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Microsoft Word/using forms that are filled in


QUESTION: hello, Suzanne, how are you?

This email is intended to serve two purposes; one is a technical issue, the other is more difficult to define but it is intended to alert Microsoft to what I perceive as insufficient attention to one of the tools/features in Word.

First, a technical question for you.
I believe that the ultimate usefulness of filled-in forms (in Word) is to be able to transfer the information (provided by the individual filling out the form) to a database that can then be used to perform Mail Merge and other techniques that handle large amounts of data.

I cannot find, neither in a computer book, nor on-line, any information/instructions that allow the individual (collecting the forms)to extract the data entered by the those who filled in the forms.

To simply send the filled forms to the ultimate collector so that he/she can look them over is ridiculous. That individual wants to extract the data and organize it in a methodical way, such as creating a database.

So.. can you tell me how to move the filled-in text to a database?

My second question-see the top paragraph-is...
Who at Microsoft can I contact to ask and alert them to this issue, i.e. the missing tools for moving data from the form to a database. Neither in Word 2003, 2007, 2010 or 2013, are the necessary tools readily available.

As always, thank you for your timely and wise replies.


ANSWER: For the first question: I think the answers you've received at are better than any I can give.

For the second question, see, Word's "Suggestion Box."

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QUESTION: Thank you, Suzanne, for your clear and prompt reply.

It appears that we don't see the issue in the same way.
The very fact that the user needs to search for someone's help says it all!

It is the obligation of the Microsoft team to make the instructions for data retrieval a vital part of the subject of form letters. The steps that I'm asking for should not be a separate subject, but instead, part and parcel of the form letter.
What Microsoft did was to give us a glass of orange juice that lacks the fruit.

Your thoughts?


I don't disagree with your assumption that this is something that should be easy to do. What I meant to imply is that I don't have any experience with it, and that the Community users who posted links to their VBA solutions were the best references I could offer. That said, there are increasingly many features of Word about which users need to search for help, especially since Word's Help has been kneecapped. That is the reason for the Community forum.

I imagine that Microsoft envisioned Access and Visio as its database and form solutions (in the same way that it refuses to include spreadsheet capabilities in Word other than by providing for embedding an Excel sheet). But the new UserVoice site is intended to solicit user suggestions, so I suggest you pursue your recommendation there. It will certainly be a better suggestion than some that have so far been offered (and a lot better written)!
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Suzanne S. Barnhill


I've been using Word for Windows since version 2.0 (1992), and the more I learn about it, the more I realize how little I know. But I may know a few things that you don't, and I'll help if I can. I answer many questions every day in Microsoft's peer support forums and as a result have been awarded the MVP (Most Valuable Professional) designation by Microsoft Corporation. You may be able to find the answer to your question at the Word MVPs' FAQ site or at my own Word FAQ site, so please check those first! Please, no questions about VBA (macros), Registry editing, networks, or complex merges, as I have no experience with these aspects of Word, nor do I have any experience with Word for Mac. Please indicate which version of Word you are using; if you are not sure, see "What version of Word do I have?".


I have a master's degree in classics (Latin), which is surprisingly helpful, though I no longer teach. The things I am proudest of: Having raised two children to maturity, both Merit Scholars, both college graduates (one a philosophy major!), one Phi Beta Kappa (from Harvard!); having been made a Paul Harris Fellow by my Rotary club; having been designated a Microsoft MVP.

Rotary Club of Fairhope, Friends of the Fairhope Public Library

B.A. (Latin), Agnes Scott College, 1966; M.A. (Classics), Emory University, 1972.

Awards and Honors
Microsoft Most Valuable Professional award every year since 1999; many Rotary honors

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