How to Create Microsoft Excel Forms
Submitted by Jackie Lohrey
In The Beginning
Creating and using Microsoft Excel forms makes data entry easier and more efficient. Excel forms can be stand-alone forms, such as employment applications, or order forms that you create, print and fill out manually. Most often, however, Microsoft Excel forms integrate with an existing worksheet and make data entry easier by using form controls such as labels, buttons and check boxes to provide instructions or perform actions. Creating Microsoft Excel forms can become complicated, but getting started with a basic data entry form can provide an information base to build on as you develop and refine your skills.
The Main Steps
Open Excel to a default, blank worksheet. Click the "Microsoft Office" button at the top left of the screen to open the "File" menu and then select the “Excel Options” to open a new “Options” window.
Select “Customization” from the list on the left side of the window to view commands you can add to the Quick Access toolbar. To make locating the "Data" Forms command easier, click the drop-down list next to “Choose Commands From” and select “Commands Not on the Ribbon.”
Select the “Forms” command from the drop-down list and press the “Add” button to add the command. Click “OK” to commit and return to the blank worksheet. The “Forms” command icon will be on the far right of the Quick Access toolbar.
Enter column titles. Type “January” in cell A1, and “February” in cell B1, and use AutoFill to fill in the remaining months by selecting cells A1 and B1, then placing the mouse cursor in the lower-right corner of cell B1 until it changes to a “cross” shape. Hold the mouse button and drag across the spreadsheet to cell L1.
Set column width by clicking on cell A1 and dragging across to cell L1 to select and highlight cells. Locate the “Cells” section on the “Home” tab of the main menu and click the “Format” drop-down box. Select “Column Width” and set the width to “20” (or whatever width you want the columns to be) and then click “OK” to return to the spreadsheet.
Type the number “12” in cell A2 and “4” in cell B2. This step is necessary so Excel can distinguish column headings from the data.
Place your cursor in the “A” column heading, click to select and drag across the spreadsheet to select all columns.
Click the “Form” icon you added to the Quick Access toolbar to create a data entry form that displays as a new window. The data entry form displays the months you entered as column titles.
Enter information as necessary to complete the worksheet. To start a new row, click the “New” button and continue entering information. Click “Close” when data entry is complete to return to the completed worksheet.

THINGS YOU'LL NEED

  • Microsoft Excel does not display the Data Form command by default. You must add this command to the Quick Access toolbar before creating an Excel form.
  • The Quick Access Toolbar is a customizable toolbar that displays in the top left of the screen. You can add or delete commands from the tool bar as necessary.
  • When you use AutoFill, a tooltip will display cell contents as you drag across the spreadsheet.
  • In addition to forms you can create from scratch, Microsoft also provides a number of forms templates you can use “as is” or customize to suit your needs. Excel forms template categories that include academic, business, community, employment, healthcare and sports.

TIPS & WARNINGS

  • Microsoft Excel does not display the Data Form command by default. You must add this command to the Quick Access toolbar before creating an Excel form.
  • The Quick Access Toolbar is a customizable toolbar that displays in the top left of the screen. You can add or delete commands from the tool bar as necessary.
  • When you use AutoFill, a tooltip will display cell contents as you drag across the spreadsheet.
  • In addition to forms you can create from scratch, Microsoft also provides a number of forms templates you can use “as is” or customize to suit your needs. Excel forms template categories that include academic, business, community, employment, healthcare and sports.
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