Saturday, October 27, 2012

Forming Up Your Genealogy--Part 22

If you visit Family Tree, you'll find an enterprising soul who has designed fillable forms but is calling them templates. You can get a free fillable PDF version or for $4 an enhanced version, which I assume means the Word or Excel version of the form...with the password.

To my way of thinking, a document doesn't become a template until I've saved it to my system as a template that I can copy to produce many different documents. It's a matter of semantics and I suppose from the casual user's point of view not much of a point of contention. 

Regardless of what you decide to call the document, if you're a longtime reader of this blog, you know how to create a fillable form and a template. My point is, if you're in business, you have lots of the tools you need to create your own forms and templates and perhaps sell them too just like this enterprising soul. I can't imagine that it's a huge revenue stream...but a revenue stream is a revenue stream.

Anyway, if you're interested in seeing a model for picking up bits of cash, you might want to visit this site and see what this genealogy entrepreneur is up to.

On another topic--Pattie, Cathy, and I are off to Palm Harbor today to do a presentation for an afternoon workshop. Pattie and I do two or three presentations a year just for the fun of it. Today we are doing "The Next Generation" and "Dipping Your Fingers in Paint." Cathy is part of the trio doing the Computer Interest Group for the Florida Genealogical Society (Tampa). Next weekend all three of us will be at USF for a daylong seminar. The presenter is D. Joshua Taylor.

I'm still trying to finish up the certificates for Florida State and I need to put together a template for the program for the banquet. All together, it's a very busy time for me. I'll get back to post as soon as I manage to clear the decks. But at this rate, it's going to be a bit longer than I had anticipated.

Monday, October 22, 2012

One day...

I'm going to be finished designing certificates for the Florida State Genealogical Society. Currently, I'm working on a researcher's certificate, and then I'll be looking at a President Citation along with a few other types of certificates. They need to be ready by 10 November. So the rush is on.

This point will make you chuckle. I'm the recipient of one of the certificates I'll be designing. I received notice that I'm to be awarded a certificate--along with Pattie Schultz and Cathy Vance--for work done with the Florida Genealogical Society (Tampa)...not to be confused with the Florida State Genealogical Society.

In the meantime, the address of this blog has been posted to another blog and it's generated lots of traffic as readers are going through two years worth of posts. I'm going to take the opportunity to take a break and go quiet for a while while people read and catch up.

As always, if you have questions, please post them and I'll try to help.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Forming Up Your Genealogy--Part 21--Ribbon Custom Tab

The last bit of information you need about using buttons on the Forms tab is in reference to the Properties button you added to the Text Group. You can use the same Properties button with each type of fillable field that you added (text, check box, or combo selection). After you add a field, you can click the Properties button on the ribbon and the Properties dialog associated with the fillable field type will appear. You can do the same task by right-clicking in the field and selecting Properties from the pop-up menu. It's all a matter of how you like to work.

In formal documentation, the display of different Properties dialogs based on a fillable field type is referred to as being context sensitive. Lots of the functionality in Word 2007/2010 is context sensitive, which is one of the things that makes users crazy...tabs and buttons appear and disappear...if you don't know why it will make you nuts.

You can use a Word fillable form as is. However, if you plan to publish it to the web, you'll need to convert the form to a PDF. The next bit of info you'll need is what to do in Adobe Acrobat to get a fillable form as a PDF. So stay case you have that friend who has access to a copy of Acrobat.

Also, Pattie uses a product named pdf995. I'll have to see if you can convert fillable forms with it also. If yes, this solution is free or at best $9.95 for a download copy. I'll keep you posted.

As always, if you have questions, please post them. I'll be happy to try and help.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Forming Up Your Genealogy--Part 20--Ribbon Custom Tab

To add a new tab:
  1. See the previous post to display the Customize Ribbon dialog. 
  2. In the list on the right, click the New Tab button. Word adds a new tab to the list.

To rename New Tab and New Group:
  1. Click the New Tab (Custom), and then click the Rename button. A rename dialog appears. 
  2. Enter the tab name Forms Tab...or any name that makes sense to you..., and then click OK
  3. Click the New Group (Custom), and then click the Rename button. A rename dialog appears.
  4. Enter the group name Text, and then click OK
To add new groups:
  1. With your cursor on the Text group, click the New Group button. Word add a New Group (Custom) entry to the list.
  2. Rename the new group Check Box
To get the tab that I use, repeat these instructions to add these groups:
  • Text (Custom)...Already done!
  • Check Box (Custom)...Already done!
  • Combo Box (Custom)
  • Other Buttons (Custom)
The following groups are can choose to add them or not.
  • Align Bottom (Custom)
  • Align Center (Custom)
  • Align Top (Custom)
I add the align buttons so that I don't have to constantly click another tab to align text within the table I most likely will add when creating a form. The cell alignment is available on the right-click pop-up menu too.

So adding the buttons on the ribbon might be overkill for you. Or, you might want to have other buttons at hand on the ribbon. Group names appear below the buttons and cause the buttons to spread out over the width of the ribbon rather than bunching up in a few crowded groups.

To add buttons:
  1. Click the group name Text. This group is the first group to which we will be adding buttons. 
  2. From the Choose commands from drop-down list on the left, select Commands Not in the Ribbon. The list below updates with command that do not appear on ribbons.

  3. In the Commands Not in the Ribbon list, look for Text Field (Form Control).

  4. Click Text Field (Form Control) and hold your mouse key to grab it. 
  5. Drag and drop Text Field (Form Control) over the group name Text. Word add the buttons to the group. 
Repeat these steps to add buttons to groups so that you have the following structure.
  • Text (Custom)
    Text Field (Form Control)...Shows as Edit Box button on tab...
    Form Field Options...Shows as Properties button on tab...
  • Check Box (Custom)
    Check Box (Form Control)
  • Combo Box (Custom)
    Combo box (Form Control)
  • Other Buttons (Custom)
    Reset Form Fields
    Restrict Editing...You'll find this button on the All Commands list...See below.
    Legacy Tools
    ...You'll find this button on the All Commands list too...Shows the drop-down with all of the tools...Add it just in case.

You now know how to add a tab, add groups, and add buttons to a group. I'm going to let you experiment with any additional groups and buttons you might want to add to your custom forms tab.

Next post, we'll talk about using the buttons on your new custom tab. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Forming Up Your Genealogy--Part 19--Ribbon Custom Tab

If you envision a create fillable forms festival, you might want to consider adding a custom tab to the ribbon with the buttons and tools you need to create the forms.

Here's what my custom tab looks like.
Click graphic to see larger version.
Press the Esc key to return to this post. 

To display Word Options and the Customize Ribbon:

  1. Display Word Options.
  2. --Word 2007: Click the MS Office button, and then click Word Options.
    --Word 2010: Click File, and then Options.
    The World Options dialog appears. 
  3. Select Customize Ribbon and the options appear. 

If you have the Designer tab appearing in your ribbon, you've used this dialog before because the Designer tab gets turned on in the dialog. The dialog is divided into parts. 
  • The lift side includes commands that can be added to tabs. As you can see from the drop-down list at the top, not all commands appear on ribbons. In addition, several other options are on the list. When you select different option, the list related commands below updates. Commands Not in the Ribbon is the option you will be using to get a list of commands. It's long!
  • The Add and Remove buttons allow you to move commands from the list on the left to a tab on the right and vice versa.
  • The right side includes the tabs that appear on the ribbon. Using the buttons below the tabs list, you can add a new tab, a new group, or rename a tab or group among other tasks. 

In the next post, we'll actually add the custom tab with the form and alignment buttons, which are the buttons I use. You'll also see how you can add other buttons you might find useful on your custom tab.