Work with form fields

In this hands-on tutorial, learn how to add various types of form fields, set form field properties, and add security to create high-quality professional forms.

What you need

Get file
Sample file to practice with (PDF, 934 KB)

Learn to work with form fields

Use the Prepare Form tool to automatically add form fields to an existing PDF.

TIP
Turn on single key accelerators in your Preferences under the General category.

What you learned: To work with form fields

To add various types of form fields and set their properties in an existing PDF.

  1. Download and open Questionnaire.pdf.
  2. Select Prepare Form in the Tools center.
  3. Select Start.
  4. Select Edit text & images in the toolbar to fix the typo.
  5. Choose Select in the toolbar to exit Edit mode.
  6. Select and delete the top form field.
  7. Select Preview to view the form.
  8. Select Edit to exit Preview mode.

Adding a list field reduces the possibility of mistakes in your form data.

  1. Select and delete the HQ Location text field.
  2. Select List box in the toolbar and place a new field in the deleted text field location.
  3. Type HQ Location in the Field Name:.
  4. Select All Properties and choose the Options tab.
  5. Add three different locations in the Item: field.
  6. Select the default location in the Item List: field.
  7. Select Close.
  8. Hold the Shift key and select the field below.
  9. Select Match width and height and Align Left in the right-hand pane.

Date picker fields add interactivity and eliminate errors on a form.

  1. Select and delete the Project timeline and END DATE fields.
  2. Select Date field in the toolbar and place the new field in the deleted Project timeline field location.
  3. Type Project Start in the Field Name:.
  4. Select All Properties and choose the Format tab.
  5. Choose a date format option and select Close.
  6. Hold down the Ctrl + Shift keys (Cmd + Shift on the Mac) to duplicate the field.
  7. Double click on the new field and select the General tab and rename the field Project End.
  8. Select Close.
  9. Hold the Shift key and select all three fields.
  10. Select Match width and height in the right-hand pane.
  11. Use the arrow keys to align each field if necessary.

Comb properties are used to evenly spread text across the width of a text field.

  1. Double click on the Referral code field and select the Options tab.
  2. Uncheck all boxes except Comb of.
  3. Type 5 in the characters box.
  4. Select the Appearance tab and choose any color in the Border Color box.
  5. Select Close.
  6. Select Preview and enter some numbers to test the comb field.
  7. Select More > Clear Form to delete the data in the right-hand pane.

Learn to set properties for multiple fields at once, tab order, and to secure a form

What you learned: To set properties for multiple fields at once, tab order, and to secure a form

To set properties for multiple fields at once, tab order, and to secure a form. Setting text fields properties all once saves time and gives visual consistency to a form.

  1. Hold down the Shift key and select all the text and list fields in the right-hand pane.
  2. Right-click and select Properties….
  3. Select 12 from the Font Size: dropdown.
  4. Select Close.

Setting the tab order ensures that the form filler can easy move from field to field while filling out a form.

  1. Type Shift + N to reveal the tab order.
  2. Move the HQ Location field under the Number of employees field in the right-hand pane.
  3. Move the Project Start and Project End fields under the EMAIL ADDRESS field in the right-hand pane.

Securing a form ensures that the fields or content of the document cannot be modified.

  1. Type Ctrl + D (Cmd + D on the Mac) to bring up the Document Properties dialog.
  2. Select the Security tab.
  3. Select Password Security under the Security Method: dropdown.
  4. Check Restrict editing and printing of the document. A password will be required to change these permission settings.
  5. Select High Resolution from the Printing Allowed: dropdown.
  6. Select Filling in form fields and signing existing signature fields from the Changes Allowed: dropdown.
  7. Type a strong password in the Change Permissions Password: field.
  8. Confirm the password and select OK.
  9. Select OK to exit the dialog.
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