InfoPath Glossary


























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A part of a rule that isĀ used in conjunction with conditions to automatically display dialog boxes, set values, query and submit data, and open forms.

active field

The field on a form in which the cursor is placed.

ActiveX control

A custom control. Form designers can add or remove ActiveX controls in the Controls task pane.

administrator-approved form template

A browser-compatible form template that has been uploaded by an administrator to a server running InfoPath Forms Services. An administrator-approved form template can include code.

attribute field

A field in the data source that can contain data and that is an attribute (instead of an element). Attribute fields cannot contain other fields.


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To connect a control to a field or group in the data source so that data entered into the control is saved. When a control is unbound, it is not connected to a field or group, and so data entered into the control will not be saved.

browser-compatible form template

A form template that is designed in Microsoft Office InfoPath by using a specific compatibility mode. A browser-compatible form template can be browser-enabled when it is published to a server running InfoPath Forms Services.

browser-enabled form template

A browser-compatible form template that has been published to a server running InfoPath Forms Services, and that has been browser-enabled so that users can both display and fill out the form in a Web browser.


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cabinet (.cab) file

A file format that provides a way to efficiently package multiple files as a single file, for easier storage or transmission. InfoPath form template (.xsn) files are .cab files with an .xsn extension.

cascading list box

Two or more list boxes that are connected to each other in such a way that selecting a value in one changes the set of choices in the other.

child element

In an XML tree structure, the element that is contained by the parent element.

choice group

A control that is used to present a set of mutually exclusive choices. By default, a choice group contains two choice sections, one of which appears to the user as the default choice in the form.

choice section

A control that contains other controls and is used to represent a single choice within a set of mutually exclusive choices. Users can replace one choice section with another when filling out a form.


See Component Object Model.

combo box control

A control that combines a text box and a list box, allowing users to either type an entry or choose one from the list.

Component Object Model (COM)

A specification developed by Microsoft for building software components that can be assembled into programs or can add functionality to existing programs running on Microsoft Windows operating systems.

conditional formatting

The process of changing the appearance of a control, including its visibility and read-write state, based on values entered into the form.

custom control

A form component, such as a template part or ActiveX control, that isn't included with InfoPath by default. Form designers can add or remove custom controls by using the Controls task pane.

custom installed form

A form that is installed with a custom setup program and that usually has access to files and settings on the computer.

custom task pane

An .html file whose content is displayed in a window next to a form. Custom task panes can provide form-specific commands and Help content.


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data connection

The connection between an InfoPath form and an external data source, such as a database, Web service, SharePoint library, or XML file. Data connections are used to query and submit data.

data connection library

A document library, located on a site running Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, that contains a collection of universal data connection (.udcx) and Office data connection (.odc) files.

data field

A field that contains the result of a query to an external data source.

data source

The collection of fields and groups that define and store the data for an InfoPath form. Controls in the form are bound to the fields and groups in the data source.

data type

Property of a field that defines the kinds of data that the field can store. Examples of data types include Text, Rich Text, Whole Number, Decimal, True/False, Hyperlink, Date and Time, and Picture.

data validation

The process of testing the accuracy of data; a set of rules you can apply to a control to specify the type and range of data that users can enter.

default role

A setting associated with a particular user role. Users who are not assigned to an existing role are automatically assigned to the role that is specified as the default.

design mode

The InfoPath design environment in which you can create or modify a form template.

dialog box alert

A data validation alert that opens a dialog box with a custom error message when invalid data is entered into a control.

digital signature

An electronic, encryption-based stamp of authentication on a form or a section of a form. This signature confirms that the form or section originated from the signer and has not been altered.

document library

A folder where a collection of files is shared and the files often use the same template. Each file in a library is associated with user-defined information that is displayed in the content listing for that library.

Document Object Model (DOM)

A World Wide Web Consortium specification that describes the structure of dynamic HTML and XML documents in a way that allows them to be manipulated through a Web browser.


See Document Object Model.


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An action recognized by an object, such as a mouse click or key press, for which you can define a response. An event can be caused by a user action or a Visual Basic statement, or it can be triggered by the system.

event handler

The function code in an InfoPath form template that responds to a user action or change to the XML data.

expression box

A control on a form that displays read-only data as the result of a lookup or calculation against the data using an XPath expression.

Extensible Hypertext Markup Language (XHTML)

A markup language that extends HTML and reformulates it as XML.

Extensible Markup Language (XML)

Industry-standard language for describing, organizing, and exchanging data. In InfoPath, form templates are based on XML technologies, and form data is saved or submitted in XML format.

Extensible Stylesheet Language (XSL)

An XML vocabulary that is used to transform XML data to another form, such as HTML, by means of a style sheet that defines presentation rules.


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An element or attribute in the data source that can contain data. If the field is an element, it can contain attribute fields. Fields store the data that is entered into controls.

file attachment control

A control that allows users to attach files to their form when they fill it out. A form designer can limit the types of attachable files.


A set of conditions that is applied to data in order to display a subset of the data.

filter icon

The icon that appears next to filtered data in a form.


In InfoPath, a document with a set of controls into which users can enter information. InfoPath forms can contain features such as rich text boxes, date pickers, optional and repeating sections, data validation, and conditional formatting.

form definition (.xsf) file

An XML file with an .xsf extension that contains information about all other files and components used within a form, including user interface customizations, XML Schemas, views, business logic, events, and deployment settings.

form files

A collection of files that are used to implement an InfoPath form. File types can include .html, .xml, .xsd, .xslt, script, and other file types that are necessary to support the functionality of the form.

form library

A folder in which a collection of forms based on the same template is stored and shared. Each form in a form library is associated with user-defined information that is displayed in the content listing for that library.

form template

In InfoPath, a file or set of files that defines the data structure, appearance, and behavior of a form.

form template library

The location, in the top-level site of a site collection, where the form templates that have been activated by an administrator are stored.


An XPath expression made up of values, fields or groups, functions, and operators. Formulas can be used to calculate mathematical values, display dates and times, and reference fields.


A predefined XPath expression that returns a value based on the results of a calculation.


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An element in the data source that can contain fields and other groups. Controls that contain other controls, such as repeating tables and sections, are bound to groups.


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hosting environment

A Web or desktop application, such as a Windows Forms application, into which an InfoPath form is embedded.


Colored and underlined text or a graphic that you click to go to a file, a location in a file, a Web page on the World Wide Web, or a Web page on an intranet. Hyperlinks can also go to newsgroups and to Gopher, Telnet, and FTP sites.


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See Input Method Editor.

InfoPath Forms folder

A folder in Outlook 2007 that stores a collection of related InfoPath 2007 forms. In the InfoPath Forms folder, you can use columns to group, filter, and sort data from multiple forms.

initiator role

An optional setting associated with a particular user role. Users who open a new form are automatically assigned to this role, which overrides any other role assignments.


The writing or drawing strokes made with a tablet pen or mouse.

ink entry mode

The environment in which you can fill out a form by writing in ink. On a Tablet PC, InfoPath automatically opens in ink entry mode.

ink guide

A shaded area that increases in size as you write in a form field with a tablet pen.

ink section

An area inside a rich text box where users can draw or write with a tablet pen. InfoPath saves handwritten notes or drawings inside an ink section as ink.

inline alert

A data validation alert that marks controls that contain invalid or missing data with a dashed red border or red asterisk. Users can display custom error messages by right-clicking the control or by clicking a link for more information.

Input Method Editor (IME)

A program that enters East Asian text (Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, Japanese, or Korean) into programs by converting keystrokes into complex East Asian characters. The IME is treated as an alternate type of keyboard layout.


A worldwide network of thousands of smaller computer networks and millions of commercial, educational, government, and personal computers.


A network within an organization that uses Internet technologies (such as the HTTP or FTP protocol). By using hyperlinks, you can explore objects, documents, pages, and other destinations on the intranet.


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An interpreted, object-based scripting language that borrows from C, C++, and Java. It is the Microsoft implementation of the ECMA 262 language specification.


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key field

A field in the data source that links related data in master and detail controls.


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layout table

A collection of cells used to arrange form content such as text or controls.

linked object

An object that is created in a source file and inserted into a destination file, while maintaining a connection between the two files. The linked object in the destination file can be updated when the source file is updated.

list box

A control that provides a list of choices. A list box control consists of a list and an optional label.

list control

A control on a form that can be formatted as a bulleted, numbered, or plain list. A user can enter text into a list control, which repeats as needed.


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Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN)

A Microsoft Web site (and subscription program) that provides developers with the latest tools as well as information, code samples, and training materials for Microsoft development tools. (

Microsoft Script Editor (MSE)

A programming environment used to create, edit, and debug Microsoft JScript or Microsoft VBScript code in an InfoPath form.

Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Applications (VSTA)

A managed-code programming environment that is used to create, edit, and debug Visual Basic or C# code included in an InfoPath form template.

Microsoft Windows Installer (MSI)

A tool that is used to create installation packages for software that is to be deployed on Windows operating systems.


See Microsoft Developer Network.


See Microsoft Script Editor.


See Microsoft Windows Installer.

multiple-selection list box

A control that allows users to choose one or more items from a list of possibilities. Users can specify items by selecting check boxes or by adding their own items to the list.


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A mechanism that uniquely qualifies element names and relationships to avoid name collisions on elements that have the same name but are coming from multiple sources.


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object model

A hierarchical library of objects and collections that represents the content and functionality of an application. Objects and collections have properties, methods, and events that can be used to manipulate and interact with an application.

object model diagram

A graphical representation of the objects and collections that are contained within a specified object model.

offline data source

A secondary data source that is accessible to users who fill out forms offline. When a user is online, data from the data source is stored on the user's computer so that it can appear in controls when the form is offline.


A sign or symbol that specifies the type of calculation to perform within an expression. There are mathematical, comparison, logical, and reference operators.

optional section

A control on a form that contains other controls and that usually does not appear by default. Users can insert and remove optional sections when filling out the form.


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A value that is assigned to a variable at the beginning of an operation or before an expression is evaluated by a program. A parameter can be text, a number, or an argument name assigned to another value.

parent element

In XML, the element of which a given element is a child.


See Portable Network Graphics.

Portable Network Graphics (PNG)

A graphic file format that is supported by some Web browsers. Short for Portable Network Graphics, PNG supports variable transparency of images and control of image brightness on different computers. PNG files are compressed bitmaps.

processing instructions

Information stored in the prologue of an XML document. This information is passed through the XML parser to any application that uses the XML document.


A named attribute of a control, a field, or an object that you set to define one of the object's characteristics (such as size, color, or screen location) or an aspect of its behavior (such as whether the object is hidden).


To make a form template available for other people to fill out in InfoPath or a Web browser. You can publish a form template by performing tasks such as sending it in an e-mail message, or saving it to a SharePoint site or other shared location.


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query field

A field that can contain a value that is used in a query.


To gradually bring a farm, service, or form template offline by not accepting new user sessions and allowing existing sessions to finish.


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recursive section

A control that contains other controls, can be inserted within itself, and is bound to nested reference fields.

reference field

A field that is associated with another field so that their properties always match. If the properties in one field are changed, the properties in the other field are updated automatically.

reference group

A group that is associated with another group so that their properties and the properties of the groups and fields they contain always match. If the properties of one group are changed, the other group is updated automatically.

repeating field

A field in the data source that can occur more than once. Controls such as bulleted, numbered, and plain lists; repeating sections; and repeating tables can be bound to repeating fields.

repeating group

A group in the data source that can occur more than once. Controls such as repeating sections and repeating tables are bound to repeating groups.

repeating section

A control on a form that contains other controls and that repeats as needed. Users can insert multiple sections when filling out the form.

repeating table

A control on a form that contains other controls in a table format and that repeats as needed. Users can insert multiple rows when filling out the form.

resource file

A file created outside of InfoPath, such as an .html, .xml, or .xsd file, which is added to a form template to support the functionality of the form.


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scrolling region

A control that contains other controls and that can display vertical or horizontal scroll bars. Scrolling regions are used for layout purposes only and are not bound to fields or groups in the data source.

secondary data source

An XML data file, database, or Web service that is used by a form for the entries in a list box or for script actions.

shortcut key

A function key or key combination, such as F5 or CTRL+A, that you use to carry out a menu command. In contrast, an access key is a key combination, such as ALT+F, that moves the focus to a menu, command, or control.

shortcut menu

A menu that shows a list of commands relevant to a particular item. To display a shortcut menu, right-click an item or press SHIFT+F10.

site collection

A set of Web sites on a virtual server that have the same owner and share administration settings. Each site collection contains a top-level Web site and can contain one or more subsites.


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template part

A portion of a form template that can be saved for reuse in multiple form templates. A typical template part consists of controls and a data source, and may also include features such as data connections, data validation, and rules.

text box

A control into which a user can enter text. Rich text boxes allow data entry with text formatting choices.


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Uniform Resource Locator (URL)

An address that specifies a protocol (such as HTTP or FTP) and a location of an object, document, World Wide Web page, or other destination on the Internet or an intranet, for example:


See Uniform Resource Locator.

user form template

A browser-enabled form template that has been published from InfoPath, and that does not need to be uploaded by an administrator to a server running InfoPath Forms Services.

user role

A predefined category that can be assigned to form users based on job title or some other criterion. Roles are typically used to present customized versions of a form to different types of users.


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Error free, or acceptable according to an established set of rules or standards. For example, data entered into a form is valid if it meets the criteria set in the form's data validation rules.

valid XML

A well-formed XML document that conforms to a specific set of constraints, usually defined in an XML Schema.


See Visual Basic Scripting Edition.


A form-specific display setting that can be saved with a form template and applied to form data when the form is being filled out. Users can switch between views to choose the amount of data shown in the form.

Visual Basic Scripting Edition (VBScript)

An interpreted, object-based scripting language that is a subset of the Microsoft Visual Basic programming language.


See Microsoft Visual Studio Tools for Applications.


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Web browser

Software that interprets HTML files, formats them into Web pages, and displays them. A Web browser, such as Windows Internet Explorer, can follow hyperlinks, transfer files, and play sound or video files that are embedded in Web pages.

well-formed XML

An XML document that meets the minimal criteria for a conforming XML document.


The automated movement of documents or items through a specific sequence of actions or tasks related to a business process. Workflows can be used to consistently manage common business processes, such as document approval or review.


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See Extensible Hypertext Markup Language.


See Extensible Markup Language.

XML attribute

A name-value pair, separated by an equal sign and included in a tagged element, that modifies features of an element. All XML attribute values are strings enclosed in quotation marks.

XML data

Data that is saved in an XML format. InfoPath forms are saved as XML data files.

XML element

An XML structure that consists of a start tag, an end tag, and the information between the tags. Elements can have attributes and can contain other elements.

XML Path Language (XPath)

A language used to address parts of an XML document. XPath also provides basic facilities for manipulation of strings, numbers, and Booleans.

XML Schema

A formal specification, written in XML, that defines the structure of an XML document, including element names and rich data types, which elements can appear in combination, and which attributes are available for each element.

XML template file

An XML file that contains the sample data that is displayed in the fields of a form before a user fills it out.


See XML Path Language.


See Extensible Stylesheet Language.

XSL Transformation (XSLT)

A language that is used to transform XML documents into other types of documents, such as HTML or XML. It is designed for use as part of XSL.


See XSL Transformation.

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