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Guidelines for new and existing forms

Roles and responsibilities

Departmental form owners design new- or update existing forms and forward them electronically to the Forms Administrator responsible for QA’ing them and publishing them to the web on the UCT Admin forms list.

 

Guidelines

The following guidelines* should be used as a checklist to facilitate this process.

 

Form template

Use the form template for the form header and footer as well as examples of form components and suggested styles and formatting.

  1. Click here to download and open the template.

  2. In the Microsoft Word toolbar, choose File > Save as.

  3. In the File name field, enter the file name provided by the Forms Administrator ending in .doc.

  4. In the Save as type field, select Word Document (*.doc) from the drop-down list.

  5. Click Save.

  6. Replace the default form title, headings, examples and footer text with those of the new form.

  7. Create the new form using the form headings, tables, bullets and numbering from the styles menu where required.

 

Naming the form

 

New forms

Updated forms

File name

Ask the Forms Administrator for a name for the new form. This will also be the file name. e.g. fm003.doc

Do not change the file name unless necessary. If you give the file another name while updating it, save it back to the original name when you have finished updating it.

 

Creating new forms or updating existing forms

Form Components

New and existing forms

Form title

Ensure that the form has the standard heading format of ‘form name – form title’ (font size 16, centred). E.g. HR067 – UCT Exit Questionnaire

Instructions

 

Include the following, if necessary:

  • Who and what the form is used for

  • Basic instructions for completing the form

  • When to submit form, deadlines or due dates

  • Extra points or links to help document for further information

  • Where to send the completed form to providing postal and e-mail address

  • If necessary refer to a separate help document with a hyperlink

Section Headings

  • Ensure that heading formatting is consistent.

  • Suggested formatting: larger font, bold, numbered/lettered, avoid all capitals or use sentence case.

Bullets & numbering

  • Ensure consistent formatting and use of bullets and numbering.

  • Use bullets for lists.

  • Use numbers for headings or sets of instructions that must be followed in a particular order.

Form fields

  • Use tables instead of floating text boxes

  • Use tables and borders instead of underscores and/or floating lines

Shading

Table cell shading can be useful for differentiating from ‘office only’ sections or for highlighting certain sections. The percentage shading that is preferred is 10% grey.

Font

The preferred font for all UCT admin forms is Arial 10.

If an existing form uses another font and size then change to Arial if you can do so without too much reformatting, otherwise leave it in the current font.

Widows & orphans

Check that there are no widows and orphans.

Note: A widow is the last line of a paragraph printed by itself at the top of a page. An orphan is the first line of a paragraph printed by itself at the bottom of a page. The default setting in Microsoft Word prevents widows and orphans.

Header

 

Ensure that the UCT logo is placed on the top left hand corner, normally sized 6.32cm (width) by 0.93 cm (height).

Footer

 

  • Ensure that the sign-off date is at the bottom left hand corner and has been updated to the current date in the standard format. E.g. 23 January 2014.

  • Ensure that the form name is correct and placed in the bottom right hand corner. E.g. HR100

  • Ensure that page number format is correct and centred. E.g. Page 1 of 1

Before sending the completed form to the Forms Administrator:

Area to Check

Completed forms (updated and new)

Spelling & grammar

Check for and correct any spelling and/or grammar errors for new forms or new sections of updated forms.

Pages

  • Try to limit the form to one page if possible.

  • Click Print Preview to ensure that the entire page appears, including both the footer and header, on the printed copy

* These are guidelines and not rules. Departments can choose to have their own form templates if they are consistently formatted and clearly laid out.