Convert printable booking form to emailable?
November 2, 2008 5:58 PM   Subscribe

I am helping out with a small community event - I have been given a booking form formatted for printing (a word document). What is the easiest and most accessible variety of ways for me to convert this, so that I can email it out to everyone, and have people fill it in and email it back to me?

Users, are not especially computer literate and I'm doing this for free.
I'm trying to figure out the best compromise.

I can send it out in more than one format for accessibility/ease of use for the most number of people. Last year several people just tried to edit the word document, but couldn't edit check boxes etc.
posted by Elysum to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Response by poster: Hmmmm.... Google could consider solving all my problems for me in a future iteration of Google Docs (have at thee, google!).

Saving the form in Google Docs and then allowing me to select areas of the form and replace them with editable areas from Google Forms that would solve my issue in the easiest, cross-platform way.

I've trialled out Google forms, which might work for some other purpose, but unfortunately, changing the layout of the current document will make it drastically more difficult to follow and complete.
posted by Elysum at 6:09 PM on November 2, 2008

Really the simplest way that will give users the least confusion is just having it be a list of things you're looking for typed out into the email

Phone number:

I can help on [put an X between the brackets]

Monday [ ]
Tuesday [ ]
Wednesday [ ]
posted by jessamyn at 6:10 PM on November 2, 2008

Really, truly, super-believe me when I tell you the very best answer to this problem is Duplicate your form on FormSpring, publish it, and send the link to the form to everyone on your list.

You get awesome, automated data collection and I promise you that the form you will be forced to design on Formspring will be 9,000 times more user-friendly and less prone to data entry errors than anything you can put together and send out yourself.

It's idiot-proof and fantabulous.
posted by DarlingBri at 6:33 PM on November 2, 2008 [1 favorite]

If you want to send an actual form as an attachment, and if the formatting isn't too elaborate, save it as Rich Text Format (.rtf). That should open in just about anything.

Personally, I'd go with jessamyn's suggestion.
posted by lilywing13 at 10:39 PM on November 2, 2008

If you want to keep the Word format, you can. Do this:
1. On the View menu, click Toolbars and then Forms. The Forms toolbar displays.
2. To add a text field to your document, place your cursor where you want the text field and then click the left-most button on the Forms toolbar.
3. To add a check box to your document, click the second-from-left button on the Forms toolbar.
4. When you are finished with your document, click the Protect Form button (right-most button) on the Forms toolbar. This makes the text fields and check boxes work as they should.
5. Save the document, and then email it out.
posted by Houstonian at 1:53 AM on November 3, 2008

You should use the web. I organized a community even and built a form on my website to collect registration information - it would have been a nightmare to do it with e-mailed Word forms.

DarlingBri's FormSpring suggestion is the best way to go if you don't want to code it to yourself.
posted by exhilaration at 7:19 AM on November 3, 2008

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