Join Brian Wood for an in-depth discussion in this video Editing form fields, part of Acrobat 9 Pro: Creating Forms.
Once the form has been opened and the fields have been recognized, we are going to go through now and edit the different fields out there by renaming, deleting and checking the properties on these. The thing about Acrobat is if you use the Form Wizard or if you use the Add or Edit Fields option and it recognizes the fields for you, if you let it do that, it will go through and do a pretty good job depending on your design, like I keep saying throughout these videos. Sometimes it won't. If you look at the page I have got opened, Form Recognize Start, and if you are just joining us here, you can open Form Recognize Edit and if you open up Form Recognize Edit, you need to go to the Forms Menu and you will see second in command here, you will see Add or Edit fields, you need to click on that to get where we are right now, because we are in Form Editing mode.
So what's in Form Editing mode? You look at the Form itself, you are going to see at the very bottom, I mentioned in the last video that when we recognize as it created some wacky field down here that we don't need. Now in Form Editing mode, we can go out and select, delete, edit the properties on, do all sorts of different things. I want to first draw your attention over to left side of this screen, you will see the Fields Navigation Panel, this is something that was used to be kind of hidden in Acrobat, you could go, see all the fields on the page, but now they immediately open this up, which I applaud, I think it's great, because it allows you to see them all.
These are all the interactive fields in the page, they recognize. If you look over here, you are going to see they are sorted by page number, if you click on the minus or the plus there, you will see that you can open and close this. If there were multiple pages, you could just open one page and see all the fields that are on that page. You will notice that, you will see to the left here a little icon, which tells you what type of field it is, this is the text field icon and to the right of that you will see the name in the field. Now if you click, let's say on first name here, just click once on it, look out in the page out there in your PDF, what happens here is it shows you , which field that one is, so it will highlight it out here in the page for you.
Every time you click in a field, it just goes through and highlights it out there. Now these fields right now in this Fields Navigation Panel are shown in tab order. When somebody goes out there, put the cursor in the first field, and they press the tab key several times, which I am sure you have probably done in the form in the web, it will go to the next field and it will do it in a certain order, so this is called Tab Order and in a later video, we will show how to change that. If you scroll down a little bit in the Fields Navigation Panel, down towards the bottom, you will probably see some checkmarks or checkboxes, you will also see a little circle button here, these are your radio buttons.
You will see a little x field right here, which is your signature field. These are all different type of form fields and it is a great thing to see, because you can tell exactly, which one is, which. So for instance, click on the little field to the left of signature there over navigation panel and it highlights it on the page for you. Now if we want to, let's say, we need to do something like this, you need to rename some of these fields, for instance, scrolling up in the navigation panel here, I will see that we have got the number one field, what does that mean? Lot of that's been recognized, it's like OK I'll just put a number on it. If you click on the field there, you will notice it is actually highlighting quantity 1, now the reason why it did this is because there wasn't really any text around the lines here, we are at recognized fields, so a lot of times it just kind of numbers them.
So it's our job to go in and rename these, so that they make sense, so when you get this data you can tell what it means. Acrobat allows you to do this in several different ways. I now think the easiest way to do this is if you look into the Fields Navigation Panel, come up to the number, if you double click on it slowly or if you want to right click, or Ctrl click on Mac, you will see Rename field. We are going to rename this. Now when you name fields, I am kind of old school and I do a lot of web developing, so I tend to keep things as simple as I can, I don't go into you know 40-word descriptions.
So I usually call it like Quan 1 for Quantity 1 or Qty 1, something like that. And my way of thinking for naming fields is, I tend not to put spaces in the names like you are going to see the Acrobat does automatically here, some programs don't like it. So I tend to use underscores or something like that. You don't want to use a lot of different crazy characters like exclamation points or things like that, so you can use numbers, upper case, lower case, and I try and keep mine lower case once again, it's just a web habit I have. So we are going to go through and try and rename all of these. So you just click twice slowly if you want to do that or right-click or Ctrl click and it will just rename all these.
And this may seem kind of like a pain, but if you have done this in previous versions, this is a lot easier. You could also if you want to, you can copy-paste, so if you come back to one of these, you could copy that. Come back to the next field, slowly double click on it and the paste and then just rename it Quantity 5 or something like that. So it allows you do that pretty easily. So we can rename fields, it's not too bad, also what we can do is we can delete fields that are not necessary. So come on out to the PDF, the page itself. You are going to once again see that GrunbyteInc.com.
Click on that and that will select the field on the page. It will also select the field in the field's navigation panel to the left. Now if you want to delete this field, couple of ways you can do this. First instinct might be to hit like Delete or Backspace or something like that and that is correct. Another way you can do this is either you are going to do a lot of right-click or Ctrl click on the field itself either on the page or in the fields navigation panel, and you will see we have got a lot of features out here we can do. We can cut these, copy them, delete them, all sorts of things, so anyway you want to do it. I will press Delete here and I will get rid of it.
It will also get rid of from the list over there, telling us we don't have it anymore. So we can change the names, we can delete, we can add; we will see that in later videos. We can also move or resize fields pretty easily out here. One of the fields that was created is definitely not the correct size, if you look where it says "any product suggestions" right here I have got this field called Undefined, Acrobat got a little confused, it made a field, which I applaud, but the text was too far away from a line, I had a line drawn out here and it was too far away for it to name the field.
One thing I want you to notice is that when it recognizes fields for you, it does this automatically, the text to the left or above sometimes below not quite as often, it will name the field exactly the text it sees, which can be very helpful sometimes it's not what you want. Like for instance, the tax field over here, if you click on that field, you will see the name, it's kind of hard to see it out here, but if you go to the navigation panel, you will see the name of the field, is tax 875, because that's what it tried to pick up from the left. I am not going to need my field tax 875, I might actually just name it Tax, so we could change that name if we wanted to.
My point here is this, click Undefined, we need to change that name, if you don't like doing it over the navigation panel over there, you can also right-click directly on the field or Ctrl click on Mac and you will see Rename field. Choose Rename field and it comes up with this nice little tool-tip box, you can see its little tip and we can just name this. We will call this Suggest. Now when you rename fields this way, press Enter or Return to accept it, it will change it and if you look out here in the navigation panel on the left, it automatically changes it over there.
Now when you are done, you can just click somewhere else, there is a lot of other information we will look at in later videos, but not now. So if we click somewhere else that will go away. Now the field is too small. I want to make it so that they can type in lots of suggestions, hopefully good ones, click on the field on the page, we don't have to select the tools, this is the best part about it. And you will notice all these little bounding points, so what I am going to do is zoom-in a bit so you can see this, you are going to see a plus and minus up top up zoom in. I'll use my scroll wheel to scroll down a bit on my mouse, you can also use the scrollbar to the right.
And we can resize these fields to move them. So suppose I want to move it up just a little bit, any where in the middle, you can click and drag, move these fields around, it will just kind of move it whereever you want to go. If you want to resize the field, you will see these little points, these little bounding points, you can come to a corner or a side, click and drag, I will just make it little bit taller. This is so much better, because you get to see what it looks like, it's a nice smooth little transition here and once you let go, it should resize it for you. So we can resize fields pretty easily. We can also copy paste fields.
We can change the properties and a lot of things we can do here. So we have renamed it, we have resized it, we have also deleted some fields. If you want to, we can also change the properties on fields, this can be done either in the fields navigation panel to the left or out in the PDF. For the Suggest field, what I would like to do is I just want to do a few little things, I am not going to get too far into this. If you want to learn more about working with the field properties, you can go to each video and see the different types of fields. For instance, come to the Suggest field here, right click or Ctrl click on Mac, you will see the properties.
You will also notice the shortcut there. If you work with lot of forms, you might want to use that shortcut. Go to Properties, it should open up the Properties dialog box. Another quick tip here is, if you want to, I am going to move this dialog box out of the way, it might get a little jarring here and I'll move it out of the way, the field itself if you want to go to the Properties you can also double click on it, that will go to the Properties. I really try and avoid doing that because if you double click on a field, it will move it sometimes, and if you got all these fields lined up perfectly, it can be kind of headache. Every field has properties, every type of field has its own type of properties, so this is a text field has text field properties.
I just want to mention this simply because if you need to get in here, you can. You are going to notice there are tons of tabs up at the top, these are the different things you can change about the field. What I usually do when I am work in fields and I'll mention this in a later video is I start from the left, work my way to the right and change anything I need to about the field. You will notice here on the General tab, we have the name, the name is what we have been changing so far, this is probably the long-winded way of trying to change name, but you can do it here. You have got Appearance, you can change. You can change what it looks like, the border or the color of the fill We have certain options and just I wanted to take you in here just to show you this for this kind of field, this is a big field, I will pull the dialog box up, you can see the whole thing.
I want to make it so it's multiple line, so you can make it multiple line. So there's a lot of ways we can change fields, the properties of fields, and like I said if you want a little more information, go to the video that talks about a specific type of field, so you will see those. For right now just click Close, I made a multiline, to test it out this is going to be something here you are going to notice here. We are going to see that the text is going to be huge, you can click the Preview button, you are going to see the field out there. If you click inside by Default, what is going to happen here is most fields have a certain size of text, so if you start typing in, "no" or something like that we can change the font size, you can change also the things about the field.
So once the PDF has the Form fields recognized, we can go right into editing layout, you can go right into working with the fields themselves by changing the names, changing properties, editing, adding, which we haven't looked at yet, but we will in videos coming up. So I wanted to give you just a nice heads up on how this works once you create it, once you it recognizes it what you can do to help yourself to make it a better experience for your end user.
Skill Level Intermediate
Q: How do I force upper case in the Text Field?
1. Open the PDF form you want to edit in Acrobat Professional.
2. Choose Forms > Add or Edit Fields...
3. Double-Click on the form field you want to edit to open the Text Field Properties dialog box.
4. Click the "Format" tab at the top.
5. Choose "Custom" from the "Select format category" pop-up menu.
6. Click the "Edit" button to the right of the "Custom Keystroke Script" section.
9. Choose Forms > Close Form Editing.
Now when you type any text characters into the field you just edited, the characters will be forced to display in upper case.