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Custom line spacing in a fillable text form field

Explorer ,
Mar 15, 2017 Mar 15, 2017

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My client has a word document with lines for applicants to print out and fill in, or "fill in digitally." Is there a way to create a text form field with "custom" line spacing? I know you can do it when you preview the document, but is there a way to actually "embed" that data in the text field so the user doesn't have to do it when filling out the form.

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Macintosh, PDF forms

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Beginner , Dec 12, 2018 Dec 12, 2018
I figured it out, this can not be done in indesign which is something they need to work on because it defeats the idea of making a nice designed interactive pdf form.In Acrobat Choose Prepare Form > Select the text field and right click > Select Properties Select "Options" tab and make sure Multi-Line and Allow Rich Text Formatting is selected > Close this windowExit out of Prepare Form modeAdd some text in the text field > Highlight it and press CTRL + e > this will open up text field propertie...

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Adobe Employee ,
Apr 06, 2017 Apr 06, 2017

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Hi ckim,

If you have attached picture or snapshot of the form. It could help us responding to your query.

I would suggest you may design a form using Microsoft word and then use prepare form mode of Acrobat. Using Acrobat you can place the field as required. 

Alternatively, you may use Adobe AEM designer formerly know LiveCycle Designer: http://tv.adobe.com/videos/livecycle-designer/

Let us know if you have further questions.

-Tariq Dar.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 07, 2018 Feb 07, 2018

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Has this option been fixed? It seems to be a no brainer that Adobe would include type size so why not then let the designer choose a fixed leading for a multi line response field?  It seems unfathomable that one can't just have the option of saved specific line spacing in the PDF form to send out. Is this to sell us on the LiveCycle? We don't fit LiveCycle parameters. We have warranty forms for a small business.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 07, 2018 Feb 07, 2018

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The PDF specification (not Adobe) provides default settings for the basic appearance parameters. Rich text is more complicated and I don't think it was part of the original PDF spec, so the defaults aren't there.

Thom Parker - Software Developer at PDFScripting
Use the Acrobat JavaScript Reference early and often

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 12, 2018 Feb 12, 2018

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Yes, my initial form is Rich Text in Illustrator and Acrobat DC.


I can't execute javascript. Neither Illustrator nor InDesign require me to know it in order to create and hold the leading I desire. The form leading was set in Illustrator CC 2017 holds. The issue is with the Acrobat fields created in Acrobat DC. I can not match the fields with the leading of the type created in Illustrator 2017 on the questionnaire. Also, the form has a paragraph field asking for customer input up to 750 words. Very difficult reading the responses with a decent size font but too tight leading as dictated by Acrobat's lack of allowing editable leading.

And if I understand you correctly, if someone is filling out our form and they delete their text and start over then the leading I set is gone???I have just not been able to set and stick with a preferred leading in the fillable fields of Acrobat DC. I searched the menus and find nothing. I was trying various possible work arounds to no avail.

Why have the developers of Acrobat not gotten in sync with the software engineers of Illustrator or InDesign on this as we are up to CC? I still find it unfathomable that the Adobe family of products is not consistent in allowing the  leading default to be changed by the form creator in Acrobat DC.

Many other great things about Acrobat Pro but this is on the level of novice software and another case of not actually having, or listening to feedback of it's users and what they need in their software.

I do thank you for responding and trying to help.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 12, 2018 Feb 12, 2018

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Your guess is as good as mine. Rich text in form fields has been the same in PDF for over a decade, and I've never heard anything about updating it.

Thom Parker - Software Developer at PDFScripting
Use the Acrobat JavaScript Reference early and often

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 27, 2019 Feb 27, 2019

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I have the same issue. Leading is changed and tested in Acrobat Pro and when opened in Reader, the leading is back to single line default. Seems like a bug but is extremely frustrating.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Feb 07, 2018 Feb 07, 2018

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Yes, there are a couple of ways to do this.

First the field must be set to be Rich Text

1. Enter some text and set the line spacing. Then delete all the text but on space.  This space will hold the formatting. This method is not reliable because if the user deletes the space they loose formatting.

2. Use JavaScript to set to line space formatting after the user has finished entering the text. A validate event works for this.

Thom Parker - Software Developer at PDFScripting
Use the Acrobat JavaScript Reference early and often

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New Here ,
Jul 04, 2018 Jul 04, 2018

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I found the answer in another thread. How do I change the line spacing in a multi-line text field on a PDF form? (on MAC)

Works on Windows as well.

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 11, 2018 Dec 11, 2018

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I'm having the same issue. The button text field options to modify fillable text field only allows the modification of font choice, font size and color (see image bottom right in button and forms section) but it doesn't allow leading options which is silly because that's a huge part of a document layout.

You'll see in Indesign my text field should allow for 4 lines of text to be filled in

Interactive Object 1.JPG

Yet when a person is filling it out the leading does not match the lines I have laid out so that when it prints the text will be on the lines.

Interactive Object 2.JPG

The other option is to have one text field and to carry it over like you would if you have two columns but that method also doesn't work because the text fields don't stay linked so upon export to pdf only the first line shows up as a typable field. 

Interactive Object 3.JPG

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Community Beginner ,
Dec 12, 2018 Dec 12, 2018

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I figured it out, this can not be done in indesign which is something they need to work on because it defeats the idea of making a nice designed interactive pdf form.

In Acrobat

  1. Choose Prepare Form > Select the text field and right click > Select Properties
  2. Select "Options" tab and make sure Multi-Line and Allow Rich Text Formatting is selected > Close this window
  3. Exit out of Prepare Form mode
  4. Add some text in the text field > Highlight it and press CTRL + e > this will open up text field properties > select more... now you can edit your paragraph spacing.

NOTE: The only thing I noticed is that the text field might not hold onto those properties if the text is deleted, it seems to have reverted back to the default spacing.

2nd option, make multiple text boxes and link them together, again this can not be done in indesign and only done in Acrobat

  1. Make multiple text boxes and name them properly. Example Text_1, Text_2, Text_#, etc
  2. Right click on the first text box and open properties menu
  3. In the "Options Tab" ensure "Scroll long text" is turned off
  4. Next open up the format tab > Select Format Category : Custom > and open up the Custome Keystroke Script: by selecting "edit"
  5. Enter this java script

if (event.willCommit || event.fieldFull) {

    this.getField("Text_2").setFocus();

}

Do this for all text boxes and make sure to write the name of next text field into the java script. This will tell the text fields that when one is full, to carry onto the next text field assigned.

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New Here ,
Aug 14, 2019 Aug 14, 2019

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Thank you! This works like a charm, with one HUGE ISSUE ... it drops a "letter" from the word when it tabs from one line to the next. Has anyone found a way to avoid this issue?

I wish Adobe would just program in a line spacing tool to the Text Field Properties, it's 2019 ... come on now!

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New Here ,
Mar 01, 2020 Mar 01, 2020

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AThompson3

Did you find a workaround on the dropped letter? I am having this problem too...

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New Here ,
Dec 31, 2019 Dec 31, 2019

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Hi Shannon, i would be appreciated if you can help provide custom code for wrapping text based on input string legnth instead of "event.Full" as stated above.

 

Thank you so much.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 19, 2020 Oct 19, 2020

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Has anyone been able figure out the orphan/widow fix on this script? I need to stop the missing letter when it drops to the next field and make it so the word isn't split between text fields. The following word below, "falling", is an example of what is happening when it drops to the next text field:

fall

ng

 

So I need it to just drop the whole word to the next field text when it runs out of space.

 

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New Here ,
Aug 12, 2021 Aug 12, 2021

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This java script is a huge help, but like others I still have the issue of cutting off a letter when it fills and moves to the next field. Is there any way to fix this? Thanks for this solution so far but really hoping someone knows how to get it working perfectly.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 12, 2021 Aug 12, 2021

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The answer it to use a script to capture the final keystroke and then transfer it to the next field. And there is no perfect setup for splitting text between fields.  In fact it's quite flawed.

 

The scripting model simply doesn't provide enough data, events, and controls to make text sharing between two fields work. For example, what happens when the user backspaces the second field to empty? You can't control how the cursor is placed in the text in a field, so you can't move the focus to the previous field without potentially destroying the current field text. What about deleting text from the first field, you can't reliably redistribute the text between the fields. And if the second field contains text, but you reenter text in the first field until it's full, you run the risk of overwritting the text in the second field. 

 

 

 

Thom Parker - Software Developer at PDFScripting
Use the Acrobat JavaScript Reference early and often

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New Here ,
Aug 12, 2021 Aug 12, 2021

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Wow! Thanks for your answer Thom! Sounds like we'll just have to live with the cutoff and hope either the individual inputting data catches it and corrects it by deleting the cutoff from field 1 and then re-starting it on field 2, or we're able to just figure out what they meant if they don't correct it. Not the end of the world for our application so this 95% solution will work for now. Thanks again!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 12, 2021 Aug 12, 2021

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LATEST

Just for your information. When the "event.fieldFull" property becomes true. The "event.changeEx" property contains the entire string the user tried to enter, including the cutoff characters. The "event.change" property is the entry cropped to what fits into the box. So the difference is the chopped off characters. In the case where the user is typing, "event.change" will be empty and "event.changeEx" will be a single character.

Thom Parker - Software Developer at PDFScripting
Use the Acrobat JavaScript Reference early and often

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New Here ,
Apr 11, 2020 Apr 11, 2020

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Hi Shannon, 

My version of adobe acrobat dc doesn't have a format tab. Trying to figure out how to tell the document to apply the javascipt  to line1 of the document.  I'm not at all familar with javascript.  What would I need to add to the script you provided? 

 

Many thanks,

Jenna

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Apr 11, 2020 Apr 11, 2020

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Click on Tools - Prepare Form and then click on "More" at the right side of the window and then on "Revert to Acrobat Form". In the future, do not tick the box that says "This document requires signatures" when creating the form.

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New Here ,
Jul 27, 2020 Jul 27, 2020

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I know this isn't exactly the solution people are looking for but I just figured I would let people know how I deal with this kind of issue when converting application forms that were originally made to be printed out and written in to fillable forms (my issue was the person I was helping make these for wanted them to still be able to be printed and written on for people who didnt want to do them online). If you are creating a form and want the line spacing to match the text form field this is what I do. All of this is done in Acrobat.

1. Choose Prepare Form > Insert the text box form field and resize it to span however many lines you need to cover.

2. Select "Options" tab and make sure Multi-Line and Allow Rich Text Formatting are both checked, and Scroll Long Text is unchecked.

3. Select "Appearance" tab and make sure the Font Size is set to anything other then Auto and select your Font, then close out of the properties box.

4. In the top right corner select "Preview" and type whatever you want into the text form you just created to fill the entire space, then once its full click "Edit" to go back to the "Prepare Form" section. (your text box should still be full)

5. Go to the "Tools" pane and select "Edit PDF"

6. Click on each individual line that you want to line up under the corresponding text and drag the line until its in the postion you want it to be in. (Do this for each line within the text field so it lines up directly under the text.

7. Go back to "Tools" and select "Prepare Form" again, go into "Preview" again and select all the text you had used to fill your text box and delete it.

8. Click "Edit" in the top right corner again to bring you back to "Prepare Form" and save your work.

This should at least set it up so the lines will be directly under the text whenever someone uses the fillable form fields to fill out whatever it is. Hope this helps someone for the time being. 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 21, 2020 Oct 21, 2020

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On Mac it's Cmnd E. But hey, it looks like everybody forgot it for a while. Camon, have You never wanted to change leading i text field? Screenshot 2020-10-21 at 14.48.52.png

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