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How do you uncheck a check box?

Community Beginner ,
Oct 01, 2016 Oct 01, 2016

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I have an interactive form downloaded from a bank -- and the form has a lot of Yes & No check-boxes.

I don't know if this is typical, but whenever I click on a box to get it filled in, I cannot figure out how to clear that box.  I can check another box and that works fine, but just can't clear (uncheck) a box I have already checked (other than an undo).

But undo's are not good if you decide later on, while filling out the form, that you want/need to in-check the box.

ron in round rock

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

LEGEND , Oct 01, 2016 Oct 01, 2016

It sounds like they are radio buttons, not check boxes. Radio buttons cannot normally be deselected so that none in the group is selected, and they can be set up to look like a typical check box (square) instead of a typical radio button (circular).

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LEGEND ,
Oct 01, 2016 Oct 01, 2016

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It sounds like they are radio buttons, not check boxes. Radio buttons cannot normally be deselected so that none in the group is selected, and they can be set up to look like a typical check box (square) instead of a typical radio button (circular).

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 01, 2016 Oct 01, 2016

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George- Thanks for the help.  Yes, they may very well be Radio buttons, since that is the way they seem to operate.  Some places in the form have several choices, but they just want you to select one -- but most of the check boxes are just Yes / No answers.

But the form is complicated (already kicked back once) -- and my problem is, what if I mistakenly click on the wrong check box and I want to take it back (like answer a question on the form, someplace on the form that does not apply - like mistakenly answering a question in the citizenship and Resident Alien section) -- I think you can understand the situation.

Anyway, are you saying there is no way to clear the check box, once it has been checked?

ron in round rock

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LEGEND ,
Oct 01, 2016 Oct 01, 2016

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Yes, it sounds like it wasn't designed well, so you're stuck with what you have. You'll just have to be careful.

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Community Beginner ,
Oct 02, 2016 Oct 02, 2016

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George-

OK, thanks.  I take it that your "Yes" was not only acknowledging that the form was not well-designed, but also by "Yes", you are also saying there is no way to clear the check box if the Yes/No answers to questions were implemented in the document as Radio buttons.

Radio buttons are great for "must answer" questions, but not so great in a lot of other cases, like the ones I have mentioned.  And my criticism still stands --- sound like a little bit of short-coming in Adobe Acrobat's design not to take this situation into account.

I will mark your first response as "Correct Answer", assuming that there is no fix for this issue (Bad Adobe).

Thanks for the help.

ron in round rock

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Community Expert ,
Oct 02, 2016 Oct 02, 2016

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It's possible to clear the value of a radio-button group using a simple script, without clearing the entire form.

And as mentioned, this is by design, it's not a mistake. And you'll see the same thing in any other application/web-site that uses radio-buttons.

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New Here ,
Jun 13, 2020 Jun 13, 2020

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Well, what's the point of making it "by design?" To me it seems awfully unconventional. 

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Community Expert ,
Jun 14, 2020 Jun 14, 2020

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That's how radio-buttons work, in any applicaiton, even if it's not to your liking.

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New Here ,
Jun 24, 2020 Jun 24, 2020

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I disagree, I have been a form builder for many years. InfoPath for example gave you the option to "clear" selections from radio buttons and to mark one by default. You can have the form loaded with NO option selected and then get prompted when a radio button was left "blank". I agree with the original submitter, this is bad on Adobe's part for not having an option for this.

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New Here ,
Jun 24, 2020 Jun 24, 2020

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I found an option, you exit "Form Editing", then under "Forms" you will see an option the says "Clear Form". This will remove ALL entered options to include Radio Buttons. Hope this helps

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New Here ,
Jun 25, 2020 Jun 25, 2020

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FYI - Just in case someone else is having an issue finding "under Forms" as listed above, I had to type "clear form" in the search window on the side of the PDF document. This gave me an option to clear the form that was easy to select and worked.

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New Here ,
May 29, 2024 May 29, 2024

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LATEST

I'm here from the future, thanks for your help

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New Here ,
Oct 05, 2020 Oct 05, 2020

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These are not Radio Buttons if they can be left blank, which is the case. You can complete the form without checking either of the boxes, but once you check one you can only change to check another, not uncheck the one. This is clearly a defect and should be addressed.

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New Here ,
Nov 17, 2020 Nov 17, 2020

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You can add a "Clear Form" button to restore the radio buttons and other fields to an original state as desired. It is an option under the button item. After the button has been added to the page, select the action on the Actions tab of the Button Properties. To customize, select Add... after selecting the Reset a Form action and select/unselect the fields to reset. Don't forget to add a label on the Options tab or your button will be blank.

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New Here ,
Apr 20, 2021 Apr 20, 2021

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The easiest way for the user to deal with this problem is to delete the problem page and insert a clean version of it.  This can be accomplished by either extracting the unchecked page from the original version of the document, saving it as a separate file, and then inserting it, OR extracting the checked version of the page and saving it as a separate file where you can clear all the fields, then inserting it back into the document that was in process.  This way you don't clear all the fields in the whole document.

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New Here ,
Jun 18, 2021 Jun 18, 2021

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Ctrl+Z will uncheck the box or radio button and then, you can go on your way.

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New Here ,
Sep 28, 2021 Sep 28, 2021

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You rock!!! Finally a person that has the answer that I was looking for. THANK YOU!!

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New Here ,
Dec 13, 2021 Dec 13, 2021

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Wow.  Thank you!  After lots of youtube videos and web searches for a solution, you provided me with the fix!!

 

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New Here ,
Feb 18, 2022 Feb 18, 2022

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I have the same kind of problem but CTRL+Z on a Mac does not solve the problem.  I am completing a form (It's the HMRC form IHT400).  Page 5 contains a lot of Yes or No square check-boxes.  You should only click yes or no, and normally cannot click both.  However on a few of the questions I checked the wrong box, and saved the form.  when I retrieved the form, I could change the checked box from "no" to "yes" by firstly clicking on the "no" to un-check it, and then clicking on the "yes", but when I save and retrieve the document, the "yes" has changed back to "no".  I have tried unchecking both boxes (can do), saving, and retrieving.  When retrieved, both boxes are still unchecked, but it still will not let me check the "yes" box.  I can only check the "no" box, but when I do this, a tick appears in both "yes" and "no".  (both are checked!).  Then I can Uncheck the "no", but saving and retrieving it brings me back to the situation where neither box is ticked, and I still can't seem to save the form with the "yes" box ticked.   Completely clearing the form is an unappetising option, as it is long and complicated.  It's hard to complete without making mistakes.  No matter what combination of check-boxes I chose, (both ticked, neither ticked, only "yes" ticked, or only "no" ticked), there was nothing I could do to save the doscument in a way where the "yes" box is ticked when retrieved.

 

I found a kind-of work-around for me (it may not work for everyone - expecially if you don't have the option of replacing the PDF document with another "non-editable" version of the same PDF).  I got the document into the right format ("yes" boxes ticked), and then PRINTED it as a new PDF file.  (This is not the same as SAVE AS -which does not work).   Of course, once printed as a PDF, none of my answers can be edited anymore.  But that's fine for me.  To print a PDF document as a PDF file, you may need extra software such as "PDF Printer".  

 

 

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Guest
Mar 16, 2022 Mar 16, 2022

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cmd+z (i didn't read your whole thing but works for mac generally)

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