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Let's begin our look at InDesign's PDF Form tools by creating two kinds of form objects: text fields and signature fields. If you've ever created buttons in InDesign, the process of creating form objects will be familiar to you. And even if you've never created a button in your life, the process is not all that hard to grasp. Let's say I want to create a text field here next to first name. I have just a regular InDesign frame here, and I can select it and go to the Buttons and Forms panel, and in Type, I can select Text Field.
I can give it a name, I'll click on Name, and I'll call it first name. And form objects get a little icon that shows you what they are. This icon never changes size when you zoom in or zoom out, but it will disappear if you zoom way out, so your form objects are very small on screen. Each kind of form object has its own unique indicator and I created an example of each kind out here on the pasteboard, just to show those little icons. So starting from the top we have a check box, a combo box, a list box, radio button, a signature field and a text field.
And if I zoom in, I can see that this is a text field. I'll zoom back out, and let's do some more work in the Buttons and Forms panel. Under the PDF Options I can enter a description that will appear as a tooltip when the user roles over the form field in the PDF. I can also select any of these options down here to enable or disable printing, to make the form field required, to require a password, to make it read-only, to allow multiple lines of text and to allow scrolling.
For list boxes, text fields, and combo boxes, you can also specify a font size, or you can leave it at Auto. If you leave it at Auto, the size of the text will depend on the size of the field. Down to the bottom of the panel there are a few buttons. On the left is a Preview button, and it would be cool if we could preview our PDF forms right in InDesign, but remember this button opens the SWF Preview panel, so you can't use it to preview PDF interactivity, like forms. On the right you have a button to convert the form field back to a regular InDesign object.
Let's look at another kind of form object you can make; a signature field where someone can enter a digital signature. Down at the bottom of this page, I have a frame that I'd like to convert into a signature field. So I'll select it, and in the panel choose Type > Signature Field. And this also can have a description and has a few options. Now let's export this document to PDF and try these two form fields. I'll press Command+E, I'll just call it Form and put it on the Desktop.
I'll just look at this current page and choose View After Exporting and click OK. Let's try out that text field, and we'll scroll down, and click on the signature field, and it works! In this movie we saw how to create two kinds of form objects in InDesign; text fields where the user can enter their own custom text, and signature fields, which can be used to apply digital signature to a PDF.
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