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computer smile Make Your Own Answer Sheet Form using Word Processing

Word processors are powerful tools. Clever computer users can harness their special features
to free them from the chains of prefab products. Learn how to laugh when the photocopier is down.

Here is how to make your own answer sheet with lines for the student to write on.

1. Open a new Word Processing document.

2. Adjust the margins. They are usually too generous - 1 inch or more.

Word for Mac - Go Format .. Document. I enter ".75" in all 4 margin boxes. Click OK.

3. Enter "Name:"

4. Set the first tab.

Word - Double click on the ruler (at the top of the document), at the position where you want the line to stop.

The Tab dialog box opens. In Leader - click 4. This sets the tab to a solid line.

AppleWorks - Go Format. .. Tabs.

Select which alignment you want. In the Position box, enter the place on the text ruler you want the tab to be set. In Fill select the solid line.

OR Drag the desired Tab symbol on to the text ruler. Position it as desired on the text ruler.

5. Set a new tab about 1/2 inch to the right by clicking on the ruler once. Do not select a leader/fill.

6. Enter "Date" or "Section" as you desire. Repeat adding the Tab with leader/fill. Set this tab close to the right margin.

7. Return 2 times.

8. Remove the 2 mid ruler tabs by dragging them down off the ruler.

Now when you hit the tab key, it should create a solid line across the page.

This line will self adjust as you enter text. It will be precisely aligned down the right margin.

To add more lines for an extended answer - hit return and hit tab.

Use the Line Spacing in the Formatting Palette to increase the spacing between the lines. That way, with a mere click you can adjust all the lines to be double spaced, rather than adding or deleting returns.

You can make the line a heavier by highlighting it and choosing Bold like for text.


Plan B: As an alternative you can draw a line using the Word - Tool Bars - Drawing - Line.
But these lines are not as flexible as the tab generated ones.

They do not self adjust length.

You cannot control them with the line spacing tool.

A positive is you can adjust the thickness of the line if you draw them, rather than tab them.

You can use custom colored draw lines like this one: (Daring dashed lines in AW how to)

green and red dashed line


Put the icing on the cake - Template.

Once you have set up the the format of your answer sheet - make it a template. Templates keep their settings.

When you work with a template document, it forces you to save the changes to a new document.
The original template document remains unchanged.

This is just like a phone message note pad. It has places to write in information. When you rip off the one you filled in, you are presented with a new, clean message page. Same here with the template, all the special settings remain unchanged. You are presented with a "clean blank" each time you open it.


gold star You can highlight .. copy the questions you have made in another WP doc. or on a web page like an Internet fact hunt.

Paste the text on the Answer Sheet Template at the line where the full page lines begin.

Now Tab away, Tab away, tab away all. (Copy .. Paste)


The power of PDF - I have made some of these answer sheets and added them to hunts in pdf .
Why pdf?

A pdf is a "universal document". It is essentially the new Latin of the digital age. (ASCII is another "Latin" that makes email universal.) PDF stands for portable document format

Anyone who has a pdf viewer can open and print a pdf. There is no need for lots of downloading special software. It eliminates older version and platform conflicts.

If you use a fun font for the title, as I did in the Winter Facts Hunt, it is preserved for everyone who opens the document. That is not the case if you share the document in Word or AppleWorks.

Additionally, if the receiver does not have the basic font installed that you used in your document, the whole document can become a mess. As the creator or sender of the project, the onus is on YOU to make the document widely readable. Enter PDF.

You can convert to pdf using print in both Word and AppleWorks.
Go Print .. choose the pdf option in the print dialog box.


One last suggestion digital age - digital answer formats.
Have your students do research, develop writing techniques and build their digital age skills, too.

Rather than having students write with pen or pencil on a printed paper answer sheet, use a digital one. Have them open the word processing document in the computer along side the Browser page of the hunt. Show them how to resize the windows so they can easily click between the two. They will find the skill of being able to move between two open applications and documents invaluable.

To utilize a digital answer - Post your assignment text on the web in a universal format. (If you are doing this in a classroom where all the students are using the same software, you can use that software.)

Tell the students to highlight the text of the project or assignment. Copy .. Paste it in a word processing document. Have them save the document in their class folder. They can answer, on the word processing document, in a contrasting color (not yellow) or font. Asking the Prime Questions will deter copy .. paste answers and develop critical thinking skills. If you require complete sentence answers, you will challenge even the most proficient copy .. past'er.

Or perhaps you have the resources to record verbal answers. If you do, be sure to have them first read / record the question. Then record the answer immediately after it.

ivy rule
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Cynthia J. O'Hora All Rights Reserved. This site is an entirely volunteer eff6rt.
December 10, 2007.

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