Modify a published form template

To make changes to a published form template, modify the working copy of the form template and then republish the working copy to the original publish location.

In this article


Overview

Before you modify a published form template, consider the effect that your changes might have on any existing forms that are based on the form template. For example, if you change the data source (data source: The collection of fields and groups that define and store the data for an InfoPath form. Controls in the form are bound to the fields and groups in the data source.) in your form template, your changes could permanently delete data in the existing forms that are based on this form template.

The following changes to a form template can cause data loss:

 Note   When you remove a control from a form template, the field or group that is bound to that control and the data in that field or group remain in the data source. However, the data in the field or group will not be visible in the form because you removed the control that was bound to that field or group. If you remove a control from the form template, and you want users to see the data in the field or group that was bound to the control that you removed, add another control to the form template, and then bind the new control to the existing field or group.

To modify a form template that has been published, first modify the working copy of the form template. The working copy is the version that is stored on your computer or in a version control program, such as Microsoft Visual SourceSafe. After you modify the working copy, you can publish it to a publish location. If you do not have a working copy of the form template and you published the form template to a document library on a server that is running Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services or to a shared network folder, you can save a copy of the form template from the publish location to your computer. This saved version becomes your working copy. Then you can modify the working copy and republish it to the original publish location. When you publish the modified form template to the original publish location, the originally published form template will be overwritten by the modified version.

Publishing a form template is not the same as saving a form template. When you publish a form template, the Publishing Wizard adds the publish location and processing instructions to the form template so that users can open forms that are based on this form template. When you save a form template, you are saving a copy of the form template, just as you do when you save a file to your computer. You should always use the Publishing Wizard when you want to make your form template available for your users to fill out.

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Get a working copy of your form template

If you want to modify a form template that was published to a document library or to a shared network location, and you do not have a working copy of your form template, you can save a working copy of the form template from the publish location to your computer.

 Tip   Consider using a version control program, such as Microsoft Visual SourceSafe, to manage the working copies of your form templates.

Save a copy of the form template from a document library to your computer

  • In a Web browser, open the document library where the form template was published.
  • On the Settings menu, click Settings, and then click Form Library Settings.
  • Under General Settings, click Advanced settings.
  • In the Document Template section, click Edit Template.

The form template will open in Microsoft Office InfoPath.

  • In the Microsoft Office InfoPath dialog box, click Yes.
  • On the File menu, click Save As.
  • In the Microsoft Office InfoPath dialog box, click OK.
  • In the Save As dialog box, browse to the location where you want to save a copy of the form template, and then click Save.

Save a copy of the form template from the shared network folder to your computer

  • On the File menu, click Design a form template.
  • Under Open a form template, click On My Computer.
  • Browse to the shared network folder of the published form template, click the form template, and then click Open.
  • On the File menu, click Save As.
  • In the Microsoft Office InfoPath dialog box, click OK.
  • In the Save As dialog box, select a location other than the original publish location where you want to save a working copy of the form template, and then click Save.

 Note   Do not save the form template to the shared network folder where you originally published the form template. If you save the form template to the shared network folder, you will overwrite the existing form template. If you overwrite the existing form template, users may not be able to open existing forms that are based on this form template.

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Republish the modified form template to a document library

If you are working with a form template that was originally published to a document library, after you make the necessary changes to the working copy of your form template, you can republish it to the document library.

  1. On the File menu, click Publish.
  1. In the Publishing Wizard, click To a SharePoint server with or without InfoPath Forms Services, and then click Next.
  1. On the next page of the wizard, type the location of the SharePoint site where you originally published the form template, and then click Next.
  2. On the next page of the wizard, click Document Library, and then click Next.
  3. On the next page of the wizard, click Update the form template in an existing document library, click the document library where you originally published the form template, and then click Next.
  4. Choose the fields in the form template that you want to appear as columns in the default view of the document library.

ShowHow?

  • Click Add.
  • Select the field that you want to add as a column in the document library, and then do one of the following:
    • Type a name for the column in the Column name box.
    • Select the site column in the Site column group list, select a name in the Column name list, and then click OK.

 Note   If you selected a repeating field to display data in the document library, you can define how you want to display the field in the document library by clicking a value in the Function list. You can choose whether to display the first value in the field, the last value in the field, or a count of all of the occurrences of the field, or whether to merge all of the values together.

  • Click OK.

Find links to more information about displaying data in columns in a document library in the See also section.

  1. On the next page of the wizard, click Publish.

If the form template is published, you will receive a confirmation on the last page of the wizard.

  1. Do one of the following:
  • To open the document library and test the process for filling out a form based on this form template, select the Open this document library check box, and then click Close. The document library will open in a Web browser. When you click New on the list toolbar, a form based on this form template will open in InfoPath.

 Tip   If you want to let your users know that the form template is available to fill out, send them an e-mail message with a link to the document library where you published the form template.

  • To send an e-mail message with the form and form template to your users, select the Send the form to e-mail recipients check box, and then click Close.

An e-mail message with the form in the message body will open for you to fill out and send to your users. If your users have Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, they can fill out the form when they open the e-mail message. Users with earlier versions of Outlook or other e-mail applications will receive an e-mail message with the form and the form template attached. Users can open the form template attachment to install the form template on their computer. Then the users can open the form attachment and fill out the form in InfoPath.

 Tip   In the Introduction box in the e-mail message, type a reminder to your users to open only attachments to e-mail messages from a trusted sender.

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Republish the modified form template to a shared network folder

If you are working with a form template that was originally published to a shared network folder, after you make the necessary changes to the working copy of your form template, you can republish it to the shared network folder.

  1. On the File menu, click Publish.
  1. In the Publishing Wizard, click To a network location, and then click Next.
  2. On the next page of the wizard, click Browse.
  3. Browse to the shared network folder where you published the original form template, click the name of the form template, and then click OK.
  4. On the next page of the wizard, verify that the path and form template name in the Form template name box are correct, and then click Next.
  5. On the next page of the wizard, if you have an alternate path to this shared network folder, such as a public Uniform Resource Locator (URL) (Uniform Resource Locator (URL): An address that specifies a protocol (such as HTTP or FTP) and a location of an object, document, World Wide Web page, or other destination on the Internet or an intranet, for example: http://www.microsoft.com/.), type the path in the box.
  6. Click Next.
  7. On the next page of the wizard, click Publish.

If the form template is published, you will receive a confirmation on the last page of the wizard.

  1. Do one of the following:
    • To open the document library and test the process for filling out a form based on this form template, select the Open this document library check box, and then click Close. The document library will open in a Web browser. When you click New on the Settings menu, a form based on this form template will open in InfoPath.

 Tip   If you want to let your users know that the form template is available to fill out, send them an e-mail message with a link to the document library where you published the form template.

  • To send an e-mail message with the form and form template to your users, select the Send the form to e-mail recipients check box, and then click Close.

An e-mail message with the form in the message body will open for you to fill out and send to your users. If your users have Microsoft Office Outlook 2007, they can fill out the form when they open the e-mail message. Users with earlier versions of Outlook or other e-mail applications will receive an e-mail message with the form and the form template attached. Users can open the form template attachment to install the form template on their computer. Then the users can open the form attachment and fill out the form in InfoPath.

 Tip   In the Introduction box in the e-mail message, type a reminder to your users to open only attachments to e-mail messages from a trusted sender.

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Applies to:
InfoPath 2007