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Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Adobe Acrobat for Creative & Business - Creating Forms

A great features that I have used throughout many versions of Adobe Acrobat is form fields.  You can open a pdf and add interactive fields.  Then email that form out for someone to fill out and send back.  The only catch is if someone is using just the free Reader version they can fill out the form but they can’t save it, so they would need to print it out. Anyone with a full version of Adobe Acrobat can save what they enter and submit via email or however you wish.

In adding form fields Acrobat offers text boxes, check boxes, radio buttons, lists, dropdowns, buttons and digital signatures.

In the Tools on the right click on Forms to access a list of options.

Click on Create to start the conversion process preparing your document to be a form.

This feature will detect any current form fields already in the document in addition to change the navigation options for adding new form fields.

I drug a text field on to my form by clicking Add New Field from the tasks panel, then selecting Text Field from the drop down. Click next to the name label on the page to drop it in.  

After placing the first text form field I see a yellow box. I added Name to the field name since I placed it next to the Name label of my document.  Then I clicked the Required Field text box. This will require the user to fill in that field.

It is important to remember to give each field in the yellow box a different name when setting up.  Any fields with like names will copy the user entry into all form fields with the same name.  What that means if I name my text box Name for my name and the same for the address fields then when I enter my name it will automatically fill that in to the address field as well.

You could stop there but I want to fine tune further. Click the properties link to launch field editing.  There are a lot of properties that can be edited  but for now we will just do some basic font edits.

Click the appearance tab at the top.  You can set the colors of the actual form field or a border for a form field.  You can change the font family, font size and color of the text that will be typed into the field. 

Click on the options tab at the top.  Click on the alignment drop down to choose right, left and center justification.  You can leave the default field blank or add helpful hints like please type name here.  There are a lot of great options to play with and I will go over some of them in future posts.

Once my formatting is selected I clicked close to set my form field.  Save it and test out your new form field.

Viola we just added a form field in Adobe Acrobat!  More fun with forms next week!

Adobe Acrobat 8.0 Standard Windows

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