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Form Field Annotations

Form field annotations allow the creation of interactive PDF forms which consist of a collection of fields for gathering information interactively from the user. PDF documents may contain an arbitrary number of fields appearing on any combination of pages, all of which together make up a single interactive form spanning the entire document.

Field names: Field names are used to allow multiple form field annotation objects to be independent of each other: form fields with the same field name always have the same text associated with that field name. When text is entered into one of the objects, the text associated with that field name is changed in all objects. To ensure unique text for a form field, you must give it a unique field name.

Form fields can have a maximum number of characters allowed in the field. By default form fields are set a Maximum Length value of 0, which indicates there is no limit. Any positive value will be used as the upper limit of allowable number of characters in the field.

It is possible to specify the font and font size and text alignment individually for each form field.

When a form field is being edited, the [Tab] key will tab to the next field in the form. The tab order between form fields can be controlled by dragging any field’s yellow sequence number (visible when in Edit Dynamic Annotations mode) to another field. This will swap the order of those two fields. The Clear All Form Fields menu item under the Dynamic Annotations menu is useful to clear any and all text currently in form fields in the document, prior to exporting the document to PDF.

Form fields can be reset with a reset form action. Usually this action is assigned to a button widget annotation that is appropriately named.

Currently (up to Mac OS X 10.5.x) a limitation in the system software prevents filled out forms to be exported to PDF while retaining the data entered by the user. To retain the data you need to print to PDF. This option is issuing the print command and then, in the print dialog, clicking the [PDF] button at the bottom left and choosing the option Save as PDF. This limitation is likely to be lifted in the future. It is however currently possible to save a filled out form as a regular PDFClerk Pro document, and open it later with user entered data intact. This enables the filling out of a form over the course of several session.

If you want to highlight a form field annotation by putting a frame around it you can do so quickly by selecting the annotation, then bringing up the contextual menu of the view and selecting on of the options under Frame Selected Annotations.

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Last updated on June 22, 2015

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