How to automatically number or bullet Lists

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    Service Desk

    TheFormTool will do what you want beautifully. Conceptually what you're going to be doing is: 1.) putting a TheFormTool List answer inside a Word formatting envelope, where the formatting you'll select is either Word's auto numbering format or its bullet point format; and 2) modifying one of TheFormTool's List formats to suit your needs.

    All commands are within TheFormTool menu unless specified otherwise.

    1. Click on Table to insert a Q&A Table. In its row, type a Label, type a Question and in the third cell click Answer/List/Text, OK
    2. With the cursor in the Answer cell, click the Add button a couple of times; 2-3 is fine just to give a heads up that the user can add items as needed
    3. Go up to the first page of the "document", as Q&A Tables are always at the end.
    4. Set the cursor on the page where you'd like your list and click on List
    5. Select the name you chose for your list, click Insert List, select any one of the styles. (In this case, for demonstration purposes choose 'repeating paragraphs' although any one will work fine. It's the modifications you're going to make that are important). Click Done. This inserts your list where you want it in your document.

    All that is standard procedure. Here is where you start customizing a bit.

    1. Note that the entire TheFormTool block is selected. Format it for auto numbering by going to Home in Word and selecting the paragraph number format command.
    2. To clean up, we have some excess language to dispose, so select "Sample paragraph about" and delete it and its extra space at the end. This text is a place holder, useful for when you need descriptive language for each item in your list. In this example, no such language is necessary, so take it out.

    That's it. You're done.

    When time comes to actually fill out the form, the user types into the Answer cell in the Q&A Table as many list items as needed. If it's fewer than you made provision for, TheFormTool will take care of the extras automatically. If the user needs more rows for answers, he or she can click the big green plus sign and add as many more as necessary.

    When all the items to be listed are in the Answer cell, click Fill and away you go with an automatic number or bullet list of just the right length.

    As always, you can "wrap" TheFormTool's answers in any Word formatting you'd like the final result to reflect.

    This has taken much longer to describe than to do. Allow about a minute to build the list function.

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    Service Desk

    Can this be done using the list with choice as well?  I would like to have a multiple choice option so the person filling out the form can only choose from preset data.

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    Service Desk

    Yes, it can. Exactly the same principle applies in that you're "wrapping" TheFormTool answer in whatever Word format you'd like to have apply to it.

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    Rick Madden

    I have followed these instructions for creating a bulleted list and it works with one exception.  When I click on Fill it add a blank bullet at the end of the list.  What would cause this to happen.

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    Scott Campbell

    Thanks for pointing that out, Rick.  There's an error in the instructions above that's causing your extra bullet.  In the paragraph that begins "Note that the entire TheFormTool block is selected", it should have asked you to place your cursor in the first paragraph, so the whole block is not selected.  The resulting list will have one fewer bullets.

    If you've already created the list with too many bullets, you don't have to start over from scratch; just remove the extra bullet at the end of the list by placing the cursor in that paragraph and clicking Word's bullet button.

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    Rick Madden

    Thank you very much Scott.  Your instructions worked perfectly.  I appreciate your help.

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    Rick Madden

    Scott

    Well I thought your instructions worked perfectly.  However, it doesnt work all the time, and if I hit the Fill button it fills them correctly, but once I hit the Reset button, it adds a bullet to the ditto ditto line.  Any ideas?  THANKS

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    Scott Campbell

    I see what you mean -- I'm getting the same result here.  It works great when I Fill the first time, but if I Reset then the extra bullet appears.  This counts as a program bug, so I'll be working on it in the next couple days and expect to have an update ready for you shortly.  Thanks for following up, Rick.

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    Rick Madden

    Thanks Scott.  

    Leave it to us to find a bug :(   Just let me know when you find a solution.  THANKS A BUNCH

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    Rick Madden

    Hi Scott

    I was just wondering if you have found a solution for above problem regarding The Form Tool putting extra bullets in.  This is the last piece of my Form puzzle and then I will be done with this Inspection Report Form.  :)

    Thanks, Lynda (For Rick)

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    Scott Campbell

    Yes, Lynda, we got this fixed in the program and are about to release an update that includes a few other small fixes too.  I'll post another reply here when it's ready to download so you won't miss it.  It could be as early as today, and definitely not later than next week.  Thanks for your help with finding and clobbering this bug.

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    Rick Madden

    Awesome...thanks so much Scott

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    Scott Campbell

    Okay, Lynda, this program update is now available at www.theformtool.com/updates.  Please install the fix and let us know if you have any more trouble.

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    Rick Madden

    Hi Scott

    Unfortunately, I seem to still be having the same problem with Bullets.  It is still adding an extra bullet at the end of the list.  I am attaching a file with screen shots and I am also attaching my form.  Any idea as to what I may be doing wrong.

    Thank you very much

    Happy New Year!

    Lynda (for Rick)




    Trouble with Bullets.docx
    _PROPERTY INSPECTION REPORT MASTER 7-3.docx
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    Scott Campbell

    Ah, good -- this one's an easy fix.  Just remove the bullet formatting from the last paragraph in each list, as shown here:

    Bullets.PNG

    Word actually stores bullet formatting in the paragraph symbol at the end of the paragraph, even though the bullet character appears at the beginning of the paragraph.  So it seems like you would need bullet formatting on the [ditto] line, but you really don't.  The first line is the one that gets repeated, so it's the only one that needs bullet formatting.

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    Rick Madden

    Removing the bullet formatting from the last Paragraph does work.  However, instead of an extra bullet it is putting in an extra paragraph return after the last bullet in the list leaving a lot of extra space.  I am going to continue to play with this a little more, but if you know why this is, please let me know.

    Thanks so much, Lynda 

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    Scott Campbell

    Hi, Lynda.  It didn't occur to me that you would want to remove those empty paragraphs too.  Fortunately, that's another easy one.  Just delete the paragraph mark at the end of the [ditto] line (you might have to reapply some formatting).  It helps a bit if you turn on the display of paragraph mark symbols, which Word normally hides.  (To do that, click the button with a paragraph symbol on it on Word's Home tab.)  The finished product should look like this:

    extra_paragraphs.PNG

    It looks a bit squished, but will end up with no extra empty paragraphs.

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    Rick Madden

    Hi Scott

    Happy New Year.

    I now understand that a Paragraph return is built into the List Programming.  Unfortunately, I don't like that extra space as I already have space built into my styles.  Because this is such a Monster of a form (very lengthy and TONS of bulleted sections) I thought it was make the form very confusing if I deleted all those paragraph returns after all the bullets.

    I think I found a work around though.  

    1. I created a style called Space after Bullets and made it 8 pt with no space after the Paragraph

    2. In my Bullet Style I Chose the "Space after Bullets" style that I created for "Style for following Paragraph".  What this does is after your last bullet in the series, Word puts that Style in the very next paragraph.  

    The result is this.  I am still getting the additional Paragraph return however it is only 8 pt and no space after so you can not even tell it is there unless you turn your paragraph symbols on.  Does this make sense.  I did a test drive and it works.

    Thanks again for your continual help. Together we will make this an amazing form.  LOL

    Lynda (for Rick)

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    Scott Campbell

    And Happy New Year to you too, Lynda!

    If your solution is working for you, fantastic.  It does sound more complicated than what I had in mind, though.  That "extra" paragraph symbol is not actually included in the List; it's the paragraph symbol that appears immediate after the List (immediately after the } character at the end of the List).  If you just remove that paragraph symbol, as shown in the illustration in my last post, then you don't have to do all that other stuff with styles.

    But I'm a confirmed "if it's ain't broke don't fix it" guy.  So if you've got a method that works for you, I'm not anxious to talk you out of it.  I'm mostly posting this alternative for others who might read this thread too.

    Congratulations on your success with this sophisticated form!

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