How to create fillable form fields

Turn on the Developer tab

The developer tab is not on by default. Note that you will only need to turn it on once.
1. Select File tab > Options > Customize Ribbon
2. In the right side of the Word Options dialog box, select Main Tabs and turn on Developer

Create accessible form fields

1. In the Developer tab, move your cursor to the ‘Control’, then activate the ‘Legacy Tools’. This will show your ‘Legacy forms’ options.
2. Select the ‘Legacy form field’ you wish to add to your document, ‘text field’, ‘checkbox’, ‘drop down box’, etc.
3. Once added, ‘Right Click’ on it and select ‘Properties’.
In this dialogue, change the ‘Bookmark’ text to match the print in the document, for instance, First Name, Last Name, etc. Note that this field does not allow for spaces, so your text would read: FirstName, LastName, etc.
4. Click ‘Add Help Text’ and type what you’d like the person using assistive technology to fill out the form to hear. For instance, “Type your 2 letter state abbreviation”.
* In drop down boxes, use the first item in the box as a way to let users know the information you need. For instance, the first item may be ‘Semester’, the second and third may be Spring, Winter.
5. Once you finish adding ‘form fields’, press the ‘Protect Document’ option in the Developer tab. This will open a dialogue box.
6. In the dialogue, check ‘Allow only this type of editing’ then select ‘filling in forms’ from the drop down box that becomes available.
7 Press the button that reads ‘Start Protection Now’. You may skip the password.


Please be sure to refer to the next checkbox item in the MS Word Checklist if your form includes instructions, or text other than fillable fields. You will need to create section breaks, if this is the case. list