A formatted document containing blank fields that users can fill in with data. With paper forms, it is usually necessary for someone to transfer the data from the paper to a computer database, where the results can then be statistically analyzed. Some OCR systems can do this automatically, but they’re generally limited to forms containing just check boxes. They can’t handle handwritten text.
Electronic forms solve this problem by entirely skipping the paper stage. Instead, the form appears on the user’s display screen and the user fills it in by selecting options with a pointing device or typing in text from the computer keyboard. The data is then sent directly to a forms processing application, which enters the information into a database.
Electronic forms are especially common on the World Wide Web because the HTML language has built-in codes for displaying form elements such as text fields and check boxes. Typically, the data entered into a Web-based form is processed by a CGI program.
- form factor
The physical size and shape of a device. It is often used to describe the size of circuit boards.
- form feed
(1) Printers that use continuous paper normally have a form feed button or command that advances the paper to the beginning of the next page. (2) A special character that causes the printer to advance one page length or to the top of the next page. In systems that use the ASCII character set, a […]
(v.) (1) To prepare a storage medium, usually a disk, for reading and writing. When you format a disk, the operating system erases all bookkeeping information on the disk, tests the disk to make sure all sectors are reliable, marks bad sectors (that is, those that are scratched), and creates internal address tables that it […]
- forms processing
An imaging application for handling printed forms. Forms processing systems often use OCR engines and data validation routines to extract hand-written or printed information from forms that go into a database.
- forms software
A type of program that enables you to design and fill in forms on a computer. Most forms packages contain a number of sample forms that you can modify for your own purposes. Newer forms software packages enable you to publish a form on the Internet so that anyone with Internet access can fill it […]