Modify an existing form template

When you change a form template (form template: In InfoPath, a file or set of files that defines the data structure, appearance, and behavior of a form.), including controls and fields or groups in 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.) for the form template, you affect all of the existing forms (.xml files) that are based on that form template. Some changes to the data source can permanently delete data from existing forms. For example, if a user enters data that is stored in a field that you later remove, that data is permanently deleted from the data source and no longer appears on the form.

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

  • Renaming, moving, or removing a field or group from the data source
  • Changing a field or group from repeating to nonrepeating
  • Changing the data type of a rich text field

If you are certain that your changes to a form template will not cause data loss, you can work directly with the published form template. Otherwise, create a copy of the form template and store that copy in a staging area, such as your local hard disk. You can then change and test only the copy of the template, which helps ensure that data is not lost in forms that are based on that form template. After you finish changing and testing the copy of the form template, you can overwrite the published form template by publishing your copy.

ShowModify a copy of a form template

  1. Save a copy of the form template to a staging area such as your local hard disk.

ShowHow?

  1. Open the published form template in design mode.
  2. On the File menu, click Save As.
  3. If a dialog box appears and provides options for publishing or saving the form template, click Save.
  4. In the Save As dialog box, select the location where you want to save a copy of the form template.
  1. In design mode, make the changes that you want.
  2. On the Tools menu, click Form Options.
  3. In the Form Options dialog box, click the Advanced tab.
  4. In the On version upgrade list under Form template version, click the version upgrade method that you want to use.

 Note   When you modify a form template, existing forms that are based on that template may need to be upgraded so that they are compatible with the newer version of the form template. This ensures that users can continue to work with existing forms.

  1. To test the new form template, preview the form template, preview an existing form, or fill out a form that is based on the new form template.
  2. To republish the form template to its original location, click Publish on the File menu.
  3. Follow the instructions in the Publishing Wizard, and overwrite the published form template with your copy of the form template.

 Note   In the Publishing Wizard, make sure to enter the same values that you entered for the original form template. The form template's identity consists partly of the form's name and access path; changing either of these can prevent existing forms that are based on the form template from opening.

ShowModify a published form template

  1. Open the form template from its published location.
  2. In design mode, make the changes that you want.
  3. On the Tools menu, click Form Options.
  4. In the Form Options dialog box, click the Advanced tab.
  5. In the On version upgrade list under Form template version, click the version upgrade method that you want to use.

 Note   When you modify a form template, existing forms that are based on that template may need to be upgraded so that they are compatible with the newer version of the form template. This ensures that users can continue to work with existing forms.

  1. To test the new form template, preview the form template, preview an existing form, or fill out a form that is based on the new form template.
  2. To republish the form template, click Save on the File menu.
 
 
Applies to:
InfoPath 2003