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Office of Doctoral Studies
Teachers College, Columbia University
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Office of Doctoral Studies

ODS Announcements > How to Use Fillable Forms

How to Use Fillable Forms

Several doctoral students have expressed concerns that the Microsoft Word Fillable Forms are a little confusing to use.  Let us give you some clear instructions on their use.
1) First, do not attempt to fill out the forms within your internet browser.  Please save the form to your computer and use it directly through Microsoft Word.
2) You will note that the form is protected.  This is to keep the formatting the same throughout the file.
3) When you open the file, scroll down until you see the first fill-in block.  It is a dark grey rectangle with one to five dots in it.  You can begin typing directly into that block.  Some blocks have space limitations, so you may have to abbreviate if you are typing too much.
4) When you wish to go to the next block, you can do two things.  You can hit the TAB key once and it will move to the next block, or you can move your cursor over the next block and click it once.  Either method should make the next block from light grey to dark grey.  This means that block is highlighted and ready to be typed in.
5) If you realize you made a mistake and want to go back, you can do two things.  You can hold the SHIFT key down and hit the TAB key and it will move back one block at a time, or you can move your cursor to the block you want and click it once.  That block should turn dark grey noting that it is ready to be typed in.
6) When you are done, you can save it.  This is good to keep so that should you need to back to it, you have it available, or if changes need to be made, they can be made easily without filling out the whole form over by hand.
7) When complete, please print it out and ensure you get all signatures required before submitting to ODS for processing.