Truth be told, a form is nothing more than an instrument that businesses and organizations use to gather information from a targeted group of people. These are versatile documents that can easily be tailored according to a specific purpose. Whether it’s in the world of academics or business, forms serve a variety of functions for individuals of different fields.
But because of how these forms have become an essential part of our daily operations, creating one that actually works is extremely important. This ensures that the information collected remains correct and reliable. To find out how you can create an effective form, we’ve provided a few guidelines and templates in this article to help you out.
A good form is typically comprised of the following elements:
1. Heading & Subheadings: Headings and subheadings help maintain the structure of your form. The heading tells users what the form will be used for, while the subheadings indicate the type of data that should be written under a specific category. They are usually printed in a bigger and bolder font style compared to the rest of the items found in the form. These text elements must be kept clear and direct to keep respondents informed and for easy comprehension.
2. Description: Descriptions are often added below the heading to convey the purpose and necessity of the form. This sometimes acts as a disclaimer to keep respondents aware of what they’re about to do. The description may also discuss what you plan to do with the information collected, how it will be handled, and who will have the authority to access it. This is especially important when conducting a survey among a target group of respondents who might have second thoughts about filling out your form.
3. Input Fields: This refers to the blank spaces included in every form. Respondents may input their entries in the fields provided, which usually comes in the form of lines and empty boxes. When creating an online form, you can even edit these fields to indicate which ones are required to be filled out and which ones may be left blank. These writing fields help separate items from one another to assist in keeping your form organized. You may also see employment application form examples.
4. Labels: Labels are similar to headings and subheadings, except that they are more specific to certain field items. This guides users to knowing what to write in the given field. It doesn’t have to be a lengthy instruction, as a few words will be enough to communicate the right message. Like in an evaluation form, for example, you may be asked to limit your rating for each employee within the range of 1 to 10.
5. Lines: If you’ve filled out a form before, you might have noticed how most forms are bursting with lines. Apart from dividing the document into several sections, this also creates a natural flow to direct the eyes toward key items. This tells respondents where to start and end when writing as well. This keeps your form organized for the convenience of every party involved.
Filling a form can be a daunting experience for most people. But if you’re someone from the other side of the spectrum, you’ll be happy to know that creating these forms is extremely easy. You can complete one in mere minutes with the help of a user-friendly software application such as Microsoft Excel. With that said, here’s a step-by-step guide to teach you how you can make a data entry form in Excel:
1. Open the application and input the necessary column names in each field. This will serve as the labels in the final copy of your form.
2. Once you have written your column names, convert this into a table through Insert > Table. Be sure to check the option to show the headers of your table. This is indicated through the My table has headers option in the said window. You may also see report form examples.
3. To enable the Form Creation functionality in Excel, go to File > Options > Customize Ribbon. Here, make sure to select Commands Not in the Ribbon and Form in the menu. Click New Tab in the same window and select New Group, followed by Add. This option will add forms to a new tab in your ribbon. This also gives you the opportunity to rename the New Tab and New Group feature into something more specific.
4. Next, select your table and form from the New Form tab of the application. A dialogue box will then appear for you to insert your data into each section. Click New to save your entries. You can repeat this process to add more records to your form. You may also see employee information form examples.
5. Finally, proofread the content of your form before printing. You also have the option to leave the input fields of your form blank as a template for future use. Be sure to save a copy of the document on your computer with the correct filename as well.
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to building a form. Some forms are a one-page document, while others can go beyond that. A form typically varies depending on its purpose along with the amount of information you need. And now that we’ve covered the basic guidelines for making a form, let’s see how you can achieve success with your form through the following tips:
Forms can be used for nearly everything. They are specially designed to cater a specific function in the most time-efficient way possible. Bid forms, for example, allow you to input the required information to bid on an item at an auction. From paying taxes to applying for a job, forms have become a key part of our day-to-day activities. That being said, let’s take a look at the two general types of forms you’re likely to encounter in various circumstances.
1. Printed Forms: As a traditional way of collecting data, printed forms are pretty popular among students, banks, corporate businesses, and government agencies to this day. Here, respondents are required to fill it out manually using a pen, pencil, or marker. However, processing data using this type of document can be quite challenging, as mishandled forms may lead to data alteration or loss. Tracking the form in a stack of other documents can also be a burden, especially when a duplicate copy of the form is unavailable.
Additionally, changes that need to be made to the form can only be done by editing and printing another version of such.
2. Online Forms: Ever since technology has caused drastic changes to our everyday lives, we’re slowly seeing a digital alternative to almost everything we use. One good example for this would be the online forms. These forms have made it much easier for people to collect and distribute information from others through a click of a button. This has also made it convenient for researchers to send out survey forms to a targeted group, as well as measure and manage the acquired responses.
From a different perspective, online forms have even helped replace paper-based systems in various data-processing firms. Many businesses in the world of e-commerce also rely on online order forms to conduct their operations. This has helped improve a series of workflows for the benefit of a company and its clients. And since several platforms on the Internet allow you to create these forms for free, you won’t have to worry about spending hundreds of dollars on printing costs ever again.
A form is a kind of document used to collect a sufficient amount of data as part of a survey, a study, or a transaction. It contains a series of blank spaces in which users may input their personal data. When completed, the form may serve as a statement, an order, or a request, among others. In some instances, the form may be filled out in duplicate with the help of carbon paper for distribution within the organization. Online forms also serve as a great alternative for easy management of these filled-out copies.
The great thing about using forms to acquire data is how they enable you to establish uniformity. You’re basically told what information has to be supplied without further question. Instead of writing an essay as an introduction to who you are, you can compose less with the help of a form. That way, you can easily examine the document for any mistakes that have been made. Forms help simplify tasks and speed up the collection or distribution of data for an efficient and effective workflow.
Gathering data from a group of respondents by conducting a series of personal interviews can be a huge challenge for most researchers. That’s because it can be difficult to recall certain details when delivered verbally. So rather than making false assumptions and using unreliable bits of information, recording these details on paper will be a much better option. A birth certificate, for instance, is usually structured the same way as a form. This document may be used as evidence to prove something about the subject in question.
Using a form is one of the most efficient means of data gathering. It allows you to collect, measure, and track information with the least amount of effort required. Whether it’s a printed or online form, processing data has never been easier. So if you ever find yourself in need of a form, these form templates and examples are sure to come in handy.