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In this series, David Blatner and Anne-Marie Concepción, co-hosts of the web's top resource for InDesign tips and tricks, InDesignSecrets.com, share some hidden and sometimes surprising workflow tips that will make working in InDesign more efficient and more fun. The course covers built-in timesaving features such as Quick Apply and auto-expanding text, but also little-known tricks, such as using the eyedropper to copy and paste character and paragraph text attributes and making accurate selections by selecting through or even into objects.
New techniques will be added to the collection every other week, so check back early and often. Find more tips and tricks at indesignsecrets.com.
Let me show you a way that you can make the forms that you create in InDesign to be much more usable to your end users, to your audience, who are filling out that form in Reader. Here we have, a schedule a campus tour form in InDesign, and I've already created all of my form fields. So if I open up Buttons and Forms, and I double click here, here's one form field, a text field called name two, and here's one for email address. We have some checkboxes, a drop down menu for the year that they interned, and so on.
Let's go ahead and export this to PDF form. I'm pressing Cmd or Ctrl + E. We want an interactive PDF form, and we'll just accept all these defaults. Click OK, and it opens up really big! Let me change to fit in window with Cmd or Ctrl + 0. Say that I'm filling this out. If I hover over this field I guess I could understand Name and then I start typing my name and the same thing for e-mail address. But what am I supposed to do here? You know, this is a little confusing and how much room do I have for comments and so on? Well, if you want to in Acrobat you can actually go to Form Editing mode.
And then, if I right click on one of these fields and choose Properties, I could add a Tooltip. Please enter your full name, so some joker doesn't just put in Joe, right? And I could add a Tooltip by accessing the properties for all of these fields, here. Well, you could add your Tooltips right in InDesign. Doesn't say Tooltips, but I'll show you where. Let's close this up and jump back to InDesign. And let me get this up over here. So under Name, I'm going to double-click to get to the Form field, the name is name two, but if you go here under PDF options, Description is not just the description for your own information this is the Tooltip.
Please enter your full name. Email address, now everybody I think would know an email address goes here, but it is simply good form to add a description to every field in your form. It's also the way that people who are using a screen reader who are visually impaired will be able to understand what it is that they're supposed to enter in that form, the Tooltip or the description. Enter your email address, please double check for accuracy.
I don't know if there is a limit to how long these can be, I doubt it. Maybe 256 characters, lets just say that. Here under entering year let's go to description and we'll say, Choose the year that you'll be enrolling as a Freshman. So, you get the drift is that you select each of these form fields or as you're creating them, you go ahead and add a description. Let's export this again to PDF. Let's call this is it form two? And we'll accept the defaults.
It opens up, fit in window, hover over the name field. there's our Tooltip, please enter your full name. Enter your email address, double check for accuracy. Down here, where I'm wondering, what am I supposed to do here? Choose the year that you'll be enrolling as a Freshman. Aha. Nice be kind to the people who are filling out your form add a Tooltip in PDF options description field in InDesign.
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