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Old 10-06-2017, 06:30 AM
ac110 ac110 is offline Windows 7 64bit Office 2010 64bit
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Default Best way to position fields for filling printed forms

I'm volunteering for a charity which, one day a year, takes a large group of children to Disney World for a day. We have Canadian and American customs declaration cards to fill out, the ones you always get on the plane flying into the country.

I have about 250 people, with one CBSA and one TSA form to fill out for each.

Preparing for a mail-merge, many hours of positing form fields with the {ADVANCE} field seems to have me most of the way to one of the forms, but I can't help feeling that there must be a faster and better way.



I thought I'd just calculate at 72 points per inch and use a ruler to determine positions, but that seems to be a mixed success, the positioning isn't perfect. I'm contemplating scanning the form and inserting it as a page background to see if that helps.

How do other people deal with this task? I'm certainly not the first person to deal with this.

If I should be looking at different software altogether, I'd consider that.
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Old 10-06-2017, 01:38 PM
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macropod macropod is online now Windows 7 64bit Office 2010 32bit
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I'd probably scan the original, which I'd put into the page header, then create a table and adjust the column widths & row heights to align with the form, after which I'd insert the mergefields then delete the image from the header. I'd also give the table fixed row heights and column widths.
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Old 10-07-2017, 07:37 AM
ac110 ac110 is offline Windows 7 64bit Office 2010 64bit
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Thanks Paul,

The table is an idea I hadn't thought of, but I don't think it would work in this particular case.

Another issue is that there are input fields and tick boxes at various levels, and making a table to accommodate them all would be a nightmare.

I've found that there is horizontal band allocated for each line, and if I try to raise and/or lower text on one line to reach each element it only works until it starts to encroach on another line. Do you know a way around that? Could I put a merge field inside a borderless text box and move it into position by setting the text box properties to float above the text layer?
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Old 10-07-2017, 10:05 PM
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macropod macropod is online now Windows 7 64bit Office 2010 32bit
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Without seeing what you're actually trying to replicate, I can't give specific advice. That said, I've reproduced some quite complex forms in the past using a table to replicate the structure. In Word, one has an advantage over Excel of being able to horizontally/vertically split cells and vary individual cell widths as needed (as well as being able to merge them horizontally/vertically).
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Old 10-10-2017, 09:47 AM
ac110 ac110 is offline Windows 7 64bit Office 2010 64bit
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Thank you Paul, despite not wanting to redo everything I eventually did it over in a table. It's worked quite well, and is easier to adjust, which is an advantage.
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