How to Add Fillable Fields in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide

January 16, 2024 1.4K views

Meta: Learn how to harness the power of fillable fields in Word with our step-by-step guide. Transform your documents, save time, and streamline data collection effortlessly in the digital age.

How to Add Fillable Fields in Word: A Step-by-Step Guide


Creating easily fillable documents is essential, and Word's fillable fields are the key. They effortlessly transform static files into dynamic forms, simplifying tasks, promoting professionalism, and making data collection a breeze. In this article, we'll explore how fillable fields in Word can revolutionise your documents, saving both time and paper, while streamlining the process of gathering information.

Part1 What is a Fillable Form in Word?

A fillable form is a digital document designed for user-friendly data entry. It empowers users to input information directly into predefined fields, making it a convenient and efficient way to collect data, feedback, or responses.

Creating a Fillable Form:

  • Activate Developer Tools: In software like Microsoft Word or Adobe Acrobat, enable the developer tools.

  • Design Fields: With developer tools active, add checkboxes, drop-down menus, and fillable text fields where users should input data. Label each field clearly for user guidance.

  • Protect the Document: To ensure users can interact with the form without unintentionally altering the document, protect it. This way, your fillable form is ready for use.

Part2 Steps to Add Fillable Fields in Word

Create a fillable form in Microsoft Word with these quick steps:

Step 1: Go to File > Options > Customise Ribbon, check the Developer Tab, and click OK.

Step 2: Click the Developer Tab in the top ribbon.

Step 3: Look for the developer controls in your top ribbon. Click it to bring up the developer controls.

Step 4: Check the second box next to “Editing Restrictions”. This will lock the document so no one can alter the text not in text boxes.

If it's not automatically selected, make sure the drop-box says "Filling in Forms." If it doesn't, you can simply pick that option from the drop-down list.

Step 5: Click Yes, Start Enforcing Protection. A box will pop up asking for a password. You can enter a password if you want to allow other people with that password to edit your document.

Part 3 Tips for Adding Fillable Fields in Word

Different Types of Form Controls

Different Types of Form Controls

Rich Text

A versatile text input field that supports rich text formatting. Users can enhance their input with various formatting options such as bold, italics, and more.

Plain Text

A straightforward text field that allows users to input plain text only. This field doesn't support any formatting, keeping the input simple and without any styling.


Designed to receive a single image, this field is perfect for incorporating visuals directly into your document, enhancing its visual appeal and informative value

Building Block Gallery

Displays a gallery of pre-formatted design choices sourced from the Quick Parts gallery. This feature streamlines the selection of commonly used design elements, improving efficiency in document creation.

Combo Box

Creates an editable list where users can input their own choices. This dynamic feature allows for user-generated content within a predefined list.

Drop-Down List

Presents users with a list of predefined selections, visible by clicking the list arrow. This controlled input method ensures standardized and accurate data entry.

Date Picker

Simplifies the date entry process by allowing users to select a date from a calendar. The control then automatically formats the selected date for a consistent and professional appearance.

Check Box

Integrates a checkbox into the form, enabling users to indicate preferences, choices, or select multiple options easily. This is especially useful for yes/no or multiple-choice scenarios.

Legacy Tools

Incorporates form controls from previous versions of Word. While these tools may be older, they provide familiarity for users accustomed to earlier iterations of the software, ensuring a smooth transition and compatibility.

Pro Tips for Efficient Form Design (H3):

  • Use Sections:

  • Tip: Divide your document into sections for better organisation.

  • Example: Separate personal information, contact details, and preferences into distinct sections.

  • Set Tab Order:

  • Tip: Define the tab order for seamless navigation through form fields.

  • Example: Ensure users move logically from one field to the next by setting a logical tab order.

  • Conditional Formatting:

  • Tip: Apply conditional formatting to fields for dynamic responses.

  • Example: Change the background color of a field based on the selected option in another field.

  • Error Handling Messages:

  • Tip: Include clear error messages for incomplete or incorrect entries.

  • Example: Display a pop-up message or change the field color when mandatory fields are left blank.

Part 4 Best Free Alternative to Microsoft Word - WPS Office

WPS Office

WPS Office is a modernized and powerful office suite that serves as a compelling free alternative to Microsoft Word. Boasting cross-platform compatibility with Windows, macOS, Linux, Android, and iOS, WPS Office ensures users can seamlessly transition between devices. The incorporation of WPS AI brings intelligent features, while its intuitive interface caters to users of all levels. Beyond traditional office functions, WPS Office stands out with its robust PDF editing capabilities, making it an all-encompassing solution for document creation and modification. With applications like Writer, Presentation, and Spreadsheets, WPS Office provides a comprehensive suite that rivals industry-standard office tools.

My Experience:

I appreciate WPS Office for its user-friendly interface, which resembles that of Microsoft Office, ensuring a smooth transition for those familiar with the latter. The suite's compatibility across different systems adds to its convenience. The WPS AI tools help users streamline tasks and improve productivity. Overall, WPS Office is highly regarded for its versatility, making it an excellent choice for various office-related tasks.

FAQs about how to add fillable fields in word

  1. How do I fill a textbox with text in Word?

Step 1: Go to Insert > Text Box, and then select one of the pre-formatted text boxes from the list, select More Text Boxes from, or select Draw Text Box.

Step 2: If you select Draw Text Box, click in the document, and then drag to draw the text box the size that you want.

Step 3: To add text, select inside the box and type or your paste text.

  1. How can you add text to the shapes other than typing directly in each shape?

Step 1: Go to the "Insert" tab ->"Shapes" in the toolbar.

Choose the shape you want to add to your document (e.g., rectangle, circle, etc.).

Step 2: Go to the "Format" tab in the top menu, select “Draw Text Box”, type the text that you want.

To change the text formatting, select the text, click the Home tab, and then change the font, size, colour, or any other attribute that you want to change.

  1. Can I create a drop-down list in Word for users to choose from?

Yes, you can. In the "Developer" tab, select "Drop-Down List Content Control." Then, go to the properties to define the list items. Users can choose from these items when filling out the form.


When adding fillable fields in Word, activate the "Developer" tab and employ controls like "Rich Text Content Control," "Drop-Down List Content Control," and "Check Box Content Control" for a customised form. Ensure data integrity by protecting the document and setting a logical tab order. For those seeking a free alternative to Microsoft Word, WPS Office emerges as a standout option. With cross-system compatibility, AI features, and a powerful PDF editor, WPS Office offers a modernised suite that competes with industry standards, providing an efficient solution for creating and managing fillable forms.

15 years of office industry experience, tech lover and copywriter. Follow me for product reviews, comparisons, and recommendations for new apps and software.