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Office & Productivity Software forum

General discussion

MS Word generating columns for table

by unit_number_43 / October 25, 2008 8:58 PM PDT

I am creating an office form for accounting for activity, chronologically. The document has a header and a table. The table has two rows as a header which needs to print at the top of each new page. Then there needs to be rows, for the actual information to be entered, which generate as they are filled in. Because I can't predict the amount of activity there will be, I can't preset the number of columns. And again, when the table spans more than one page I need the header section to reprint.

Is there a way to do this?

Sorry if this doesn't make sense, it's the end of a very long day. I'll re-read this tommorow and clarify if needed.

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Do you mean "number of rows"?
by Kees Bakker / October 25, 2008 9:35 PM PDT

Columns doesn't make much sense?

The problem with forms in MS Word is that they are protected. So tables won't grow. All users can do on a form is fill the unprotected fields in the existing rows.

So it's time to consider alternatives:
- don't use a form, just a template (a table in a normal Word document can be set to behave as you want)
- use MS Excel
- use MS Access (with some database behind it)
- use a webform (with some database behind it)
- write a VB application


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template no form...
by unit_number_43 / October 26, 2008 11:41 AM PDT

Yes, I did mean rows not columns.

Okay so how would I get a table to dynamically add a new row in a regular template?

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All table do ...
by Kees Bakker / October 26, 2008 6:25 PM PDT
In reply to: template no form...

if you press tab in the bottom-right cell.


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Let me share a story.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 26, 2008 11:59 AM PDT

I lived through such a system. The manager demanded a very detailed accounting of what we were doing. This manager lasted only a few weeks as he was buried in details and minutia. Productivity did plummet since the forms added a lot of time to each effort. So each hour everyone would stop to enter in the fields on Word forms. Every day the printer would clog and we waited for the IT staffer to get it working.

Be sure that you are not recreating what we went through.

Not to second guess your motivation but after a few weeks of this the manager was buried in trying to find ways to make sense of all the word documents and how to use it. Something he likely regretted later.

BACK ON TOPIC. As you discovered the locked form is not a good start.

Why not a DATABASE and you have some programmer write a front end to collect the input and produce the report?

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Required in the field
by unit_number_43 / October 27, 2008 5:41 AM PDT
In reply to: Let me share a story.

Keeping logs are just part of my career field.

I don't work in an IT field so getting a programmer and database system isn't feasible. The people in the field only have access to MS Word, although I may be able to add MS Excel. I was going to use Word because all the other forms we use are in Word and everyone is familiar with it.

Thanks for the help.

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