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Contest forms

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  • Member since
    November, 2009
  • From: Twin Cities of Minnesota
Contest forms
Posted by Don Stauffer on Saturday, September 23, 2017 9:55 AM

Several years ago, when contest entry forms were first available online, to save time checking in at contests, the forms were usually in .doc (word document) or .pdf form.  While .pdf created the most accurate printout of the originator's intent, most of us do not have the fancier software that can create or edit (or fill in) a pdf form.  That was why the .doc files were nice.

Now, however, some creators are creating the forms in a more modern version of Word that uses the .docx format.  They then save it as the default .doc format.  Problem is, many of us with older versions of Word or Office cannot open these forms- that newer version of Word is not compatible with the older version :-(  However, the creators can, in the newer versions of word, still save a document in the .doc format, so those of us with older versions can then open the document.

Now, some of my friends say, hey, why not get a newer version of Word.  The reason is, it is expensive.  I could buy several very nice kits for what I would have to spend on yearly subscription to the current Word.  My old version works very nicely for anything I need to use a word processor for.  Many of the guys who chide me about my outdated version actually do not pay the money themselves anyway- they use a computer at work.  Being retired (and living on a reduced income compared to when I worked), I do not have that option.  Notice also that Open Office, Apache's free/shareware version of Word, is limited in compatibility of .docx files.

Thus, what I am advocating is that contest registration folks, when they design forms for the online use, consider us older, poorer folk, and simply save the Word files in .doc format.  Yeah, I know I can print out the .pdf form and fill it in with pen or pencil, but on forms where you have to fill out one form for each entry, the boilerplate needs to be filled out for each form, being a lot of work if you enter more than a couple of models.  And, I have seen poor handwriting create problems at contests when things are misread.  I plead guilty myself- in this day and age of computers and keyboards, my penmanship has suffered due to lack of use.

 

Don Stauffer in Minnesota

  • Member since
    December, 2002
  • From: Fort Knox
Posted by Rob Gronovius on Saturday, September 23, 2017 11:01 AM
or providing a simple pdf version to print and hand jam the information on it.
fox
  • Member since
    January, 2007
  • From: Coatesville, Pa.
Posted by fox on Saturday, September 23, 2017 7:31 PM

Just had that problem with the forms for PennCon last Saturday. I brought 8 models and had to prep the forms one at a time by hand. Luckily, I have decent handwriting but, after printing 3 or 4 of them, my hands started cramping up and the forms needed quite a bit of "White-Out" to straighten them out. I could use one of those new programs but I don't want to have to rob a bank to get one either. It probably won't run on this old computer that I have anyway. It's a great life, isn't it?

Jim  Captain

Photobucket Main WIP: Rebuild of Monogram 1/8 "Big Deuce" with 1/8 Pocher V-12 in rear - 10%

   On the Bench:   Revell 1/48 Ju 52/3m - 50%;  Revell 1/96 USS Kearsarge - 20% 

I keep hitting "escape", but I'm still here.

  • Member since
    April, 2009
  • From: Lowell City, Mars
Posted by Cadet Chuck on Saturday, September 23, 2017 9:55 PM

This is why I hate computers, and software suppliers.

Computer, did we bring batteries?.....Computer?

  • Member since
    December, 2013
  • From: Orlando Florida
Posted by route62 on Saturday, September 23, 2017 10:02 PM

Google docs is free, can be accessed online from any device with internet or cell data access and will open all current and older word formats and PDF.  You can also fill in the PDF forms even if you do not have Adobe reader pro.

You can also resave the files in older formats with Google docs.  Goole docs also open tons of other software files from multiple software companies.

If you have a Gmail account you already have access to Google docs.  Just do a search for Google docs.  All you need is a free Google account and you will have full access.  No cost to use any of it.

  • Member since
    October, 2010
Posted by hypertex on Sunday, September 24, 2017 5:38 AM

This is why I developed online model registration for our club's local show. You just use your web browser to type in the information for each model. You don't need Word or any pdf reader. You don't even need Windows. You don't need to print anything out yourself. You show up at the show and we hand you the already printed forms. It's easy peasy. Everyone who has used this system has loved it. (using it is optional, of course).

I wish all contests could do this (especially IPMS Nationals). But alas, most clubs don't have a tech-saavy webmaster like me to set up the system. I'd be happy to help anyone set up a system for their own club's use.

On another note, you don't need fancy software to fill in a pdf form, as long as the pdf was created as a fillible form. And you don't need to pay for software to create a filliable pdf form. I use LibreOffice, which is free and open source, to create the fillible pdf forms.

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