Thanks for a great article. It was well written and very informative. However...
The one problem I find with forms created using Word, is that the form filler needs Word too! Of course, most businesses and organisations do have access to Word, but many individuals don't! As such, a form created in Word is useless to a large number of users because they don't have the application to open it, let alone fill it in!
You don't have this problem with PDF forms because Adobe (and other developers) provide a free PDF reader so forms can be filled in by anyone. However, you do need Adobe LiveCycle or Acrobat to create PDF forms but these solutions are expensive and unlikely to be a cost-effective purchase for one-off or infrequent form design projects.
To solve the inaccessibility of Word forms and the expense of creating PDF forms, I decided to use a Windows application called InForm Designer. It allows me to create electronic forms extremely quickly, and even has functionality to enable only the filled in content to be printed on to pre-printed forms.
The licensing mechanism for InForm Designer makes it an extremely cost effective form design application. All you need to do is license the tools you use to design your forms. For example, if all you added to a form were text boxes and associated labels, all you would buy licences for are the Text Box tool and the Label tool (costing just $10 and $5).
Fly Software, who develop InForm Designer, also have a free-to-use InForm Filler application that can be used to open and fill in any InForm form. I guess you can liken this to Adobe Reader.
If you are interested in InForm Designer you can find out more and download it here...
I hope you find it as useful as I did.
Edit: For typos!
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