Creating Fillable Templates with Word

Did you know that you can make Word templates that are editable and protected at the same time! One aspect that I love about my job is being asked to try something new. Like many teachers, I love learning, so it always provides the opportunity to try something new, here are the steps in creating a Word template which is fillable and protected from editing. 

  1. Open Word in the desktop version as you will need all the features available.
  2. Start with a blank doc or one you have already created.
  3. Choose “File” and then “Options”
  4. From the left menu  select “Customize Ribbon”
  5. In the far right menu, check “Developer” and then OK
  6. You will now see Developer as part of the tabs in your Word Ribbon menu
  7. Now it is time to create your document (example a template for a lesson plan, a parent letter, or another document you will want to be fillable)
  8. Once you have your document customized, it is time to protect it and make it fillable
  9. Choose the “Developer” tab and your ribbon menu will reflect these options
  10. Any place you want to be fillable, place your mouse there and then choose the Aa (Plain text)
  11. Continue this for any of the fillable content
  12. Now choose “Restrict Editing” from the ribbon of your “Developer” options
  13. Checkmark Item 1: Formatting restrictions
  14. Checkmark Item 2: Editing restrictions and from the drop-down menu choose “Filling in Forms”
  15. Finally, in Item 3, click “Yes, Start Enforcing Protection”
  16. It will ask you to create a password
  17. Now it is time to save it as a template
  18. Choose “Save As”
  19. It will default to “Word Document” but change this to “Word Template”
  20. Select your location and Save

You can now share this template with colleagues or families. They will be able to fill in the document without changing the formatting. Each time they open it, it will create a new version that they can then save! Check out the video version below for a visual guide.

Special thanks to the Holly Cornelison Hopla in asking for how to accomplish this and showing me something new along the way!

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