Writer Form Navigator Order

In Writer’s Form Design, is there any way to change the order of the field entries in the Form Navigator?

I create forms all the time and occasionally update our current forms. Often I end up rearranging the document for flow or end up creating new entries mid-document. All new entries get created and the bottom of the navigator list, regardless of where it resides in the document or who you set the tab order. Also, on occasion, a field will jump from it’s current position to the bottom of the navigator window while I am moving/resizing that field. Not sure why, how, or what to do to stop/replicate that.

After awhile, the Navigator gets more and more out of “logical” order, which makes it less and less useful as a tool to quickly jump from one field to another.

Any suggestions?

Answer by @Hpprintersupport was deleted because it was nothing more than SPAM!


The sequence of items is determined by the order they are added to the form. Have not experienced any re-positioning of a control just by moving or re-sizing.

You can re-sequence manually. First insert a new form. Copy all controls from original to new form. You can do this in the Navigator by selecting all the controls & dragging to the new form. Once there, simply drag each control back to the original form in the sequence you wish them to appear.

If this answers your question please tick the :heavy_check_mark: (upper left area of answer). It helps others to know there was an accepted answer.

I am not sure what you mean by “First insert a new form”. This sounds like a good answer, but having trouble figuring it out.

@Raccorc At the top of the Navigator is Forms. Right click & select New->Form. These are internal forms.

You can just cut/paste the controls on the original form. At least when they are anchored to the page, they reappear in the same position and as each is pasted, it goes to the bottom of the list.


Another solution to avoid having to move the controls.

In the screenshot below I docked the form navigator in the sidebar so that it can be displayed above the “classic” navigator.

Controls are now drawing objects. We can rename them by starting their name by their order number of appearance in the form. In the screenshot the names start with 01, 02, and so on.

We can use either form navigator or the “classic” navigator…

HTH - Regards

Thanks. I will play with this some more. I initial impression is that it the Drawing Objects scrolls to the top of the doc instead of to the field being selected, which isn’t ideal. I will keep playing though.

This behavior depends mostly on how you positioned-anchored the objects. Are they anchored as characters? Are they anchored to page? Are they anchored to paragraph? Still there is an issue-bug concerning the page dimensions, but mostly is because of the anchors.

That is the crux of it. Most of the forms I am converting from existing forms which were created for Adobe OCR (using things like wingding boxes and circles, underlines, etc.). While removing the existing “fields” to replace with Writer forms fields, my anchors are not always created as needed. I usually end up converting some of them to/from to character" and “as character” to initially move them around then get them to respect tab stops. This also gets things out of order in the navigator

As a short term solution, I did figure out I can change all form entries to Anchor->As Character, select the entire document (CTL-A) while in design mode, then copy&paste the entire document into an entirely new document. So far that seems to be working since the new document ends up creating all the fields in logical order. You loose some page formatting, headers, footers, etc., but you can C&P back to the original to fix.

Not ideal, as it can throw off formatting pretty back if you have a lot of page formatting changes, but it seems to work pretty well.

If you select a control and right-click, → control properties.
Then next to the tab stop is a block with three dots.
Click that and you can see all the tab stops and move them up and down in order.
You may have to name them individually so you can differentiate.