In Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003, a form's visual structure, or layout, is created primarily through the use of layout tables (layout table: A collection of cells used to arrange form content such as text or controls.). Among other things, you can use layout tables to organize controls or to arrange logos and other graphics on a form. After you insert layout tables onto a form, you can type text, such as control labels, into them and insert the controls with which your users will interact.
The Layout task pane provides a collection of layout tables that you can place onto a blank form. If you want to add or remove rows and columns from a layout table, click any of the options in the Merge and split cells list in the task pane. If the layout tables in the Layout task pane don't meet your needs, you can insert a custom layout table with the exact number of rows and columns that you want.
Layout tables can be formatted and modified like tables in other Microsoft Office System programs. Use the Table menu to format a selected table, or right-click a table to set its properties.
Formatting your form is easier if you insert a separate layout table for each main section of your form. You can reposition the individual layout tables later, seamlessly aligning them to create the layout that you want.
In addition to layout tables, you can add layout-related controls, such as sections (section: A control on a form that contains other controls.) or repeating sections (repeating section: A control on a form that contains other controls and that repeats as needed. Users can insert multiple sections when filling out the form.), to a form. When you insert a layout-related control onto your form, you are essentially inserting an empty container for storing other controls. You can use the Controls task pane to identify and insert controls into a layout-related control. The following provides brief descriptions of the layout-related controls that are most frequently used and why you might use them:
Optional section This type of control does not appear on a form and is not saved with a form unless a user chooses to add it. For example, although all employees in a company might use a goal setting section in their Performance Review forms, only managers might choose to add an optional section about leadership goals.
Repeating control This type of control, such as a repeating section or repeating table, lets users expand the contents of a form when it is filled out and display only the necessary number of entries in a series. For example, itemized expenses in an Expense Report form can be formatted as a repeating table. This allows the user who is filling out the form to insert additional table rows for the appropriate number of items.
Scrolling region This type of control contains other controls, retains a fixed size, and includes scroll bars so that users can scroll to see information that is out of view. Scrolling regions can be useful when a section of a form contains a lot of data, and users do not need to see all of the data at one time.
Choice group This type of control presents a set of mutually exclusive choices to users. A choice group contains choice sections, one of which appears as the default choice in a form, and those choice sections contain other controls. For example, address information in an Employee Information form can be formatted as a choice group that contains choice sections. Each choice section contains controls with the correct address syntax for a specific country or region. When employees fill out the form, they can replace the default address section with one that applies to their country or region.
Note The information in this topic may not apply if you are working with a form designed using Microsoft Office InfoPath 2003 without the service pack installed.