Sometimes you might have a document that has some specific content that must be included in the document. Maybe your company has a special disclaimer that needs to go on some documents and you want to make sure that your employees don't attempt to delete this information.
In this article, I'll show you a few techniques to help you pull this off.
Start with a Template
The first thing you'll want to consider is that, if you need specific information to always be contained within your documents...and you can't trust your employees to remember to add that information...you'll want to create a master template. This will ensure that your users will always start with the needed content contained within the resulting document. (Assuming you teach them to always start with your template.)
So start by opening a new, blank document and immediately saving it as a template. There are several ways to create a new document, starting with the File > New command. But the fastest way that works in all versions is to just hit Ctrl + N.
Then click File > Save As and choose Template as your file type.
Do You Need a Form?
Now, depending on the type of information you need to add...you have some options. If the document is mostly boilerplate content with just a few areas where you'll want your employees to enter information, you should create a form. To find several free tutorials on form creation in Word, see this link: http://www.mousetrax.com/techpage.html#autoforms.
Create an AutoText Library Template
If you have a document such as a contract that requires employees to choose the appropriate content to be inserted into areas of the document, from several choices, you might want to consider using the AutoText Field and creating a library of autotext entries. This can fairly easily be done. You create a master style to serve as the grouping style for the AutoText entries you want to include in each field group. Then you put the field at the necessary locations.
Users can then click on the visual field markers, see a list of appropriate choices and click to have the necessary information dropped into the document.
To learn how to create this type of automated, autotext document, see this article: Use AutoText to Create a Text Library.
Can a Locked TextBox Do the Trick for You?
Maybe you need a disclaimer to appear at the bottom of your documents? One of the ways you can handle this scenario is to, again, start with a template and inform all your employees that they must create the specific document using this template.
Setup the document as needed, including margins, etc. Save it immediately as a Template by clicking File > Save As and choosing Template as the file format.
Then turn on your Drawing toolbar by clicking View > Toolbars > Drawing. Locate the TextBox icon, click it and draw out a TextBox near the bottom of your document. Click to select the newly drawn TextBox, right click, choose Format TextBox and set whatever settings you want. You may want to change the line color around the textbox to a gray, versus black, to make it look a bit more elegant. You can also add a little light gray shading to make sure it's not missed and is clearly defined as special content within the document. Possibly, you might want to remove all borders and shading? You decide what's best.
Once satisfied with the look of the box, insert your content inside the box and adjust the size to make sure all the content fits inside.
Now here's the trick to this...select the textbox, right click and choose Format Textbox. Click on the Layout tab, which controls the wrapping, but then click the Advanced button on that dialog box. Within this advanced dialog box, shown below, there are some specific settings you'll need to choose.
Make sure the box is set to align Vertically at the Bottom of the document (assuming you want it to appear at the bottom...maybe you need it at the top?).
Next, click the drop down for relative to and choose Margin. This tells the box that it will need to always position itself at the bottom of the document, relative to the margin, versus the page itself (which would go way down at the bottom, outside of the margin, and may end up getting cut off because your printer can't handle content that low).
Also check the Lock Anchor option. You can uncheck the Move object with text, but it doesn't really matter because the Bottom designation overrides this option, since the box knows it must always be at the bottom, so it'll move itself accordingly.
Now you have your nicely designed disclaimer box at the bottom of the document and no matter how much content the user adds to the document, this box will remain at the bottom of the last page of the document.
However, the textbox is still only a textbox and any user could come along, click it and hit delete and all your work will be for naught because the disclaimer is gone! So you need to protect it to make sure no one can delete it.
To do this, move your cursor to just above the textbox. Click Insert > Break and choose a Continuous Section Break. If you turn on your hidden markers (hit Ctrl + Shift + 8) you will be able to see the break, as you can in the image below.
Now you can click Tools > Protect Document. Once that Task Pane opens, click the Select sections... option (circled in red in the image below). That will cause the Section Protection dialog box to display, also shown in the image below. Uncheck Section 1 (assuming you have no other sections in the document), leaving Section 2 (or whatever number the last section is in your document) checked for protection. Click OK to close the Section Protection dialog box and then click the Task Pane button that says Yes, Start Enforcing Protection.
If you really want to protect the document, be sure to add a password within the next dialog box that will display. If not, just click OK. But I'd suggest you do add a pasword. However be sure to use a password you will remember, in case you need to change this template in the future.
Now the last section of the document is locked. And because the TextBox was instructed to always remain at the end of the document, it will also remain within the last section of the document...the locked one. This means that no one can now click that TextBox. This will stop anyone from not only deleting the disclaimer, but they will not be able to edit the content, either. Although the remainder of the document will be opened. So when they click File > New to open this template, they are free to type away within it and the disclaimer will always be locked away at the bottom.
You can create this document in the exact same manner in 2007, however, you'll need to use different commands.
- You'll find the TextBox icon within the Text group of the Insert tab on the ribbon.
- Draw out your TextBox, right click and choose Format TextBox from the context menu that appears.
- You'll still find the Advanced button on the Layout Tab of the Format TextBox dialog box.
- Word 2007 provides more options, but use the ones specified above to Lock the textbox to the Bottom relative to the Margin.
- You'll insert your Continuous Break from the Breaks icon in the Page Setup group of the Page Layout tab on the ribbon.
- Finally, you'll find the Protect Document icon on the Review tab of the Ribbon. Note that if you have the Developer tab turned on (which you can do by clicking Office Button > Word Options > Popular and checking the Developer tab option), then you'll also have a Protect Document icon on the Developer's tab of the ribbon.
Note that although Word 2007 provides new Content Controls that allow you to add holders for the user to insert content, as far as I can tell, there's no way to control their placement on the page. So the TextBox is the better way to go if you need to control placement, such as always on the bottom.
Content Controls are the enhance controls that take the place of Form Fields. However, you can still find the legacy Form Fields within Word 2007 in the Controls group of the Developer Tab. Although they're somewhat hidden inside the Legacy Tools folder in that group.