You write via the forum mail:
" Thank you Kees for your input on my problem. Just to clarify my problem, I receive "requests for quotes" on customer forms by fax; normally you easily fill in the blanks with a typewriter (which I now don't have;so I try to line up the blank fill-ins with my printer by using a blank word (Office 97) document and the ruler (in inches or mm).
Per your suggestion, do I need to "create" a facsimile of the customer's form (which can go into pages!)with the blank fill-ins?? Note that the ruler has 2 sections of measurements...to the first fill-in, the measure from the top, then the second which starts the units all over again
How would YOU proceed to fill in say a credit application form that you received in the mail? Many many thanks for your expertise on this!!"
Indeed, my answer was under the assumption that it were your own forms you wanted to fill in, and not forms varying by customer. If each form is unique, it doesn't make sense indeed to make an empty form and fill in the blanks and fill in the data only. So your clarification clearly invalidates my suggestion.
I think I would keep using my own typewriter or that of my wife. We both kept it (but haven't been using it for years). And, of course, make a photocopy of the document I completed with my own data before sending the offer to the potential customer.
And I'm sure you can buy another one somewhere. That might be easier than using Word.
The alternative would be to make your OWN form for sending out quotes. That can easily be filled in and printed, be it in Word or Excel or Access or even pdf. But it wouldn't be attractive to retype many pages of the customers form, of course.
Your business seems a little bit unstructured, while forms presume some structure. And if it's your business, you impose that structure. But I must admit I don't fully grasp the details of the forms.
That brings me back to your questions on rulers. Bing in Holland, I've got both the horizontal ruler and vertical ruler in my Word 97 set to cm. And I see that using A4 paper (21.0 x 29.7 cm) and the page margins (upper, lower, left and right) set to the default of 2.5 (which I really should change some time), the horizontal ruler leaves 16 cm, and the vertical ruler leaves 24.7 cm, so I really think I wouldn't have any problem to type something to appear on say 15.7 cm vertical and 5.7 cm horizontal on the printed paper (although it would be easier with margins set to 1 or even 0 cm, but my printer won't allow 0).
Obviously, there's no relation to the cm or inches on the paper and the cm or inches on the screen. My 16 cm on paper is 21 cm on the screen (15", 600x800), but that doesn't matter at all.
So I must say, I don't get your problem, in fact.