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Adobe Acrobat 9 Professional

PDF Forms: Working with Check Boxes

Check boxes allow users to select more than one choice from a group of possible options; therefore, users can select a number of choices in response to a question.

return to topUnderstanding Names and Values

If you are going to be completing your form online, name and export values are important. The name identifies what option the check box represents for the user. For example, in response to a question regarding English courses taken, ENGL 110 is an option and the check box is named "ENG110." In a group of check boxes, users can select as many as they wish.

The value indicates whether the user selects an option in response to the question. For example, a group of check boxes that are possible choices to the same question about English courses taken may all have the value "yes."

When a user submits the form, the name of the check box will be matched with the export value of the check box. The information the form developer receives will look like this: name: export value
EXAMPLE: ENGL 110: yes
EXAMPLE: ENGL 259: yes

The name identifies the check boxes (possible choices), and the export values indicate whether they were selected by the user.

return to topCreating a Check Box

By using check boxes in your form, you can present users with specific options from which to choose and allow them to select all that apply. Each form field has options that are unique to it. For a complete description of the options, refer to Form Field Options.

  1. Open the PDF file that you will use for the form

  2. From the Forms menu, select Add or Edit Fields...

  3. From the Add New Field pull-down menu, select Show Tools on Toolbar
    The Forms toolbar appears.
    Forms toolbar

  4. Click CHECKBOX TOOLCheckbox tool
    HINT: The cursor changes to a cross hairs. The cross hairs allow you to align the field with the ruler, text, or another field.

  5. Position the cursor where you want the form field to begin 

  6. Click and drag the mouse until the form field is of the desired size
    Double click on the page to create a form field of the default size
    The Field Name entry box appears.
    Field Name entry box

  7. In the Field Name text box, type a name that identifies the check box
    NOTE: For check boxes, the Field Name should describe the choice offered.

  8. To edit additional properties of this form field, click SHOW ALL PROPERTIES
    The Check Box Properties dialog box appears.
    Check Box Properties dialog box: General tab

  9. Select the General tab

  10. OPTIONAL: In the Tooltip text box, type a comment about the check box
    NOTE: The Tooltip will appear when the hand tool is placed over the check box.

  11. Select the Appearance tab
    Check Box Properties dialog box: Appearance tab

  12. In the Borders and Colors section, from the Border Color box, select a color for the border of the check box

  13. From the Line Thickness pull-down list, select the line thickness for the check box outline

  14. From the Fill Color box, select the color to fill the check box

  15. From the Line Style pull-down menu, select the style of the check box outline

  16. In the Text section, from the Font Size pull-down list, select a font size
    NOTE: The font size affects the size of the check that appears in the check box.

  17. From the Text Color box, select the desired color

  18. Select the Options tab
    Check Box Properties dialog box: Options tab

  19. From the Check Box Style pull-down list, select the shape to appear in the check box when it is selected

  20. If this form will be used on the Web, verify that the Export Value is Yes
    NOTE: For check boxes, Export Value indicates whether this option was selected by the user.

  21. OPTIONAL: To show this check box as selected when the form is viewed, select Check box is checked by default
    NOTE: Use pre-selected options with caution. If you pre-select a response for users, they may not look at alternative choices.

  22. Click CLOSE
    The check box is created.
    NOTE: For information on changing the appearance, size, or alignment of form fields, refer to Modifying Form Fields.

return to topDeleting Check Boxes

If you create a check box and later decide it is not necessary for the input of information, the following steps can be taken to remove it:

  1. From the Forms menu, select Add or Edit Fields...
    The Forms toolbar appears.
    Forms toolbar

  2. Select the check box you wish to delete

  3. Press [Delete]
    From the Edit menu, select Delete
    The check box is removed.

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