Use a borderless table to set up the data locations
Basically this refers to
WordPerfect document that contains one or more borderless tables
(discussed below) to hold your variable data. You can also create a custom template to produce this document whenever needed.
In turn, a "borderless" table is one with all table border
lines and cell lines turned off.
Note: These lines are not the same things
as non-printing table gridlines or table guidelines, as explained here. When visible on screen, those non-printing lines will help guide you to the cells that are to be filled in.
You can, of course use some — or all —
borders and cell lines in the table, if your table form calls for them to be visible
Tip: See Using WordPerfect Tables for many tips about tables, using them as a formatting tool, using them as a mini-spreadsheet, etc.
Creating a borderless table is easily
(1) Right-click in the table and choose Borders/Fill.
(2) Click the Table tab in the Properties for Table Border/Fill dialog that appears.
(3) In the Default Cell Lines section, click the Line button to open the choices palette.
(4) Click "X" to select No Line ["X" = off].
(5) Click OK.
(1) Place the cursor in a table cell.
(2) Select the entire table
with the Select All Cells button (image)
on the table's property bar.
(3) Click the Default Line Style
button (image) which then appears
on the property bar, and choose the "X" option from the list that appears ["X" = off].
(4) Click outside the table to de-select it.
☼ Note that the methods here deal with Cell lines. Some tables might also have a separate Table border line around the perimeter of the table. This can be removed from the Table tab in the Properties for Table Border/Fill dialog. (Right click on the table and choose Border/Fill, then click the Table tab in that dialog.)
☼ To remove (clear) any existing user-set Cell lines from the table, which can take precedence over program default settings and thus might remain even after using either of the above methods -
(1) Select the cells that have the cell lines you want to remove. The quick and easy ways:
- To select just a single affected cell: Move the mouse cursor
to near the top line in that cell until the cursor turns into a single upward pointing
arrow symbol, then click the mouse.
- To select a section of the table: Place
the cursor inside the top left cell in the block of affected cells,
then navigate to the bottom right cell in that block; hold down
the Shift key while you click the mouse in that second cell.
- To select the entire table: Place the cursor inside the first cell of the table, then navigate to the end cell in the table; hold down the Shift key while you click the mouse in that last cell.
At this point all selected cells should have a black (i.e., reversed) background — cell border to cell border — to indicate the cell structure is included.
(2) Right-click on the now-selected cell(s) and choose Border/Fill.
(3) On the Cell tab in the Properties for Table Border/Fill dialog that appears:
- To remove all lines from the selected cells, in the Cell lines section set all six cell line option boxes to "X" ["X" = off].
- To remove just specific lines (e.g., Left or Right) set their specific option boxes to "X".
(4) Click OK, and then click outside the selection to de-select it.
Using the form
To add information in the table while it is on screen:
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.]
Underline cells (optional)
To assist users with adding information in the printed table:
You can add a visible "underline" underneath any cell: Simply toggle that cell's bottom cell line "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. (See Footnote 4 for more details.) (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 more recent
versions). It covers removing/adding lines, joining/splitting cells,
adding underlines [for more details on such underlines see also
Footnote 4 below], locking cells, and rotating cell contents.
☼ For more table tips see here.
☼ 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
"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 lines/borders:] Unlike graphic
lines, table and cell lines will print pretty much the same from
printer to printer.
- [For "underlines" using cell lines/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
- [Additional benefit:] Unlike graphic
underline (bottom cell line) will move downward if the cell has
multiple lines of text or if more rows are inserted above it. In other
words, then remain in the same relative location to the text inside the cell.
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.
- WordPerfect tables have several uses beyond the ones discussed above. See "Using WordPerfect tables" for some "How To" methods and tips.
Use a prompted template to fill in a form document
A WordPerfect custom template that contains bookmarks
locations where your variable data is to be inserted.
This method uses special 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 other methods since the user sees
a dialog window when the document opens, containing all the "fields" that correspond to areas 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-input-to-many-locations" 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 to fill in a form document
One or more custom macros to input data
at various locations in a "form" document, plus one or more such
documents that contain special bookmarks the macro can use to locate
data input areas (or custom templates that can spawn such documents).
Note: 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 (pre-defined) locations in the document.
This is similar to
the prompted template method (a
"one-input-to-many-locations" operation) but it can be more flexible.
For example, the macro
can be a standalone macro to use on any document that has specific bookmarks
in it, or it can be a template macro triggered
to play when a "form document" based on that template is opened.
- An 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 WordPerfect "form document" in one sitting, you can set up the form
as a "merge form" with "keyboard stops".
Unlike many typical merge operations, this method uses your keyboard
as the "source" of the data. That is to say, you simply type relevant
text into a small dialog, and when the Alt+Enter key combination is
pressed (or the Continue button is clicked), WordPerfect inserts that
data into a predefined location. Then the program goes to the next
Note that you can also combine a merge operation with a keyboard merge, as discussed below.
A WordPerfect "form document" that contains special "stop" codes
locations where your variable data is to be inserted (or custom templates that can spawn such documents).
This is a one-input-to-one-location (then repeat at the next 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 document.
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 your form document and on the WordPerfect menu use Tools,
Merge (to open the Merge dialog).
Then click the Form Document button and choose "Create Form Document" as shown in this image:
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 then click OK:
You'll now have a
Merge Toolbar at the top of the document:
Note: If there's a Merge dialog on
screen (see example above) click Cancel on that dialog to dismiss it.
You can (optionally) combine a normal merge of data from a data source with a keyboard
merge (see the Merge Tips page for some merge resources if you are not familiar with "data sources"):
First, decide on the data file, address book, etc. (the "data source") that you want to
associate with the form you are using for the Keyboard Merge.
In the form file, use the Merge Toolbar (shown in the image above) and click the Go to Data button
to locate and choose the data file/source you want to use.
normal merge fields (via the Insert Field button) and text in the form document that will be filled
from your data source by WordPerfect during the keyboard merge (in Step 5 below).
When finished inserting normal merge fields and any text, add various "stop here"
keyboard merge codes as explained in Step 2 below.
information on merges and keyboard merges see the User Guide included
with WordPerfect (available via the Help menu by clicking Reference
Center > User Guide. Then look for "Performing merges" in the Guide.]
Step 2. Insert "stop here" keyboard merge codes.
Position your cursor in the document
where 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
dozens or 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>.
You can assign the Continue function to a keyboard shortcut:
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.
[— From a report on OfficeCommunity.com (thanks to Steve Wise, who got it from Pascal, a Corel employee)]
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
A WordPerfect document that contains several text boxes at locations where your variable text is to be inserted (or custom templates that can spawn such documents).
Description and Method
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).
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