The Task Pane
The task pane is pivotal to the designer of InfoPath form templates. Many common
are either only possible using the task pane, or are most conveniently carried out by using it.
When visible, the task pane is displayed by default at the right of the screen. If the task pane is not visible, it can be conveniently opened using the Ctrl+F1 keyboard shortcut. Keyboard shortcuts to individual task panes are described in the
There are more task panes available in design mode than in form-filling mode, because users who only fill in forms don't need task panes relevant only to form template design.
The Task Pane in Design Mode
Sixteen different task panes are available in design mode. Ten are common to both design mode and form-filling mode; six are available only in design mode. Only a few task panes have specific keyboard shortcuts.
Close to the top of each task pane are two arrow
that allow forward and backward navigation through a list of recently used task panes (in a manner similar to the back button in a Web browser) and a button with a house icon that takes the
to the Fill Out a Form task pane (see Figure 3.4).
Figure 3.4. Navigation buttons common to each task pane.
The ten task panes common to design mode and form-filling mode are as
Fill Out a Form ”
Used to access a form template to be filled in (keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+I).
Design a Form ”
Used to create a new form template or to modify the design of an existing form template.
Search Results ”
Used to display results from a search carried out from the InfoPath Help task pane.
InfoPath Help ”
Used to carry out a search of the Help files or to link to the table of contents for the Help files.
Clip Art ”
Allows for the insertion of clip art.
Finds specified text (keyboard shortcut Ctrl+F).
Finds specified text and
it with replacement text (keyboard shortcut Ctrl+H).
Allows specified font characteristics to be applied to selected text.
Bullets and Numbering ”
In design mode, allows the format of a bulleted list to be changed. The task pane is available in form-filling mode, but seems to do nothing.
Allows text in the view to be spell-checked on command.
Six task panes are specific to design mode:
Design Tasks ”
Lists five tasks: Layout, Controls, Data Source, Views, and Publish Form (keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+D).
Provides a range of layout tables to assist form layout.
Displays all InfoPath form controls so they can be dragged onto the form area.
Data Source ”
Displays the structure of the data source as groups and fields.
Lists available views and allows new views to be created.
Provides a range of preselected coordinated color schemes that can be applied to a layout.
The Task Panes in Form-Filling Mode
The ten task panes available in form-filling mode are listed in the previous section. In form preview mode, the Design a Form option is grayed out because its purpose is to test the form template currently being designed.
the Task Pane
If you prefer to move the task pane, you can drag it to the desired position. To drag it, you must place the mouse very close to the top-left of the task pane (to the left of the task pane drop-down menu). If the mouse pointer is
over the correct area, the cursor will change to a four-arrow appearance (see Figure 3.5), which is called the Move Cursor. You can then drag the task pane to a new position. If you have resized the task pane, those settings will be lost when you begin the drag. If you close InfoPath after repositioning the task pane, the new position is
when you reopen InfoPath.
Figure 3.5. The four-arrow cursor when moving the task pane.