moderated Re: Accessible forms in Word

Vaughn Brown

Thank you Brian for sharing. I look forward to using the guide.
I have a friend who helped me design forms in the past.

On 1/22/20, Brian Vogel <> wrote:
As it turns out, my memory is faulty so I "kinda lied."   I had put together
a brief tutorial on working with MS-Word forms for a former client and I do
have the two forms that I send out as examples as well.

The one form is very short.  It is what one of the local school districts
refers to as a bus note that is used to create a permission slip for a
student to take a bus he or she would not typically take for special events
and the like.  It has a number of fillable text fields as well as
checkboxes, many of which would be used as a pair of a checkbox followed by
filling in the reason after that "basic reason" checkbox is checked.  There
is one field that is a date field, and that automatically fills in with
today's date for whatever that is when you activate the template to create
an instance of the actual form for filling out.  This could, of course, be
changed to manual entry.

The second form is a 2-page abbreviated and anonymized version of a client
intake form for a massage school.  The only section of this form that I did
not complete is where there are checkboxes for medical conditions the person
getting the massage should make the masseuse aware of beforehand.  I only
did the first two, for arthritis and for allergies, and there would be
thirty more, and three of those would have associated text boxes for
explanations if they were to be checked.  I think that anyone who's ever
filled out a medical history form gets the idea.  The first text box has a
default "introducing myself and this form" text, which can be edited either
in the form template itself or an actual instance of the form once that's
created in case someone wanted to have a different sort of introduction
during an initial session.

Both of these forms are in MS-Word document template (.dotx) file format and
editing restriction for filling out forms is currently on, so if you select
the file and activate it to make Word open it, you will end up with an
instance of the fillable form.

Every checkbox and text field has both Status Bar and Help Key (F1) text
associated with it, and they are usually the same text.  As you tab through
the form your screen reader should announce each field so you know what
you're checking/unchecking or what you're supposed to be filling in on the
text box.  I always include the help key text because we all know that you
could be tooling along, filling out a form, and get interrupted, then have
no idea of exactly what you were sitting in when you were interrupted.
Hitting F1 will make the screen reader announce again what field you're in.

Please read through the Microsoft Word document entitled Working with Forms
in Microsoft Word BEFORE you begin even trying to play around with the form
templates.  I have just updated it to include ALT TEXT for the screen shots
I included as well as some keyboard shortcut information for the pertinent
bits of the Developer Tab of the ribbon, which is what you will use for
editing restrictions.  This is a "quick and dirty" beginning guide, not a
comprehensive treatise on the matter.

The two forms and the guide can be downloaded via the following link:
Creating Accessible MS-Word (
Just unzip it and you'll get a folder by the same name with the three items
mentioned in it.


Brian *-* Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 1909, Build 18363

*Tolerance is the positive and cordial effort to understand another's
beliefs, practices, and habits without necessarily sharing or accepting

~ Joshua Liebman

Vaughn Brown
Vaughn's Percussionship
Heal through Feel Equine Massage
Serving Clark County

Join to automatically receive all group messages.