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Creating PDF Forms

Most likely you’ve gotten a PDF where you click inside the areas of the form and fill it out with the information requested. InDesign lets you add form fields to your documents so you can create these interactive PDF files without having to open Acrobat.

You use the Buttons and Forms panel to create forms.

To view the Buttons and Forms panel:

  • Choose Window > Interactive > Buttons and Forms to open the Buttons and Forms panel.

To create and name a form:

  1. Select an object. Any object, except media files, can be used as a form.
  2. Choose Object > Interactive > Convert to [form name] or choose one of the types of forms from the Type menu in the Buttons and Forms panel squ_a.jpg. The form icon appears in the object.

    squ_a.jpg The Type field for forms in the Buttons and Forms panel.

  3. Use the Name field in the Buttons and Forms panel to change the default name to something more descriptive.
  4. Leave the Event menu as On Release or Tap.
  5. Use the Action controls to apply actions as described on page 425.
  6. If you have chosen a check box or radio button, style the Appearance states as described on page 426.
  7. Fill in the PDF options squ_b.jpg as described in the next exercise.

squ_b.jpg The PDF Options for form objects. Not all forms contain all these PDF options.

To set the options for a PDF form:

  1. Fill in the Description field with the text that will be used as a tool tip for the form field squ_c.jpg. This lets sight-impaired users hear a description of what the form field does.

    squ_c.jpg The Description field is used to enter a tool-tip of the field for sight-impaired users.

  2. Check the options as follows:
    • Printable allows the field to be printed.
    • Required means the form can not be submitted unless that field is filled.
    • Password hides the field’s content as a series of asterisks.
    • Read Only prevents the contents of the field from being modified.
    • Multiline allows text to wrap to multiple lines.
    • Scrollable applies scroll bars if the contents exceed the depth of the field.
    • Selected by default applies the selection when the form is first opened.
    • Sort Items arranges the list items alphabetically or numerically.
  3. If you have chosen List Box or Combo Box, use the List Items controls to select the menu items for the form squ_d.jpg.

    squ_d.jpg The List Items area displays items that will be used in List Box and Combo Box menus.

  4. If you have chosen List Box or Combo Box, set the Font Size for the menu items.
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