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Adobe Acrobat 9 Professional

PDF Forms: Working with List Boxes

List boxes present multiple choices to the user in the form of a pull-down list. Acrobat allows you to easily create and delete list boxes from your PDF document.

return to topConsiderations

List Box Characteristics

Understanding Names and Export Values

When list boxes are used in online forms, they allow you to select from a number of choices in a pull-down list. In order to use these forms, it is important that you understand the names and export values of the form field.

The name for the form field indicates what type of information you are prompting the user for or identifies what question you are asking the user. For example, a list box that has choices to the same question about planets may have the name "planets."

The item label for the choices is the text the user sees when selecting an item from your list.

The value of the form field identifies what option the user selected. If you do not complete this text box, the export value will be the same as the item label. For example, in response to a question regarding planets, "saturn" is an option in the list box. By default, the export value would be "saturn."

When a user submits the form, the value of the list box field will be matched with the name of the list box field. The information the owner receives will look like this: name: value
EXAMPLE: planet: saturn

return to topCreating List Boxes

List boxes are used to allow users to select one or more options from a list of choices.

  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 LIST BOX TOOLList Box Tool button
    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
    To create a form field of the default size, double click on the page
    The Field Name entry box appears.
    Field Name entry box

  7. In the Field Name text box, type a name that identifies the list box

  8. To edit additional properties of the list box, click SHOW ALL PROPERTIES
    The List Box Properties dialog box appears.
    List Box Properties dialog box: General tab

  9. Select the General tab

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

  11. Select the Appearance tab
    List 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 list box

  13. From the Fill Color box, select the color to fill the list box

  14. In the Text section, from the Font Size pull-down list, select a font size

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

  16. From the Font pull-down list, select a font for the text in the list box

  17. Select the Options tab
    List Box Properties dialog box: Options tab

  18. In the Item text box, type the name of an item to appear in the list box

  19. In the Export Value text box, type an export value for the item
    For list boxes, Export Value indicates the option selected by the user in response to the question.
    If this text box is left blank, the export value is the same as the Item.

  20. Click ADD

  21. To add additional items to the list box, repeat steps 19 through 20 until all of the items are entered

  22. OPTIONAL: To allow users to select more than one item from the list, select Multiple selection

  23. OPTIONAL: To sort the items alphabetically, select Sort items

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

return to topDeleting List Boxes

If you create a list box and later decide it is not necessary, 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 list box you wish to delete
    The list box appears with red highlights when selected.

  3. Press [Delete]
    From the Edit menu, select Delete

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