Content Controls (Checkboxes & Lists)

  Word allows you to insert Content Controls, also know, for purposes of this article, as Check-boxes, DropDown Lists, Date Selectors and Text collectors.

  Pathagoras knows how to read values set by these controls by scrapping their titles and tags.

  There are at least two uses that Pathagoras has identified for Content Controls that will speed up document processing.

#1: The most likely use of Content Controls in your daily practice will be as an Intake Sheet. A well designed Word document containing Content Controls can be sent to clients and customers for completion. When returned, Pathagoras can quickly scrape the data into an Instant Database record. That personal information is in turn immediately available for creating and personalizing any document needed for the client or customer.

   To scrape the form, (a) press Alt-D; (b) click the 'More Tools' button (c) click the 'Import' Button. From the list that is presented, select 'Word Form'. Save the record under any desired name. A sample intake form using Content Controls is provided in the Samples Glossary.

#2: A bit 'fancier,' you can create Interview based on conditional (non-text) controls: Pathagoras can scan your document for Content Controls that present selectable lists, check-boxes and radio buttons and present the various possible choices in an 'AskTable' (interview) at the top of the document. When the document is processed, make selections of the document's conditional elements presented in the Interview of the document (Options and Optional block created with Pathagoras tools). This avoids you having to scroll through the document to find the individual elements.**  When using Content Controls to augment AskTable (interview):

   To elevate the Content Controls to the AskTable, run the 'Create Asks' wizard in the Pathagoras Features menu. Pathagoras will discover all content controls which contain titles and tags.


   'Content Controls' is not an 'out of the box' feature. A good bit of setup is required. And it is the sole violator of the Pathagorean Rule against promoting Word fields. A Content Control is definitely field. But because it is so relatively easy to set up, edit and use, we conceded to this exception. The option -- not allowing Pathagoras to manipulate Content Controls -- seemed worse.

Creating a Content Control

The Developer Tab must be visible in the ribbon area. To make the Developer Tab visible,

 (1) Click the File tab, then Options and then Customize Ribbon

 (2) In the right panel, check 'Developer'

 (3) Click okay. That's for

To Create a new Check-box control:

 (1) Place your cursor where you want the check-box to be and click to establish the insertion point.

 (2) Click the Developer tab and select the Check-box icon. Word placed the new check-box at the desired spot.

 (3) Click the Properties button (Developer tab)

 (4) Provide a Title.  The Title will be the text to the right of check-box and which provides a clue to the user as to whether to check the box, or leave it unchecked.

 (5) Provide a Tag. The Tag is identical to the groupname in other Pathagoras tools. When you make a selection from a group, Pathagoras carries the positional value of that selection throughout the document. (Used when there are multiple choices.  

           E.g., Custodian:  Father Mother Joint

         Custodian is the tag; Father etc. are the titles.

 Keep the other defaults (which are unchecked)

 (6) You can choose any 'checked' vs. 'unchecked' look (bottom of screen), but the defaults are fine. Keep the other default settings.

To Edit an existing check-box control:

 If you already have check-box controls in your document, just

 (1) Select the control you wish to edit by clicking it with your mouse.

 (2) Click the Developer tab and select "Properties'

(3) Follow steps 4 and 5 above to set the Title and Tag

To Create a new List control:

 (1) Place your cursor where you want the list to be and click to establish the insertion point.

 (2) Click the Developer tab and select the List icon. Word places the new list control at the desired spot.

 (3) Click the Properties button (Developer tab)

(4) Provide a title (unlike with check-boxes,the title you select is not used by Pathagoras.

(5) Provide a tag. See (5) above under check-boxes.

(6) At the bottom, click Add and type in your first choice, and repeat until all your choices. (You can delete 'choose an item' from the choices if you want to make your first element your default choice.

Save the document


**Scrolling to find a Content Control is not a major event. But sometimes it is hard to see them all of the radio buttons and check-boxes that may be scattered throughout the document. That's when this tool will come in handy.