#282 Using Word To Fill Scanned Forms

As much as we may hope for them to go away, paper forms are far from disappearing. This quick & easy tip for using Word to fill in forms, is especially handy for forms that you use over and over like insurance claim forms, etc.

How It Works:

The first step is to scan the form and save it as an image (.gif, .jpg or .png).  If you already have an electronic version of the form you can take a screenshot of the form to get it as an image.

Getting the form into the background of the document

  1. Once you’ve got the form as an image file, open a new, blank Word document.
  2. Open the header section by double-clicking in the top margin area
  3. From the Insert tab click Picture from File and find the scanned form image.
  4. With the picture file selected, go to the the Text Wrap dropdown and choose Behind Text.

Now you can close the header section to start filling in the blanks. Don’t worry if the graphic dims a bit.

Using Text Boxes to Fill-in the Blanks

  1. With your form displayed in the background, go to the Insert tab and find Draw Text Box under the Text Box drop-down.
  2. Click and drag a text box over each blank in the form you want to complete.
  3. From the format tab, set the Shape Fill color of the text box to “No Fill” and the Shape Outline to “No Outline

DOWNLOAD A COPY:  Here’s a copy of the document I created if you’d like to play around with it at all.

The good thing about this is once you get it set up, all you have to do is change the text each time you need the form again and there is probably a lot of the data that will never change. Think of all the repetitive form filling you’ll save!

Plus once you have this electronic copy, it’s easy to print as a PDF and send as an email attachment.