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(Archives) Adobe Acrobat 9 Pro: PDF Forms: Form Field Options

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This article is based on legacy software.

Each type of form field in a PDF form has unique options. These options described in this document can be found on the Options tab of the Properties dialog box. Using these options, the form developer can control what a user sees and does with fields in the form. This document describes the options available for the different types of form fields and how to access them.

Accessing Form Field Options

  1. Open the PDF form.

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

  3. Right click the form field » select Properties...
    The [Field] Properties dialog box appears.

  4. Select the Options tab.

Button Options

Buttons have a variety of uses; they can be formatted to play movies, open a new link, or submit information. Below you will find descriptions of options to customize the appearance and function of your buttons.

button properties

Layout
Allows you to select how the button will appear to a user.

Behavior
Allows you to select how the button will appear when a user clicks on it.

Icon and Label
Allows you to define an image or text that appears on a button.

Locked
Does not allow any changes to the document until it is unlocked, this can prevent accidental changes.

Check Box Options

Check boxes allow you to present the user with a number of choices. The user will be able to select one or more of the options by clicking in the check box.

check box properties

Check Box Style
Allows you to select the type of character that will indicate a user's selection.

Export Value
Contains a value that indicates what item is chosen.
NOTE: The export value that you choose will be the information that is actually sent to the database. An export value for each item is necessary only if you want the information reported to be different from the name of that item.

Check box is checked by default
Allows you to indicate the option as selected by default.
HINT: Use pre-selected options with caution. If you pre-select a response for users, they may not look at the alternative choices.

Locked
Does not allow any changes to the document until it is unlocked, this can prevent accidental changes.

Combo Box Options

Combo boxes allow a user to either select an item from a pop-up list, or enter their own data. Below is a description of the options available for combo boxes.

combo box properties

Item
Represents the options users see within the combo box.
For more information, see Working with Combo Boxes.

Export Value
Contains a value that represents the item chosen.
NOTE: The export value that you choose will be the information that is actually sent to the database. An export value for each item is necessary only if you want the information reported to be different from the name of that item.

Item List
Shows the items that will appear in the combo box.
NOTE: You can move items up or down, or delete them.

Sort Items
Sorts the options within the combo box numerically or alphabetically.

Allow user to enter custom text
Allows users to enter their own text, if their answer is not available.

Check Spelling
Spell-checks custom entries in the combo box.

Commit selected value immediately
Saves a value as soon as a user selects it.

Locked
Does not allow any changes to the document until it is unlocked, this can prevent accidental changes.

List Box Options

List boxes contain the list of items for a user to scroll through. Below is information about how to customize the information and functions of your list box.

list box properties

Item
Represents the options users see within the list box.

Export Value
Contains a value that represents the item chosen.
NOTE: The export value that you choose will be the information that is actually sent to the database. An export value for each item is necessary only if you want the information reported to be different from the name of that item.

Item List
Shows the items in the list box.
NOTE: You can move items up or down, or delete them.

Sort items
Sorts the options within the list box numerically or alphabetically.

Multiple selection
Allows users to select more than one item from the list.

Commit selected value immediately
Saves a value as soon as a user selects it.

Locked
Does not allow any changes to the document until it is unlocked, this can prevent accidental changes.

Radio Button Options

Radio buttons limit a user to only one response from each group. Below is information about modifying the appearance and performance of radio buttons.

radio button properties

Button Style
Allows you to select the look of the radio button that users will click to select an option.

Export Value
Contains a value that represents the item chosen.
NOTE: The export value that you choose will be the information that is actually sent to the database.

Button is checked by default
Allows you to indicate the option as selected by default.
HINT: Use pre-selected options with caution. If you pre-select a response for users, they may not look at the alternative choices.

Buttons with the same name and value are selected in unison
Allows you to cause all buttons with the same name and export value to be selected when the user selects any one of them.
NOTE: For more explanation of name and export values, refer to Working with Radio Buttons.

Locked
Does not allow any changes to the document until it is unlocked, this can prevent accidental changes.

Text Field Options

Text fields allow a user to enter their own information. Below is information about modifying your text fields.

text field properties

Alignment
Sets the alignment of the text that the user will type.

Default Value
Allows you to enter text that will appear in the text field when the user first opens the form.
HINT: This can be used to suggest the format you would like (e.g., Last name, First name).

Multi-line
As the text the user is typing reaches the end of the text box, it automatically continues on the next line down.

Scroll long text
Scrolls text forward when the user's entry reaches the limit of the visible area of the text box.

Allow Rich Text Formatting
Allows users to add basic formatting (e.g., bold text).

Limit of __ characters
Allows you to limit user entries to the number of characters specified.

Password
Masks a user's entry with ****.
NOTE: Choosing this option excludes all other options except limiting the number of characters.

Field is used for file selection
Opens a file selection dialog box, allowing the user to select a file to submit with the form.
NOTE: Selecting this option excludes all other options.

Check Spelling
Spell-checks entries made by the user in the text box.

Comb of __ characters
Evenly distributes the text across a text field, the value you enter defines the maximum number of characters allowed.
NOTE: This option is not available when any other option is selected.

Locked
Does not allow any changes to the document until it is unlocked, this can prevent accidental changes.

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