Length of form field expands or contracts, affects alignment in Word

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This article is a consolidation of the following previously available articles: 119129, 196676
SYMPTOMS
The length of your form field expands or contracts, depending on the amount of textyou enter into the form field. This can result in other form fields ortext moving to new positions, which affects the horizontal and verticalalignment of your form. This behavior can occur even though you have set amaximum limit for the number of characters to be entered into the field.
CAUSE
Setting the maximum number of characters for a form field does notestablish a permanent dimension for the field. This setting refers only tohow wide that field can be. If there are fewer characters typed thanthe maximum allowed, the field is only as wide as the number of characterstyped.

For example, if the maximum field size is 30 characters, and you type afive-letter word in the field, the field is five characters wide. If youtype 50 characters in the field, only the first 30 characters are shown.
WORKAROUND
Using one of the following methods may or may not help you achieve theresults you want; however, any of these methods can be used to give youmore precise control over the position of other fields or text within yourform.

Method 1: Set Up the Form in a Table

Place the form fields inside a table. Each cell that contains a form fieldhas a fixed width, so varying the text length does not move text or otherform fields horizontally on the page. Setting the table row to an exactheight to control the number of lines that are displayed in your form willmaintain the vertical position of other items on your form.

Method 2: Set Up the Form in a Frame

Place the form field in a frame. You can format the frame to have an exactheight and width. To locate this option, select the frame. On the Formatmenu, click Frames.

To insert a frame, first insert a text box and convert the text box to a frame. To do this, select the text box and then click Text Box on the Format menu, click the Text Box tab, and then click Convert to Frame.

Method 3: Set Up the Form by Using Tabs

Set a tab immediately after the form field. The drawback to this method isthat if the text inside the form field extends past the tab stop, the textor form field following the tab stop will not be positioned correctly.
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Properties

Article ID: 212080 - Last Review: 12/05/2015 11:52:53 - Revision: 2.1

Microsoft Word 2000 Standard Edition, Microsoft Word 97 Standard Edition, Microsoft Word 2002 Standard Edition, Microsoft Office Word 2003

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