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InDesign CS6: Interactive Documents
Illustration by John Hersey

Creating list boxes and combo boxes


From:

InDesign CS6: Interactive Documents

with Mike Rankin

Video: Creating list boxes and combo boxes

If your PDF form needs a place where users can choose items from a list, you need either a list box or a combo box. Both of which can be created in InDesign CS6. So let's start with the list box. Up here in the Personal Details section of my form I need to make a list for the states for applicants to choose to say where they're from. So over here in States, I have just regular InDesign frame. I'll go to my Buttons and Forms panel and I'll choose Type > List Box. I'll give it a name, state, and down here I need to enter the List Items.
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  1. 1m 45s
    1. Welcome
      1m 2s
    2. Using the exercise files and scripts
      43s
  2. 22m 41s
    1. Case study: tomaxxi's InDesign shortcuts guide
      4m 19s
    2. Case study: The Magic of Reality app
      3m 20s
    3. Exploring PDF digital magazines: InDesign Magazine
      2m 45s
    4. Looking at digital newspapers: BostonGlobe.com
      3m 44s
    5. Reviewing digital magazines: National Geographic
      4m 58s
    6. Exploring iamboundless.com
      3m 35s
  3. 21m 56s
    1. Setting preferences for interactive documents
      6m 32s
    2. Customizing the workspace
      5m 48s
    3. Understanding intent and presets
      3m 5s
    4. Working with images and swatches
      5m 2s
    5. Installing scripts
      1m 29s
  4. 37m 24s
    1. Using Liquid Layout
      9m 17s
    2. Creating alternate layouts
      4m 4s
    3. Using primary text frames
      3m 49s
    4. Using the Content Conveyor
      5m 42s
    5. Linking text
      4m 32s
    6. Linking page items
      3m 19s
    7. Fitting frames to content
      3m 33s
    8. Using style mapping
      3m 8s
  5. 49m 48s
    1. Reviewing what we're going to build
      1m 56s
    2. Previewing with the SWF Preview panel
      4m 51s
    3. Presentation design tips
      2m 41s
    4. Setting up a presentation file with layers
      4m 53s
    5. Creating a navigation system
      8m 32s
    6. Creating a title and content slides
      7m 57s
    7. Overriding master page items
      5m 59s
    8. Setting page transitions
      4m 34s
    9. Creating hyperlinks
      3m 40s
    10. Using the slug for notes
      4m 45s
  6. 37m 40s
    1. Understanding what we're going to build
      1m 11s
    2. Building an interactive table of contents
      5m 9s
    3. Building a navigation system
      4m 5s
    4. Creating PDF-only buttons
      3m 33s
    5. Using a SWF slideshow in a PDF
      9m 33s
    6. Placing a video and using the Media panel
      5m 44s
    7. Setting navigation points
      4m 28s
    8. Placing a video from a URL
      1m 21s
    9. Creating hyperlinks from URLs
      2m 36s
  7. 18m 6s
    1. An overview of PDF forms
      2m 6s
    2. Creating text fields and signature fields
      3m 13s
    3. Creating list boxes and combo boxes
      3m 55s
    4. Creating checkboxes and radio buttons
      3m 47s
    5. Creating tab order for PDF forms
      3m 14s
    6. Creating Submit, Print, and Clear Form actions
      1m 51s
  8. 53m 36s
    1. Exploring the Animation Encyclopedia script
      10m 57s
    2. Using the Animation panel
      6m 56s
    3. Animating on a motion path
      3m 57s
    4. Animating a list
      4m 29s
    5. Creating navigation buttons
      5m 15s
    6. Creating a multi-state object
      6m 23s
    7. Creating a page number indicator
      2m 57s
    8. Animating an opening page
      3m 9s
    9. Creating a multi-purpose button
      3m 11s
    10. Exporting your presentation and embedded fonts to SWF
      3m 46s
    11. Working with transitions and animation
      2m 36s
  9. 40m 34s
    1. An overview of the DPS workflow and the publishing process
      4m 31s
    2. Creating hyperlinks
      5m 17s
    3. Creating slideshows
      3m 25s
    4. Using the Image Sequence feature
      4m 58s
    5. Adding audio and video
      5m 6s
    6. Creating panoramas
      4m 21s
    7. Adding web content
      3m 56s
    8. Panning and zooming
      4m 1s
    9. Creating scrollable frames
      4m 59s
  10. 27m 18s
    1. Using the Folio Builder panel
      5m 28s
    2. Creating a folio
      5m 28s
    3. Adding articles to a folio
      5m 47s
    4. Using the Content Viewer to preview a folio
      3m 53s
    5. Using the Folio Producer
      4m 54s
    6. Viewing a folio on an iPad
      1m 48s
  11. 49s
    1. Next steps
      49s

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InDesign CS6: Interactive Documents
5h 11m Intermediate Jun 11, 2012

Viewers: in countries Watching now:

Join Adobe InDesign and publishing expert Mike Rankin as he explains how to use InDesign to design a wide range of digital documents, including interactive PDFs and apps for the iPad. This course provides a tour of digital publishing trends and shows how to bring these trends to bear in various projects, such as a slide presentation, a PDF form, and an interactive portfolio. Mike also introduces the Adobe Digital Publishing Suite and shows how to publish dynamic interactive documents to the iPad and other mobile devices.

Topics include:
  • Examining trends in digital design
  • Setting preferences for interactive documents
  • Understanding intent and presets
  • Working with images and swatches
  • Creating and working with interactive PDFs
  • Creating alternate layouts for multiple screens
  • Linking text and page items
  • Fitting frames to content
  • Setting up a file with layers
  • Creating a slideshow with transitions and hyperlinks
  • Building a table of contents
  • Adding a SWF slideshow to a PDF
  • Placing video
  • Creating PDF forms
  • Adding animation
  • Working with the Digital Publishing Suite
Subjects:
Design Digital Publishing PDF Projects
Software:
InDesign Digital Publishing Suite
Author:
Mike Rankin

Creating list boxes and combo boxes

If your PDF form needs a place where users can choose items from a list, you need either a list box or a combo box. Both of which can be created in InDesign CS6. So let's start with the list box. Up here in the Personal Details section of my form I need to make a list for the states for applicants to choose to say where they're from. So over here in States, I have just regular InDesign frame. I'll go to my Buttons and Forms panel and I'll choose Type > List Box. I'll give it a name, state, and down here I need to enter the List Items.

So I need to enter the abbreviations for the various states. I can click the Plus button after each one or I can use a keyboard shortcut. So I'll enter in a state name and I hold down Shift and then press Return or Enter. This keeps my cursor in the List Items dialog box and I can just keep typing state names, and so on. Once I have my list items, I can click on an item to make it the default choice displayed in the PDF. If I don't want any default selection, I can click on an item to remove the highlighting and its default status.

If you don't choose a default with the list, then the first item is going to be visible. So here I'll just enter another item called CHOOSE STATE and make that the default. I can also sort the items alphabetically, if I want to. One thing to be aware of is that you can't edit a list item after you've entered it. So if you make a typo and enter that, you are going to have to delete the list item and then replace it with a new one. Those are the options for list box. Let's make a combo box now. I'll scroll down and here under Actual Grade, I would like to enter a combo box.

So here's where I would like the person to be able to enter in the actual grade they received in a course and I can make a list of A, B, and C grades, or I can allow them to enter in their own grade, say if they got pass or fail, A+, C-, and so forth. So right now this is a Text Field. I'm going to select from the Type menu and convert it to a Combo Box. Notice the name changed and so did some of the options? I'll enter in some List items. So I'll press A and Shift+Return, B+Shift +Return, C+Shift+Return, and notice that there's no option in the Buttons and Forms panel to allow me to allow the user to enter custom text.

For that, that's going to be one of those post InDesign processes that we have to do in Acrobat. So let's export this document out to PDF and try out our list box and our combo box. I'll press Command+E, go to my Desktop, and I'll call it LIST AND COMBO, and click OK. So here I have it in Acrobat. I have my default CHOOSE STATE or I can pick from the list of the states that I typed in, and down below I've my combo box where I can select an actual grade.

But if I try to type in some custom text to say pass, I'm unable to do that yet. So again, this is something that you have to fix in Acrobat, because you can't set custom text on a combo box in InDesign yet. So I'll go to Tools > Forms > Edit and then I'll double-click on this form field. In the options, I'll select allow user to enter custom text. I'll close the dialog box and close Form Editing.

Now let's try that. In this movie we saw how to create two similar kinds of form objects in InDesign: list boxes and combo boxes. Both of these allow the PDF user to select items from a list. Combo boxes can also be added in Acrobat to allow people to add their own custom text instead of just picking from the list that you create.

Find answers to the most frequently asked questions about InDesign CS6: Interactive Documents.


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Q: I'm following along with the movie "Using a SWF slideshow in a PDF," but when I go to the Tools menu in Acrobat, there is no Multimedia option. Can you help me complete the tutorial?
A: With each new version of Acrobat, Adobe seems to enjoy moving commands to different menus, and sometimes renaming them. To remove the background in Acrobat XI, take the Selection tool (black arrow) and right-click anywhere in the window and choose Properties. This opens the Edit SWF dialog box where you can select Transparent Background in the Launch Settings. You can do the same thing by choosing Tools > Interactive Objects > Select Object and then double clicking anywhere on the SWF.
 
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