Chapter 5 5 ✦ ✦ Creating Form Fields
Copying and Pasting Fields
Duplicating fields as described above works well when you have fields on a single
page and need to duplicate the fields on the same page. If you have multiple pages
where fields need to be duplicated between PDF documents, you need to use the
copy and paste menu commands. Fields can be copied and pasted on the same
page, to different pages in the same document, and between PDF documents.
As you know, fields must have unique names when data are to be entered in rows
or columns and their results need to be unique. In some cases, you may wish to
have identical field names to exchange data between PDF files. An example where
unique names might be used is when you have identifying information that remains
consistent between documents. For example, suppose you have a Human Resources
department using PDF forms. All the employee identifying information, such as
name, address, phone, emergency contact, and so on might be used in part or in
total on performance evaluations, tax forms, pension plans, job descriptions, and
so on. Rather than typing the information on each separate form, you can import
data into a form. The main requirement for importing data is all form fields must be
named exactlythe same including case-sensitivity.
If you design forms independently, creating new form fields each time a form is
designed, you run the risk of making mistakes with field names. A typo, forgotten
letter case, forgotten nomenclature, and so on can cost you time when debugging
the form. A much better method is to use the copy and paste commands. When a
field is copied, the field names and attributes reflect a carbon copy of the original.
When pasted into the destination form, you can be certain all fields match each
In Figure 5-9, a file is used to store customer identification information. To copy
fields, select the Form tool and press the Ctrl key (Windows) or Shift key (Mac OS)
and drag through the fields to be copied. Right-click the mouse button (Windows)
or Control+click (Mac OS) to open a context menu. Choose Edit➪Copy. The fields
are now copied to the system clipboard.
You may wish to keep the file open from where the fields are copied in the event
more fields need to be copied or a mistake was made by not selecting all fields to
be pasted. In this regard, leave the file open and choose File➪Open. Open the file
where the fields need to be pasted and choose Edit➪Paste.
Pasting fields can be handled in a context menu only when a field exists in a doc-
ument and a field is selected. If you try to open a context menu without a field
selected, Acrobat won’t know you want to handle menu commands respective to
fields options. The menu options from context menus on document pages with
nothing selected only support navigating and searching the document. When
using menu commands for managing fields, always be certain to first select a field
with the Form tool before you open a context menu.