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Adobe Acrobat - Fillable Forms

This guide will show you how to create and use Fillable Forms.

Fillable Forms are PDF’s created in Acrobat which have input fields which can be used repeatedly. The benefits of Fillable Forms include efficiently collecting data, they are easily changeable and updatable, and they are environmentally friendly.

Fillable Forms can either be created manually or by using the Form Wizard.

Form Wizard

VIDEO

The form wizard will assess the document and enter Form Fields where it believes they are needed. Sometimes a document may be too complicated for the Form Wizard to be 100% accurate. 

  1. Select the document to be used by selecting File > Open and navigating to the desired document.
  2. Select Prepare Form from the Tools Pane.
  3. Make sure that “Form Field Auto Detection is ON” is listed underneath the Start button.
  4. Select the Start button and the Form Wizard will automatically add the Form Fields.
The following sections are dedicated to the individual functions of manually creating fillable forms. Form Wizard should be turned off before doing these. 

  1. To turn off Form Wizard, select Prepare Form from the Tool pane.
  2. Underneath the start button is a line of text which states “Form FIeld auto detection is ON. Change”. Select Change
  3. The Preferences Menu will pop up. Navigate to the “Automatically Detect Form Fields” radio button and deselect it so there is no checkmark by it.
  4. Select OK. Form Wizard will now be turned off allowing full manual control of form editing. 
It’s not required to watch the videos included on these specific Form functions but they do provide valuable information about each of the specific options and properties of each function. 

Creating Text Fields

VIDEO

Text fields are an extremely versatile part of Form creation. The appearance can be edited, the amount of text can be limited, and the data can be limited to numbers or letters only. Those are only some of the options available.
  1. From the Prepare Form Toolbar, select the Add A Text Field tool.1 
    • A blue text box cursor will appear when hovering over the document.
  2. When the desired spot for the text box has been found, left-click to place the generic size text box.
    • To place a custom box size, left-click and hold. The default box size will disappear.
    • Drag the mouse until the desired text box size is reached and then release the mouse button. 
  3. The text box will now appear. To change the field name, left-click in the white box below “Field Name:”. 
  4. Select the button next to “Required Field” if this is a text box which must be filled out before the form is completed.
  5. Select All Properties to further edit and customize text boxes. 
To edit a Text Field later on in the process, simply double-click on the Text Field and the All Properties menu will reopen. 

Creating List Boxes

VIDEO

Listboxes are items which contain multiple entries in a pulldown configuration. This allows users to pick from various different options or to pick multiple options. 
  1. From the Prepare Form Toolbar, select the Add A List of Choice tool.2
    • A blue form box cursor will appear when hovering over the document.
  2. When the desired spot for the List Box has been found, left-click to place the generic size List Box.
    • Like with Text Fields, a custom sized box can be placed by left-clicking and holding
    • Drag the mouse until the desired List Box size is reached and then release the mouse button. 
  3. The List Box will appear. To change the name of it, left-click in the white box below “Field Name”.
    • Note: This name is not an actual choice in the Box List, just the name of the field.
  4. Select All Properties from the pop-up menu or, when later editing, double-click the Box List field.
  5. From the tabs in the List Box Properties window, select Options.
  6. Enter the desired option name in the Item: field. 
  7. Press Add to add the item to the list of choices.
  8. Repeat Steps 6-7 until all options have been added.

Creating Dropdowns

VIDEO

A drop-down list allows users to pick only one item from a pull-down menu of multiple items. Because of this, drop-downs are used for things such as a user’s state, province, or country. 
  1. From the Prepare Form toolbar, select the Add A Dropdown List tool. 3
  2. When the desired spot for the Drop-down List has been found, left-click to place the generic size Drop-down List.
    • A custom sized box can be placed by left-clicking and holding.
    • Drag the mouse until the desired Drop-Down size is reached and then release the mouse button. 
  3. The Drop-Down List will appear. To change the name of it, left-click in the white box below “Field Name”.
  4. Select All Properties from the pop-up menu or, when later editing, double-click the Drop-down List field.
  5. From the tabs in the Dropdown Properties window, select Options
  6. Enter the desired option name into the Item: field.
  7. Press Add to add the item to the list of choices.
  8. Repeat Steps 6-7 until all options have been added. 

Creating Radio Buttons & Checkboxes

VIDEO

Radio buttons and Checkboxes are very similar. However, they serve different functions. Radio buttons are used when giving users 1 choice from multiple options. Checkboxes are used when users should be allowed to make multiple selections. 

Creating Radio Buttons

  1. From the Prepare Form toolbar, select the Add Radio Buttons tool. 4
  2. When the desired spot for the Radio Button has been found, left-click to place the generic size Radio Button.
    • A custom-sized radio button can be placed by left-clicking and holding.
    • Drag the mouse until the desired Radio Button size is reached and then release the mouse button. 
  3. The Radio Button will appear. To change the name of it, left-click in the white box below “Radio Button Choice”. 
  4. After naming the Radio Button, either Tab down to the white box below “Group Name” or left-click in the box. 
  5. Enter a name for the group. This will allow other Radio Buttons to be assigned to this group.
    • A radio button group must have at least two Radio Buttons or the radio buttons will not function. 
      • Another button can immediately be added by selecting the Add Another Button option at the bottom of the pop-up menu.
  6. The style and shape of the Radio Button can be changed by selecting All Properties or later double-clicking the radio button.
    • Once in the Radio Button Properties menu, select the Options tab. 
    • From the Button Style drop-down menu, select which type of Radio Button shape you would like. 

Creating Checkboxes

  1. From the Prepare Form toolbar, select the Add Checkboxes tool. 5
  2. When the desired spot for the Checkbox has been found, left-click to place the generic size Checkbox.
    • A custom sized Checkbox can be placed by left-clicking and holding.
      • Drag the mouse until the desired Checkbox size is reached and then release the mouse button.
  3. The Checkbox will appear. To change the name of it, left-click in the white box underneath “Field Name:”.
  4. Select All Properties to reach the Checkboxes Properties Menu, or by double-clicking on the Checkbox Field later.
  5. From the Checkboxes Properties menu, select the Options tab. 
    • From here, the size of Checkboxes can be changed and designed. 

Creating Buttons

VIDEO

Buttons can be used on forms as the way to submit the form, reset the form, play a sound or video clip or do something else from a wide variety of options. 
  1. From the Prepare Form toolbar, select the Add Button tool. 6
  2. When the desired spot for the Button has been found, left-click to place the generic size Button.
    • A custom sized Button can be placed by left-clicking and holding.
    • Drag the mouse until the desired Button size is reached and then release the mouse button.
  3. The Button will appear. To change the name of it, left-click in the white box underneath “Field Name”.
  4. Select All Properties to reach the Button Properties Menu, or later by double-clicking the Button field. 
  5. To give the Button a function, select the Actions tab from the Button Properties Menu.
    • First select an option from the Select Trigger menu.
    • Then select an option from the Select Action menu.

Performing Simple Calculations

VIDEO

Varying degrees of mathematical functions can be used in Acrobat but higher level things require the use of Javascript. However, simple calculations such as addition, multiplication, or averaging can be created very easily with text fields.
  1. Double-click the Text Field which the calculation output should end up in.
  2. Select the Calculate tab from the Text Field Properties menu.
    • It should be defaulted to “Value is Not Calculated”
  3. Select the circular radio button by Value is the …. Of the following fields.
  4. Select the Pick button next to the empty white field below the Value line.
  5. Select the options required for the input to the calculation.
  6. Select Close. The form now can do simple math functions. 

Distributing Forms

VIDEO

Distributing forms is the final step in form creation. Once the form is finished, it’s time to let it do it’s job. There are two main ways of distributing forms: e-mail and internal servers.

E-Mail

  1. Select Distribute from the Tools Pane on the right hand side. 
  2. Select E-mail from the two options present. This will bring up the Distribution Form.
  3. Enter the e-mail addresses for the recipients.
  4. Enter the sender name is it is not already entered.
  5. The next option presented is to either send using Acrobat or to save a copy and send it later.
    • Either option is fine, but probably easier to just send using Acrobat.
  6. The next option is to add recipients.
  7. The final option then asks to either use webmail or the default mail app on the computer.

Internal Servers

  1. Select Distribute from the Tools Pane on the right hand side.
  2. Select Internal Server from the two options present. This brings up the Distribution Form.
  3. Enter the name of the distribution server:
    • https://titanfiles.uwosh.edu (Mac)
    • cifs://wfc.uwoad.it.uwosh.edu/Users (Mac)
    • cifs://wfc.uwoad.it.uwosh.edu/Shared (Mac)
    • wfc.uwoad.it.uwosh.edu/Users (PC)
    • wfc.uwoad.it.uwosh.edu/Shared (PC)




If you need further assistance please contact the Information Technology Help Desk at 920-424-3020 or helpdesk@uwosh.edu




Keywords:"Create Text Field", acrobat, "Create List Box", "create Dropdown", "Create Radio Button", "Distribute Forms"   Doc ID:65896
Owner:William W.Group:UW Oshkosh
Created:2016-08-09 09:47 CDTUpdated:2016-08-09 10:02 CDT
Sites:UW Oshkosh
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