The question is not "Is there a better way to do this" because a working
(but klunky) solution exists. I'm asking about specific capabilities of LO
forms. Particularly with relation to printing a filled-in form.
I'd like to build a form with the usual assortment of data collection
fields /but/ I'd like a free text field/box in the middle that is
approximately the width of the document and, say 1/4 the page long.
(Now the detail/feature in question...)
I'd like this field to have the magic property that, should someone fill
this field with a lot of text, that when printed, it will fill the box as
described above (word wrapped would be much preferred) but the overflow
would come out on a subsequent page when printed.
It could be that the subsequent page repeats the entire content of that
field instead of "picking up where it left off". I'm not sure of this yet.
It might be that during the "filling in" the box shows a scroll bar and is
a window into the contents. Or it could be that during input the text box
is elastic and changes with the contents but when printed it doesn't change
the physical structure of the form. (And doesn't show any scroll bars.)
If the contents of the field is less than enough to fill the box on the
first page then this subsequent pages are supressed.
An example of use might be something like a repair form, comment form, or
organization intake form.
The important part being that the page layout hen printed isn't changed by
someone "long-winded" but the form accommodates it without a problem by
overflowing onto other pages.
Thanks to everyone for sharing their knowledge and ideas. (Not just about
this but in general.)
Long question for a very short answer : no, LO can not do this with a form.
You can have a form with formatted input and a scrollbar, but the
formatted input is not saved to the underlying db, and the form control
window doesn't automatically expand if the user types in more detail
than the visible space made available by the control.
I seem to recall that a bug request for such automatic control size
adaptation has not yet been resolved.
LO doesn't provide any form control that I know of which overflows
automatically onto a next page of a form. The history of LO, going back
to OpenOffice.org and StarOffice, never had form controls that allowed
this behaviour. It has never been developed.