Word Vs. Excel For Fill-out-able Forms, Office 2010
Oct 28 2011, 03:28 PM
Joined: 29-March 05
For the last eight years I've maintained a database of calibrations for my laboratory. That database included about 40 reports, which were calibration forms that needed to be printed out, then filled out, then filed. Now another person is taking over that particular database, and he'd like to change from the old "database report that's printed and written on" method that I've used and move to using Word for the calibration forms instead.
The main reason - he finds Word easier to edit, and I agree. I can easily change from a "print report x" methodology to an "open Word file x" logic in the database. But he'd also like to use Word fields to allow the users to fill out the calibration forms within Word, rather than printing the calibration form and filling it out with a pencil. At this point, I suggested Excel instead. I personally find Excel to be better for this sort of thing than Word. Just merge cells and mark some as Locked, and the user can Tab from blank to blank and fill them out.
Either way, the user would be opening some sort of protected template, either Word or Excel. Then they'd fill out the appropriate blanks in the form, and save the file in a special folder.
This is the early stage of the transition process, so I'm curious... Any recommendations on using either Word or Excel for this sort of thing?
Oct 29 2011, 08:22 AM
UdderAccess Admin + UA Ruler
Joined: 27-April 02
From: Upper MI
While many of us know that either tool is suitable and more than adequate for the task you've described, I believe it becomes a matter of taste based on who's responsible for the final decision. "You say 'tomato' I say 'bowling shoes'."
In my estimation (and based on my experience with high volume reporting), I would maintain an Access db to provision the forms and fields in which the user would fill in the blanks; storing that data IN the db. Then, instead of using Access reports to produce the final product, I would merge the results with Word and all the fun that goes with bookmarking all points in a Word template to generate the resultant Word document from within the Access app. This is what we did at General Electric for the 84 page report that had to accompany each sensor rod they produced for mounting inside the walls of cooling stacks at nucluear power plants. They liked the WOrd documents because they easily pass those around to all the approving departments before final approval; and the Access db made it easy to track which document went with which rod, and who signed off on each step in its manufacturing process.
But that's just my opinion. I'm curious how others will chime in.
(It was me who moved this thread to this forum - it wasn't just interface, or word or excel or automation, so this seemed the best forum to put it.)
Oct 29 2011, 08:44 AM
Joined: 8-August 05
Have you looked into possible use of PDFill PDF Editor? I'm using it to as an attachment to emails to get data.
Just thought i'd give ya the option.
Good luck with your project!
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