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PDF form field basics

  1. Acrobat User Guide
  2. Introduction to Acrobat
    1. Access Acrobat from desktop, mobile, web
    2. What's new in Acrobat
    3. Keyboard shortcuts
    4. System Requirements
  3. Workspace
    1. Workspace basics
    2. Opening and viewing PDFs
      1. Opening PDFs
      2. Navigating PDF pages
      3. Viewing PDF preferences
      4. Adjusting PDF views
      5. Enable thumbnail preview of PDFs
      6. Display PDF in browser
    3. Working with online storage accounts
      1. Access files from Box
      2. Access files from Dropbox
      3. Access files from OneDrive
      4. Access files from SharePoint
      5. Access files from Google Drive
    4. Acrobat and macOS
    5. Acrobat notifications
    6. Grids, guides, and measurements in PDFs
    7. Asian, Cyrillic, and right-to-left text in PDFs
  4. Creating PDFs
    1. Overview of PDF creation
    2. Create PDFs with Acrobat
    3. Create PDFs with PDFMaker
    4. Using the Adobe PDF printer
    5. Converting web pages to PDF
    6. Creating PDFs with Acrobat Distiller
    7. Adobe PDF conversion settings
    8. PDF fonts
  5. Editing PDFs
    1. Edit text in PDFs
    2. Edit images or objects in a PDF
    3. Rotate, move, delete, and renumber PDF pages
    4. Edit scanned PDFs
    5. Enhance document photos captured using a mobile camera
    6. Optimizing PDFs
    7. PDF properties and metadata
    8. Links and attachments in PDFs
    9. PDF layers
    10. Page thumbnails and bookmarks in PDFs
    11. Action Wizard (Acrobat Pro)
    12. PDFs converted to web pages
    13. Setting up PDFs for a presentation
    14. PDF articles
    15. Geospatial PDFs
    16. Applying actions and scripts to PDFs
    17. Change the default font for adding text
    18. Delete pages from a PDF
  6. Scan and OCR
    1. Scan documents to PDF
    2. Enhance document photos
    3. Troubleshoot scanner issues when scanning using Acrobat
  7. Forms
    1. PDF forms basics
    2. Create a form from scratch in Acrobat
    3. Create and distribute PDF forms
    4. Fill in PDF forms
    5. PDF form field properties
    6. Fill and sign PDF forms
    7. Setting action buttons in PDF forms
    8. Publishing interactive PDF web forms
    9. PDF form field basics
    10. PDF barcode form fields
    11. Collect and manage PDF form data
    12. About forms tracker
    13. PDF forms help
    14. Send PDF forms to recipients using email or an internal server
  8. Combining files
    1. Combine or merge files into single PDF
    2. Rotate, move, delete, and renumber PDF pages
    3. Add headers, footers, and Bates numbering to PDFs
    4. Crop PDF pages
    5. Add watermarks to PDFs
    6. Add backgrounds to PDFs
    7. Working with component files in a PDF Portfolio
    8. Publish and share PDF Portfolios
    9. Overview of PDF Portfolios
    10. Create and customize PDF Portfolios
  9. Sharing, reviews, and commenting
    1. Share and track PDFs online
    2. Mark up text with edits
    3. Preparing for a PDF review
    4. Starting a PDF review
    5. Hosting shared reviews on SharePoint or Office 365 sites
    6. Participating in a PDF review
    7. Add comments to PDFs
    8. Adding a stamp to a PDF
    9. Approval workflows
    10. Managing comments | view, reply, print
    11. Importing and exporting comments
    12. Tracking and managing PDF reviews
  10. Saving and exporting PDFs
    1. Saving PDFs
    2. Convert PDF to Word
    3. Convert PDF to JPG
    4. Convert or export PDFs to other file formats
    5. File format options for PDF export
    6. Reusing PDF content
  11. Security
    1. Enhanced security setting for PDFs
    2. Securing PDFs with passwords
    3. Manage Digital IDs
    4. Securing PDFs with certificates
    5. Opening secured PDFs
    6. Removing sensitive content from PDFs
    7. Setting up security policies for PDFs
    8. Choosing a security method for PDFs
    9. Security warnings when a PDF opens
    10. Securing PDFs with Adobe Experience Manager
    11. Protected View feature for PDFs
    12. Overview of security in Acrobat and PDFs
    13. JavaScripts in PDFs as a security risk
    14. Attachments as security risks
    15. Allow or block links in PDFs
  12. Electronic signatures
    1. Sign PDF documents
    2. Capture your signature on mobile and use it everywhere
    3. Send documents for e-signatures
    4. About certificate signatures
    5. Certificate-based signatures
    6. Validating digital signatures
    7. Adobe Approved Trust List
    8. Manage trusted identities
  13. Printing
    1. Basic PDF printing tasks
    2. Print Booklets and PDF Portfolios
    3. Advanced PDF print settings
    4. Print to PDF
    5. Printing color PDFs (Acrobat Pro)
    6. Printing PDFs in custom sizes
  14. Accessibility, tags, and reflow
    1. Create and verify PDF accessibility
    2. Accessibility features in PDFs
    3. Reading Order tool for PDFs
    4. Reading PDFs with reflow and accessibility features
    5. Edit document structure with the Content and Tags panels
    6. Creating accessible PDFs
  15. Searching and indexing
    1. Creating PDF indexes
    2. Searching PDFs
  16. Multimedia and 3D models
    1. Add audio, video, and interactive objects to PDFs
    2. Adding 3D models to PDFs (Acrobat Pro)
    3. Displaying 3D models in PDFs
    4. Interacting with 3D models
    5. Measuring 3D objects in PDFs
    6. Setting 3D views in PDFs
    7. Enable 3D content in PDF
    8. Adding multimedia to PDFs
    9. Commenting on 3D designs in PDFs
    10. Playing video, audio, and multimedia formats in PDFs
    11. Add comments to videos
  17. Print production tools (Acrobat Pro)
    1. Print production tools overview
    2. Printer marks and hairlines
    3. Previewing output
    4. Transparency flattening
    5. Color conversion and ink management
    6. Trapping color
  18. Preflight (Acrobat Pro)
    1. PDF/X-, PDF/A-, and PDF/E-compliant files
    2. Preflight profiles
    3. Advanced preflight inspections
    4. Preflight reports
    5. Viewing preflight results, objects, and resources
    6. Output intents in PDFs
    7. Correcting problem areas with the Preflight tool
    8. Automating document analysis with droplets or preflight actions
    9. Analyzing documents with the Preflight tool
    10. Additional checks in the Preflight tool
    11. Preflight libraries
    12. Preflight variables
  19. Color management
    1. Keeping colors consistent
    2. Color settings
    3. Color-managing documents
    4. Working with color profiles
    5. Understanding color management

Before you begin

We're rolling out a new, more intuitive product experience. If the screen shown here doesn’t match your product interface, select help for your current experience.

In the new experience, the tools appear on the left side of the screen.

Create form fields

In Acrobat, you create a form field by choosing one of the form tools. For each field type, you can set various options through the form field Properties dialog box.

  1. Open the document in Acrobat and select Edit > Prepare a form > Create form to convert your document to a PDF form.

  2. Choose a form field from the left pane. Once you hover over the document, your cursor becomes a crosshair and displays a preview of the field. 

  3. On the page, select where you want to add the field to create a field with the default size. To create a field using a custom size, drag a rectangle to define the size of the field.

  4. Place the field at your desired location. Double-click the field to open the properties of the field. In the Name box, type the field name and specify if you want the field to be required. Choose a relevant and descriptive name to make organizing and collecting the data easier.

  5. The properties dialog box also displays other Field Properties. You can modify any other field properties. 

  6. To test your form, select the Preview button in the left pane. Previewing a form allows you to view the form the same way the form recipients will and gives you a chance to verify the form. If you're previewing a form, you can select Exit preview to return to the edit mode.

  7. When your form is complete, select the cross button toward the right end of the toolbar to close form editing.

Lay out form fields on a grid

Use grids to help position form fields precisely on a page. You can define the grid spacing, color, and position. You can also choose whether to have the boundaries of a form field snap to grid lines when you’re editing the form field. Grid lines don’t print.

  1. Select View (from the hamburger menu (Windows), or the upper left (macOS)).

  2. Select Show/Hide > Rulers & Grids > Grid.

  3. To make form fields snap to the nearest grid lines when you create or move them, select View > Show/Hide > Rulers & Grids > Snap to Grid.

Use the form field properties to position the fields correctly

You can adjust the position of a form field by specifying the alignment in the form field properties.

  1. Double click the form filed to open the Properties dialog box.

  2. Select the Position tab. Use the options in the tab to accurately position or resize the selected field within the form.

    To learn more about form field properties, see PDF form field properties.

Copy a form field

You can create copies of a form field on a single page of a PDF form. You can also copy a form field and paste it onto other pages. When you create duplicate form fields, replicas of the original field are added to one or more other pages. The duplicate fields are always in the same position on each page as the original. If a form field is already present at the location, the copied field will be pasted in the center of the page. Both copies and duplicates can be dragged to different locations on a page, but not from one page to another.

Both copies and duplicates are created with the same basic name as the original form field. Copies and duplicates pasted using the Duplicate Across Pages command also have a number. All form fields with the same basic name share the user data and action properties. Therefore, when a user adds or edits a response to a copy or duplicate field, the response appears in all fields with the same basic name.

If you change the properties of any one of multiple versions of a form field, the changes affect only that copy of the form field. The exception is changing an Actions listing if the trigger isn’t a mouse action.

Märkus.

To prevent a duplicate or copied form field from reacting in unison with the original field, change the name of the new form field.

Create a copy of a form field

  1. If you aren't in the form editing mode, choose Prepare a form from All tools.

  2. Select the form field, and do one of the following:
    • To move the form field to the center of the current view, select the appropriate option in the left pane.

    • To copy the form field and move it to another location on the page, Ctrl-drag it.

    Näpunäide:

    To constrain the vertical or horizontal movement as you drag, press and hold Shift.

  3. If you want the field to be automatically populated with the data the user types into the original field, leave the name as is. If the copied field is for unique user information, rename it.

Create multiple copies of a form field on a page

  1. If you aren't in the form editing mode, choose Prepare a form from the All tools panel.

  2. Right-click the form field to open the context menu of the form field, and select Create Multiple Copies.

  3. In the Create Multiple Copies Of Fields dialog, select Preview, and move the dialog box as needed so that you can see the original field and the copies on the form page.

  4. Make the selections that you want to apply:

    • To change the number of copies created, enter different values in the Copy selected fields down and Copy selected fields across options.

    • To change the dimensions of the original field and all the copies, enter different values in the Change Width and Change Height options.

    • To move the original field and all the copies, select the Up, Down, Left, and Right buttons.

  5. If you want the fields to be automatically populated with the data the user types into the original field, leave the names as they are. If the copied fields are for unique user information, rename them.

Duplicate a form field across multiple pages

  1. If you aren't in the form editing mode, choose Prepare a form from the All tools panel.

  2. Right-click the form field to open the context menu of the form field, and select Duplicate Across Pages.

    Märkus.

    The Duplicate Across Pages command isn’t available for forms with only one page.

  3. Do one of the following:
    • To duplicate the form field on every page in the form, select All, and click OK.

    • To duplicate the form field on a limited range of pages, select From, and type the start and ending pages on which you want the form field to appear. Then select OK.

    Märkus.

    Including or not including the page on which the form field originally appears doesn’t affect the duplication process. Including that page won’t create a second copy on top of the original one, and not including it won’t remove the original form field.

  4. If you want the fields to be automatically populated with the data the user types into the original field, leave the names as they are. If the duplicate fields are for unique user information, rename them.

Select multiple form fields

Selecting multiple form fields is the first step for several tasks, such as creating copies, aligning form fields, and adjusting the spacing between form fields.

  1. If you aren't in the form editing mode, choose Prepare a form from the All tools panel.

  2. Do any of the following:
    • To select all form fields of all types, right-click in any form field to open the context menu and then select Select all.

    • To select a range of form fields, select the first form field in the range, and then Shift-select the last form field. All form fields between the two form fields are selected.

    • To select individual form fields in different parts of the PDF page, Ctrl/Command-select each form field.

    • To select all form fields in an area of the page, use the Select Object tool  to drag a selection marquee around the area.

    • To deselect an individual form field, Ctrl/Command-select that field.

    The field that is highlighted in dark blue and displays the border handles is the anchor. When you select multiple form fields by clicking, the last field selected is the anchor. When you use a marquee, the form field created first is the anchor. If you Ctrl-select to deselect the anchor, the form field on the upper left of the selection becomes the new anchor form field.

Resize form fields

After you create form fields, you can rearrange, resize, or move them to give the page a cleaner, more professional look.

Resize a form field

  1. If you aren't in the form editing mode, choose Prepare a form from the All tools panel.

  2. Select the form field that you want to resize.
  3. Do any of the following:
    • To resize the field manually, drag a border handle. Hold Shift and drag a corner handle to maintain the current aspect ratio of the form field.

    • To resize the field by one pixel, press the Ctrl+arrow key. To resize the field by ten pixels, press Ctrl+Shift+Arrow key.

    • To resize to a specific dimension, select Properties from the field's context menu. Then select the Position tab and adjust the Width and Height values.

Resize multiple form fields to match a selected form field

  1. If you aren't in the form editing mode, choose Prepare a form from the All tools panel.

  2. Select all the form fields that you want to resize.
  3. Choose an appropriate option in the left pane under Match Size.

    You can also open the context menu of the form field that you want the other selected form fields to match. Select Set Fields To Same Size, and then select one of the following:

    Height

    Adjusts the heights without changing the widths.

    Width

    Adjusts the widths without changing the heights.

    Both

    Adjust all widths and heights to match.

Move form fields

Move individual form fields

You can move form fields by simply dragging them. For greater precision in less time, use special features that align, adjust the spacing, and center them on the page.

  1. If you aren't in the form editing mode, select Prepare a form from the All tools panel.

  2. Select one or more form fields that you want to move.
  3. Do one of the following:
    • To move to an approximate location, drag the selected form fields to the new location.

    Näpunäide:

    To constrain movement to a horizontal or vertical direction, begin dragging, and then press Shift while continuing to drag the selection.

    • To move to a specific location, open the field's context menu and choose Properties. Then select the Position tab and set the Position values.

    • To move horizontally or vertically in small increments, press the arrow keys to nudge the selected form field into position.

    • To move the form field to the exact center of a page, choose Edit > Cut, navigate to the desired page, and then choose Edit > Paste.

    Märkus.

    Fields are placed in the center of the page only the first time that they’re pasted. Other pasted fields are offset from the previously pasted field.

Align and center multiple form fields

  1. If you aren't in the form editing mode, select Prepare a form from the All tools panel.

  2. Select two or more form fields that you want to align.
  3. Select the appropriate option in the left pane.

    You can also open the context menu of the field to which you want to align the other fields. Choose Align, Distribute Or Center, and then choose a command as follows:

    • To align a column of fields, select Align Left, Align Right, or Align Vertical. They align respectively to the anchor form field's left edge, right edge, or vertical axis (center).

    • To align a row of fields, choose Align Top, Align Bottom, or Align Horizontally. They align respectively to the anchor form field's top edge, bottom edge, or horizontal axis (center).

    • To center the fields, choose Center Vertically, Center Horizontally, or Center Both.

    Märkus.

    When you open the context menu of one of the selected fields, it shows the border handles. It indicates that it’s the anchor form field. The Align commands move the other selected form fields to line up with the edges of the anchor form field.

Adjust the spacing between form fields

In the context of form fields, distributing means applying uniform spacing within a group of form fields. Spacing is calculated from the centers of adjacent fields. The Distribute commands take precedence over the Snap To Grid command.

  1. If you aren't in the form editing mode, select Prepare a form from the All tools panel.

  2. Select the form fields that you want to adjust.
  3. Choose an appropriate option in the right pane under Distribute.

    You can also open the context menu for any one of the selected form fields, and do one of the following:

    • To distribute the fields evenly between the topmost and bottommost fields, choose Align, Distribute Or Center >Distribute Vertically.

    • To distribute the fields evenly between the leftmost and rightmost fields, choose Align, Distribute Or Center >Distribute Horizontally.

    Märkus.

    The Distribute command at the bottom in the left pane has a different function. Use that command to send your form to others, who fill in the information and return the data to you.

     

Delete a form field

  1. If you aren't in the form editing mode, select Prepare a form from the All tools panel.

  2. In the right panel, under Fields or the page view, select the form fields that you want to delete.

  3. From the context menu, choose Delete, or choose Edit > Delete.

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