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An overview of PDF forms

From: InDesign CS6: Interactive Documents

Video: An overview of PDF forms

The new Form tools in InDesign CS6 can help you create great looking form fields inside your layout, without having to rely on Acrobat's Form Recognition tools or a lot of manual work after you export a PDF. So you can definitely get better form results faster with these new tools. But you should be aware that there are some limitations. These tools don't fully replace Acrobat, and you can't yet do a full end-to-end forms workflow with just InDesign. For example, people using Adobe Reader won't be able to save their data in the forms you export from InDesign, unless you enable rights to do so using Acrobat.

An overview of PDF forms

The new Form tools in InDesign CS6 can help you create great looking form fields inside your layout, without having to rely on Acrobat's Form Recognition tools or a lot of manual work after you export a PDF. So you can definitely get better form results faster with these new tools. But you should be aware that there are some limitations. These tools don't fully replace Acrobat, and you can't yet do a full end-to-end forms workflow with just InDesign. For example, people using Adobe Reader won't be able to save their data in the forms you export from InDesign, unless you enable rights to do so using Acrobat.

Another limitation to be aware of is that you can't export to Adobe DPS or to HTML and have the forms you create in InDesign work in those outputs. In most cases, you're still going to need a workflow where you start your form work in InDesign, and then you or someone else finishes building the full functionality in Acrobat. If you're interested in learning more about working with PDF forms in Acrobat, I recommend you check out Claudia McCue's Acrobat X: Creating Forms in the lynda.com online training library. So what can you actually do with InDesign's Form tools? Well you can design great looking forms with functioning text fields, radio buttons, check boxes and signature fields.

You can also make buttons that can be used to print the form or submit it via email. And in the cases of check boxes and radio buttons, you can also create custom On/Off and Hover states to improve your forms appearance and usability. Here's an example of a form that I built completely in InDesign. It has text fields that I can click in and fill in data, I can tab over to other fields. It has check boxes that I can select. It has list boxes that I can pick from. Some more check boxes, radio buttons, text fields, and signature fields.

It also has buttons to print the form, and submit it via email. So with InDesign's CS6, for the first time you may be able to accomplish the bulk of your form workflow in InDesign. So let's get started building some forms.

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InDesign CS6: Interactive Documents

73 video lessons · 24600 viewers

Mike Rankin
Author

 
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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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