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Duplicating fields

From: Acrobat X: Creating Forms

Video: Duplicating fields

Generally speaking you want each field in your form to have a unique name, but there are times when having multiple fields with the same name can save you little bit of time. Let me show you what I mean. In this Contract, the signer needs to put her name on every page. Instead of having to enter it on every page, watch what happens when it's entered on page 1. When I go to page 2, look that field is automatically filled. The only difference is that the formatting is different from field to field, but the content is the same. So how does this happen? When I switch to my Select Object tool you'll see that field is called Name on page 1, on page 2, on page 3.

Duplicating fields

Generally speaking you want each field in your form to have a unique name, but there are times when having multiple fields with the same name can save you little bit of time. Let me show you what I mean. In this Contract, the signer needs to put her name on every page. Instead of having to enter it on every page, watch what happens when it's entered on page 1. When I go to page 2, look that field is automatically filled. The only difference is that the formatting is different from field to field, but the content is the same. So how does this happen? When I switch to my Select Object tool you'll see that field is called Name on page 1, on page 2, on page 3.

So to Acrobat's way of thinking, it's the same field. It's three instances of the same field, so the data that goes into one, shows up in all the rest. The formatting is different because you can change the formatting of one of the twin fields, but it still doesn't change the data, so let's see how we do this. In the starting file, I'll choose Edit, Acrobat offers to make the forms for me, that's going to mess things up, so I click No. Get my text field tool, click and drag, make my Name field, I don't really need to check the properties, I know that it has a fill and a border of None, so that's fine.

Now to duplicate it on the other pages, just to prove to you, it isn't already there, we'll take a look at page 2. Going back to page 1, I select the field, right-click and choose Duplicate. If you notice there is something that looks very similar here in this contextual menu, Multiple Fields, Duplicate, what's the difference? Duplicate fields goes across many pages of your document, whereas Multiple Fields only happen on the page that you're on, and that's really easy to get confused. My friend Tom came up with an acronym that might help you remember DAMP, D-A-M-P, Duplicate Across Many Pages.

So I don't know if that'll help you remember, but frankly, that was the best we could come up with, so it'll have to do for now. So when I choose Duplicate, the little dialog comes up asking which pages I'd like to Duplicate this field on, I click OK because I wanted on all of them. Now you can see it shows up on page 2 and page 3, you don't get any kind of confirming alert, Acrobat just does the job. What if I want the formatting to be different on one page? Perhaps it's page with more stuff in the neighborhood and I need to make that name field smaller, I could do that. I can come in here, double-click, and if I need to, I could make the Text smaller, I can even change the Font, I could change the Color, for that matter.

I can't really think of a good reason to change the color or the font, but just know that you can, that doesn't change the data that's entered. When I click Close Form Editing and go back to page 1 and I put in the signers name, watch what happens on page 2. The formatting is different, the field is smaller, but the name is the same, so the data is the same. So think how this might save you some time in a document such as a Contract or a Requisition form or something like that, where you have repeating data, something that has to show up more than once, make you field once, duplicate it and position it and you can save yourself and also the person who's filling out the form a little bit of work.

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Acrobat X: Creating Forms

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Claudia McCue
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