'll now have a
Merge Bar at the top of the document:
Note: If there's a Merge dialog on
screen, click Cancel on the dialog to dismiss it.
Step 2. To insert
the keyboard "stop here" codes, position your cursor in the document
when you want to insert information and click the Insert Merge Code
button (on the Merge Bar), then choose Keyboard. Enter some text to
prompt you (or the user). It can be a short phrase or several short
sentences (maximum = 127 characters).
For example, type
"Enter the client's name:" and click OK. You will see a merge command
appear in the document at the cursor location that looks like this:
KEYBOARD(Enter the client's name:)
Repeat step 2,
using the Insert Merge Code > Keyboard buttons to insert
KEYBOARD codes at other locations in the form where you need
information to be filled in by the user.
Note: You can
force the screen display to show only the local text area, and not
hundreds of following characters. This helps you visually locate the
area in the document you are entering data into. See the Help (F1)
Index tab, "Merge commands" or "Merge codes" for the DISPLAYSTOP code,
which provides this option. It can be inserted anywhere in the
document, multiple times, with the Insert Merge Code button's "More..."
option. Typically it is placed after a line or two of text following a
KEYBOARD() command so as to display the local text area.
Step 3. Save the
document. Note that it will be given a .FRM filename extension. (When
you open it later, the Merge Bar will be visible, ready for you to
perform the keyboard merge.)
To produce a
filled-in copy of the form, you will do a keyboard merge -- that is,
you'll merge the data you input on your keyboard to the on screen form,
ultimately creating a copy of the form (now filled in) in a separate
You can use a small template macro with a form
document set up as a keyboard merge template to
load a new document based on that template and then (1) display a
message to the user; (2) run the keyboard merge; and (3) display a
reminder after the merge is run. See the Footnote
Step 4. Open the
.FRM document if it is not already open. Click on Merge on the Merge
Bar to bring up the Merge dialog. The Form document should be set to
"Current Document," the Data Source to "None," and the Output to "New
Step 5. Click on
Merge in the Merge dialog. The cursor will move to the first location
and a message box will appear with the user's prompt (instructions to
the user about what to type, etc.). At that point the cursor should be
where it is supposed to be in the document; just type the information
appropriate to that location, and move to the next location.
or clicking the Continue button on the Merge Bar
will move you from one keyboard stop (i.e., document location) to the
next. If you don't need to enter anything at a particular keyboard
stop, click the Continue button or the Skip Next Record
button on the Merge Bar, or just press <Alt+Enter>.
Tip: You can assign the Continue function to a keyboard shortcut. From a report on OfficeCommunity.com (thanks to Steve Wise, who got it from Pascal, a Corel employee):
1. Go to menu "Tools"->"Settings"->"Customize"
2. Select the "Keyboards" tab
3. Select the keyboard layout already in use, and click "Edit"
4. Click in the "Choose a shortcut key" list and press F10
5. Select "Tools" in the 'Feature categories' dropdown
6. Select the "End Field" feature and click 'Assign Feature to Key'
7. Click OK, Close, Close.
Step 6. When you
have finished entering data (or if you click on Stop or Quit) the
cursor will move to end of the new document, which will be a copy of
the original with data filled in -- but without the merge codes. Save
- Save as
you work. You can
save the document anytime during a keyboard merge. Since the Output is
of the merge is being sent to the new document currently on screen (not
the form document you created in Step 3), the first time you save it
you will be asked to give the document a name: note that WordPerfect
automatically assigns a .WPD filename extension. Continue with the
merge, saving as often as you like.
vs. Quit. If you
click Stop during the keyboard merge, any remaining text in the merge
form will not appear in the new document. Also, if you click Quit, the
new document will contain remaining merge codes as
well as all text. It probably is better to use Stop to abort the merge,
since this should prevent confusing the original merge form (with all
its merge codes) with the new, unfinished document.
- Revisions. If you need to revise your input data, either go
back to the original document and Merge from the keyboard again
(creating a new filled-in document), or simply edit the filled-in
document at the locations that need to be changed. The latter is
preferable, of course, but it depends on how easy it is to find the
filled-in locations on the form.
E. Use single-border text
This method appears
complex, but is really very easy to do. It requires that you create
new, "floating underlines" with single-border text boxes that are
attached to various paragraphs, instead of using underscores (which can
be "pushed" aside when data is entered) or some other method of
creating underlines (such as graphic lines, which may fail to move if
the form is edited). Here's how:
Put the cursor in the
paragraph containing the fill-in field. Click on Insert, Text Box. When
the new box appears (it will have hatched borders), click anywhere
outside it. Then right-click on it to select the box (eight small drag
handles should appear around the perimeter of the box). In the context
menu that appears at the same time, choose "Wrap," choose "Behind
text," then click OK. This allows the fill-in text to appear on top of
the box, rather than wrap around it.
The box should still
be selected (if not, right-click on it and choose "Select Box").
Right-click on the selected box to bring up the context menu again and
choose "Position." Be sure to set the position to "Paragraph" so it
will move with the paragraph (i.e., with any text ending with a hard
return [HRt]). Click OK.
The box should still
be selected, so right-click on it again and choose "Border/Fill." Under
the Border tab, in "Available border styles," left-click on the icon
with a single bottom border ("Thin bottom" style), then click OK. You
now have a rough underline tool.
Finally, with the box
still selected, move your cursor over it until it turns to a
four-headed arrow, then hold down the left mouse button and drag the
box into position on the page where it is to serve as an underline,
then release the mouse button. (Notice that a thumb-tack appears during
the move to let you know which paragraph the box will be attached to.)
You can move the mouse cursor over the right (or left) edge of the box
until it turns to a two-headed arrow, then left-click-and-drag the
vertical edge to horizontally size the box to your needs.
Now, when you type on
the same line as the box, the words you type will appear over the box,
which provides the underlined "field."
To make more boxes
for your form, just pass the cursor over an existing box, and
right-click to select it. Press <Ctrl+C> to copy the
selected box to the Windows clipboard. Move to another paragraph if
desired. Use <Ctrl+V> to paste the copy into the document
(if you haven't moved to another paragraph, it will appear directly on
top of the original), right-click on it, then left-click-and-drag the
copy into the new position. Repeat to make as many copies as needed,
adjusting the width of each box according to the new location's
you print the form on another printer
(including faxing it), or print using another version of WP or Windows,
the location of the text boxes may shift. See here
for some printer problem