● Orientation̵̵: Rotates the form field by 0, 90, 180, or 270 Degrees
● Read Only̵: Prevents the user from changing the form field content.
● Required̵: Forces the user to fill in the selected form field. If the user attempts to
submit the form while a required field is blank, an error message appears and the
empty required form field is highlighted.
Appearance tab for form field properties
Appearance properties determine how the form field looks on the page. The Appearance
tab appears for all types of form fields except barcodes, and includes the following
● Border Color̵: Opens a color picker in which you can select a color swatch for
the frame surrounding the field. To leave the field without a frame, select No
● Line Thickness: ̵Specifies the width of the frame surrounding the form field:
Thin, Medium, or Thick.
● Fill Color: ̵ Opens a color picker in which you can select a color swatch for the
background behind the field. To leave the field uncolored, select No Color.
: A Fill Color choice other than No Color will block any images on the PDF
page that are behind the form field.
● Line Style̵: Alters the appearance of the frame. Select Solid, Dashed, Beveled,
Inset, or Underline.
● Font Size:̵ Sets the size of user-entered text or the selection marker for radio
buttons and check boxes. The choices include Auto, various preset values, and
typing in a different value. If you select Auto for a text field, as the user types, the
font size changes to fit the text in the box.
● Text Color:̵ Opens a color picker in which you can select a color swatch for the
text or selection marker.
● Font:̵ Lists the fonts available on your computer. This option is not available for
form fields that do not display text.
: The Enable Right-To-Left Language Options in the Language panel of the
Preferences dialog box affects what appears in the Appearance tab of the Properties
dialog box. When that preference is selected, the Appearance tab includes options for
changing the digit style and text direction for text fields, drop-down list boxes, and list
Position tab for form field properties
The Position tab lets you position or size the currently selected field or fields. You can
move fields to the location you specify on the page. Use the Height and Width options to
change only the size of fields. To move fields without resizing them, choose Do Not
Change Height And Width When Changing The Position.
Check Box Style̵̵: Specifies the shape of the marker that appears inside the check box
when the user selects it: Check (the default), Circle, Cross, Diamond, Square, or Star.
This property does not alter the shape of the check box itself.
: The size of the marker inside the check box is determined by the size of
the font you specify in the Appearance tab.
Export Value:̵ Specifies a value to represent the item if the data will be exported. If left
blank, the entry for Name in the General tab is used as the export value.
Check Box Is Checked By Default:̵ Shows the check box selected unless the user
Drop-down and list box
For either dropdown boxes or list boxes, you use the Options tab to create a list of items
from which the user selects.
Although most of the properties on this tab are common to both these types of form
fields, a few are exclusive to one type or the other.
Item̵ - Accepts the text that you type for options that you want to appear in the menu for
Add̵ - Moves the current entry in Item to the Item List.
Export Value̵ - Where you type in a value to represent the item if the data will be
exported. If left blank, the entry for Name in the General tab is used as the export value.
Item List̵ - Displays the choices that will be available in the list.
: The highlighted item in the Item List box appears as the default selected
item in the dropdown box or list box field. To change the default item, highlight
another item from the list.
Up and Down buttons̵ - Change the order in which the items are listed in the
drop-down list. These buttons are not available if Sort Items is selected.
Delete̵ - Removes the selected item from the list.
Sort Items̵̵ - Arranges the listed items numerically and alphabetically. A numerical sort
(if applicable) is performed before an alphabetical sort.
Allow User To Enter Custom Text̵ - (Dropdown only) Enables users to enter a value
other than the ones in the list.
Check Spelling̵ - (Dropdown only) Checks the spelling of user-entered text. This option
is applicable only if Allow User To Enter Custom Text is selected.
Multiple Selection̵ - (List boxes only) Enables users to choose more than one item in
Commit Selected Value Immediately̵ - Saves the value as soon as the user selects it.
If this option is not selected, the value is saved only when the user tabs out of the
current field or clicks another form field. For list boxes only, this option is not available if
Multiple Selection is selected.
Radio buttons̵ - Create a group of radio buttons if you want the user to select only one
choice among a set of choices. All the radio buttons in a group have the same Name,
but each button has a different Button Value.
Button Style̵ - Specifies the shape of the marker that appears inside the button when
the user selects it: Check, Circle (the default), Cross, Diamond, Square, or Star. This
property does not alter the shape of the radio button itself.
Radio Button Choice̵ - Identifies the radio button and differentiates it from other radio
buttons that have the same Name value.
Button Is Checked By Default̵ - Sets the selection state of the button when the user
first opens the form.
Buttons With The Same Name And Content Are Selected In Unison̵ - Allows
single-click selection of multiple related radio buttons. For example, if the user selects a
radio button that has the same field name and selected content as another, both radio
buttons are selected.
Text Fields̵ - Text fields accept user input, which can be alphabetic characters,
numbers, or both.
Alignment̵ - Aligns the text left, right, or center within the field.
Default Value̵̵ - Specifies the text that appears until the user overwrites it by typing in
the field. Enter the default value by typing in this option.
Multi-line̵ - Allows more than a single-line entry in the text field.
Scroll Long Text ̵- Compensates for text that extends beyond the boundaries of the text
Allow Rich Text Formatting̵ - Allows users to apply styling information to the text, such
as bold or italic. This might be useful in certain text fields where such styling information
is important to the meaning of the text, such as an essay.
Limit Of Characters̵ - Allows entries of up to the number of characters you specify.
Note: If you entered a default value, that value is clipped to this limit.
Password̵ - Displays the user-entered text as a series of asterisks (*). This option is
available only if Check Spelling is deselected.
Field Is Used For File Selection̵ - Allows the user to enter a file path as the field’s
value when a file is submitted along with the form. This option is available only when
Scroll Long Text is the only selected option in the Options tab.
Check Spelling̵ - Checks the spelling of user-entered text.
Comb Of Characters ̵- Spreads the user-entered text evenly across the width of the
text field. If a border color is specified in the Appearance tab, each character entered in
the field is separated by lines of that color. This option is available only when no other
check box is selected.
Format tab for form field properties
The Format tab appears in the Properties dialog box for only text form fields or dropdown
form fields. The options that are available depend on your selection in the Select Format
Category pop-up menu.
The Example of Current Format field displays a live preview of the settings.
None̵ - No additional options are available. The input in a text or dropdown box with this
property does not require any specific formatting.
Number̵ - Automatically imposes the selected formatting options on numeric data
Decimal Places̵̵ - Sets the number of digits that appear to the right of the decimal point.
Separator Style̵ - Sets the placement of commas and periods.
Currency Symbol ̵- Sets the type of currency, such as Euros, Dollars, or Yen.
Symbol Location̵ - Sets the location of the currency symbol in relation to the number.
This field is enabled if a currency symbol is selected.
Negative Number Style̵ - Sets how negative numbers are displayed. You can choose
Show Parentheses, Use Red Text, neither, or both.
Percentage̵ - Automatically imposes the selected formatting options on numeric data
expressed as a percentage.
Decimal Places̵ - Sets the number of digits that appear to the right of the decimal point.
Separator Style̵ - Sets the placement of commas and periods.
Date̵ - List includes one-, two-, and four-digit variations where d stands for the day, m
stands for month, and y stands for year.
Time̵ - List includes display variations where h stands for the hour on a 12-hour clock, H
stands for the hour on a 24-hour clock, MM stands for minutes, ss stands for the
seconds, and tt stands for AM or PM.
● Zip Code: For a five-digit U.S. postal code.
● Zip Code + 4: For a nine-digit U.S. postal code.
● Phone Number: For a ten-digit telephone number.
● Social Security Number: For a nine-digit U.S. Social Security Number. Hyphens
are inserted automatically after the third and fifth digits.
● Arbitrary Mask Changes the format category to Custom and makes another text
field available, in which you can type a custom format. Use this option to specify
which types of characters the user can enter in any given position, and how the
data displays in the field.
○ Accepts only letters (A–Z, a-z).
○ Accepts spaces and most printable characters, including all characters
available on a standard keyboard and ANSI characters in the ranges of
32–126 and 128–255.
○ The letter “O” accepts alphanumeric characters (A–Z, a-z, and 0–9).
○ Accepts only numeric characters (0–9).
USING THE FORM WIZARD FOR AUTORECOGNITION
When creating a PDF from, two common options are available to begin.
Option 1: ̵̵ Open the PDF document by double clicking on the PDF document icon on
Click on “Tools” > “Edit” to start modifying your form.
Option 2:̵̵ Use autorecognition
When creating a PDF form you can use Acrobat’s autorecognition wizard to help
pre-populate the fields for you. This will save time as Acrobat will put the fields in
To use this option open Adobe Acrobat Pro first, without double clicking on the
Select “Create PDF Form or Online Form.” This option will allow Adobe Acrobat
Pro to scan the document and automatically create the form fields for you.
You can now start editing and modifying the pre-populated fields. You can also
start adding new fields.
CREATING TEXT FIELDS
You can use the form tools in Acrobat to add form fields to any document. Because
you’ve used the Create option to convert a document to an interactive PDF form, you’re
already in Form Editing mode. You can access this mode at any time by clicking Edit in
the Forms panel.
: If a document has been password-protected to prevent editing, you must know
the password to add or edit fields.
Each form field has a name, which should be unique and descriptive; you’ll use this
name when you collect and analyze data, but it does not appear on the form the user
sees. You can add tooltips and labels to help users understand how to complete form
If you used the autorecognition option mentioned above (Option 2), Acrobat found most
of the form fields in the document. The autorecognition should have already placed a
form field in for the Utility Account #, Name, Service Address, and Forwarding Address.
This is done because we included an underscore right after the text when we created the
form in Word.
The next form field we need place is the City, State, Zip Code, and Telephone number.
1. If you are not in Form Editing mode, click Tools > Create in the Forms panel.
2. Click on “Add New Field”
When clicking on Add New Field you are given several options (Text Field, Check
Box, Radio Button, List Box, Dropdown, Button, Digital Signature, and Barcode).
For this example, creating a form for the City; we will use the Text Field. Click on
3. Move your cursor with the blue box to the location just above the (CITY) text on
your form and click to place the field.
4. Give the Field box a name (e.g., City)
5. Click on “All Properties”
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