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Old 03-14-2019, 10:02 AM
JGilrain JGilrain is offline Windows 7 64bit Office 2010
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Default General question about forms

Hi folks,

I work for a small business that recently experienced a catastrophic data loss and I have been tasked with recreating upwards of a couple of hundred Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS / SDS) from scratch.

My first impulse was to use Adobe InDesign/Acrobat to work out a PDF-based solution, but after some research I'm thinking Word may be an easier way to go, and also accessible if anyone without Adobe skills needs to work with/edit any templates I might create.

My company is using Office 2010.. I'd like to make the case for them to update me to Office 365 for Business. I would appreciate knowing anyone's thoughts on why and how the current version of Word would work better for the task.. in terms of both productivity and compatibility between a form/template created in Word 2010 and needing to be edited in the current version... and vice-versa.



Thanks in advance for any advice.

Jon G.
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:15 AM
Charles Kenyon Charles Kenyon is offline Windows 10 Office 2016
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Hi Jon,

Word 2010 should work fine. It is the cleanest ribbon implementation in my mind.

Templates created with Word 2010 should work fine for the foreseeable future. They work well with Word 2019. The repeating section content control was introduced with Word 2013 and will not work in Word 2010 or earlier.

Be aware that Word documents, unlike PDF, will often have a different appearance on different computers. You can minimize this, but you cannot eliminate it. Wide margins are one key to minimizing.
Forms in Word:
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Old 03-14-2019, 11:43 AM
JGilrain JGilrain is offline Windows 7 64bit Office 2010
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Default Thank you..

Thanks!

I think the documents I create will ultimately wind up as PDFs for the end-user. They will not be forms for the end-user.. just a safety data sheet for read/only. I'm hoping that a form template or document template will make it easier for me to include all of the variable data that each document will require.

Some of the information that appears in the documents will be pulled from a pool of at least a several hundred bits of variable data (Hazard statements) which are applied differently to each document. Some of the information of course remains the same across all documents.

I'm also hoping for some advice on whether auto-text entries would be the best way to make those statements easy to add to a field, or if there's some other feature that might help me reduce the amount of variable, but repetitive data entry.

Not only will I need to design/create the template, but also complete each individual document.

Best,
Jon G
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Old 03-14-2019, 12:30 PM
Charles Kenyon Charles Kenyon is offline Windows 10 Office 2016
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To get lots of variable information into multiple documents, my tool of choice is mail merge. You can do more with programming (vba) and userforms but that is a large step if you are not fluent in vba.


Mail Merge
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Old 03-14-2019, 01:07 PM
JGilrain JGilrain is offline Windows 7 64bit Office 2010
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Default Thank you..

Thanks for the ideas. That link looks like good info too!

Last edited by JGilrain; 03-14-2019 at 01:11 PM. Reason: More to say
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Old 03-14-2019, 02:54 PM
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macropod macropod is offline Windows 7 64bit Office 2010 32bit
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JGilrain View Post
I work for a small business that recently experienced a catastrophic data loss and I have been tasked with recreating upwards of a couple of hundred Material Safety Data Sheets (MSDS / SDS) from scratch.
So what happened to the backups?
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Paul Edstein
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Old 03-15-2019, 07:14 AM
JGilrain JGilrain is offline Windows 7 64bit Office 2010
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Default Its hard...

Its hard for me to explain the culture of haphazard business processes that happens here.. In a nutshell the IT infrastructure is very old.. to the tune of 8-10 years old. This includes servers, clients, printers... etc. Windows 7, Office 2010 (with red non-activated bar across the top). As a graphic designer (ind contractor) I'm using an 8 year old PC with 4GB RAM. They've been through 3-4 IT managers in the last three years.

The server was in a tiny little room on a shelf. Last Fall the shelf the server was on collapsed. Immediately after that we started having intermittent problems. and by January the server died. Turns out the back-up drive wasn't set up properly and reflected over 150 failed backups..

The ownership really just doesn't value people or do anything to empower the people that work here. There is no coordinated planning. The business often winds up in the black anyway... so nothing changes. The people here are great, but the ownership is terrible. Not a lot of options as I'm in the rural midwest. Hanging in as long as I can because the pay isn't terrible for this area.

Sorry to go on about this... but you asked! I understand if you're shaking your head after reading this...
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