Thursday, April 25, 2019

Please Fix Your MS Word Court Forms

Warning, old guy (get off my lawn) rant follows...  Many of the Microsoft Word forms courts provide on their websites ARE NOT real forms.  The thing that makes me especially crazy is when one enters data on the line provided … the line extends/wraps.  Then I have to waste time to shorten the line and re-underline what I typed.  That said, we share what we think that courts should be doing below.


Microsoft Word is a powerful tool with many design capabilities that are often overlooked  Specifically, Word form documents should have defined fields, not just underlined text.  The easiest way to show how to fix your forms is to watch this YouTube video posted by Scott Hanselman at

In this video, Scott shows how to create data entry fields and even date fields that displays a calendar for date selection.  Something that all court forms have.  Scott also shows how to create “checkboxes” and how to protect the form so that when it is posted, only the form entry fields are available for entry/editing.

Another good video tutorial (especially if you like a New Zealand accent) was posted by Daniel Walter Scott at   He does a nice job of showing how to make restricted field/dropdown boxes.

If you prefer a written training, here are a couple of tutorial web pages to read:

Summertime is fast approaching.  I might suggest that one could show your digital native summer intern the video and put them to work on your Word forms?

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