Form filling

  Drpeter 07:59 22 Apr 2003

Can anyone recommend a computer program, or method, for completing printed forms - in this case - adding details accurately into a pre-printed invitation?

  -pops- 08:35 22 Apr 2003

Are these your own forms or one already printed?

Either way you will need some form of template of the form in order to be able to do as you request. If you have a standard layout and intend to fill multiples of the same form, you can often get templates from the supplier of the form (e.g. as you sign yourself as Dr, you may be aware that you can get templates for NHS prescription forms and all other NHS paperwork included with the software used in general practice).

The essential thing is that the computer must know the layout and design of the form before there is any hope of it filling the form in. If it's your own form, any W/P program is capable of making a template. If it's a commercial form, try to get a template from the supplier OR design one yourself with a W/P progam.

Obviously, this is only worthwhile if you have a number of identical forms to fill in (as per my example of an NHS prescription).


  Taran 10:38 22 Apr 2003

Possibly the most efficient method is to run a form letter merge to a database of contacts, where the contact details of each person are automatically entered into he relevant fields for you to print off.

Unfortunately, to do this you have to design a suitable contacts database or use your Windows Address Book or Outlook Contacts utility together with a form letter in the word processor of your choice.

It's not as difficult as it may seem and a little time in setting it up reaps benefits later.

If you use Microsoft Word, check out the help files on mail merge or form letter. You can create a group in your Windows Address Book or Outlook Contacts to contain those details of those people whose details you want to use.

Aside from that, as mentioned above by -pops- you can make a template and manually type in the details on a person by person basis. The advantage to using the Windows Address Book or Outlook Contacts is that once you've done this typing in stage, you can re-use the information time and again in the future if you ever need to send to one, several or all of the people detailed in your contacts database a message.

  Pesala 14:50 22 Apr 2003

Since the form is preprinted, I suspect that this method will work very well, but it may need some trial and error.

Scan the document as a graphic (200 dpi will be adequate). Paste it into a DTP program or word-processor. Size it accurately to 100% and position as it is on the printed card.

Turn off text wrapping and type over it, setting tabs and line spacing to suit. Print a draft of one invite on translucent paper and overlay it on the card to check the position. If you have a lot to do you may find it easeir to define mail merge fields. This can be done easily in Page Plus.

Once the text or merge fields are in the correct position, the background graphic can be deleted or you can turn off graphics printing on the print dialogue box.

  Drpeter 17:10 22 Apr 2003

Many thanks to all. I have resolved the problem, using Word 97 - by placing text boxes in the exact positions required for each line.

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