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How to keep text boxes from merging together in Edit Mode

Explorer ,
Jun 07, 2018 Jun 07, 2018

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When in Edit mode, I am setting up a form and using text boxes.  All seems well.  After you save the form and go back into it, some of the textboxes have merged together.  Now, you can't move just one of them, they are all lumped together.

So, then, you start over again and make two separate text boxes, but then they end up merging together into one text box, again, after you close the form and come back to it, later.

Is there any way to turn off this merging thing, so that you don't have to keep separating the text boxes, so that you can manipulate them?

It seems to happen when text boxes are close to each other.

I would appreciate any help with this.

By the way, this was happening when I was using Acrobat XI Pro.  Now we are using Acrobat DC, and it still happens.

Thank you.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 07, 2018 Jun 07, 2018

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No, there's nothing that can be done about it. PDF files were never meant to be edited in such a way, so doing so is always going to be tricky.

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Explorer ,
Jun 07, 2018 Jun 07, 2018

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Okay; thank you very much.   : )

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New Here ,
Jun 09, 2021 Jun 09, 2021

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Actually - the answer provided is not a good answer for those of us creating a new fillable form.  Adobe should be able to resolve this problem, especially for those folks trying to create a new form from scratch.  The text boxes remain separate until you save the file, and then they begin to merge.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 09, 2021 Jun 09, 2021

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Adding text content to a PDF is not part of creating a fillable form.

Adding form fields and scripts to a PDF is part of creating a fillable form.

The content is created in a content creation application, like InDesign or Word.

 

 

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

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Explorer ,
Sep 23, 2021 Sep 23, 2021

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Looking at this post 2 years later and it's still relevant. 

The reality is some people want to make forms from scratch within Acrobat. Intuitively, it appears it should be possible based on the editing tools and how the bounding boxes for created text appears for the user. 

That users should be punished for following what appears to be an intuitive flow only to be frustrated and slowed by the bounding boxes merging their individually created text fields is very typical of adobe. For the life of me I can't understand why Adobe treats their customer base as if they're all extremely tech-savvy and tri-lingual withe coding languages. Most of your users don't know code, and want to go with what's easiest (or appears like it should be easiest). 

Best example of this was when they discontinued adobe Muse with no alternative for the community, yet didn't reduce the cost of their creative cloud suite despite removing a hugely valuable program. Adobe behaves as if they have a permanent monopoly. Eventually a viable alternative will emerge, and people will switch. I know I will.

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Community Expert ,
Sep 23, 2021 Sep 23, 2021

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Acrobat has it's place as part of the document creation process, and it's an important one. However, I believe there are already viable alternatives.  Some of the 3rd party PDF tool vendors have had the same idea you just voiced, and they had that idea years ago. However, none of those tools are as complete as Acrobat when it comes to PDF features, and none are as customizable with scripts and plug-ins as Acrobat. So it's a standard compromise.  You can have a mediocre all-in-one tool , or you can have a really good specialized tool. 

 

 

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

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Community Expert ,
Sep 23, 2021 Sep 23, 2021

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For the text you can use read-only form text fields.

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New Here ,
Aug 11, 2022 Aug 11, 2022

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There is kind of a way. You   can  convert  your  text  to  outlines,  so  you'll  be   able  to  move  them   around  without  affecting the   others.  Just   a  thought.

 

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Community Expert ,
Aug 11, 2022 Aug 11, 2022

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You'll be creating many more problems like that than solving them... If you wanted to insert a new character you'll have to manually rearrange the entire page to do so. Not to mention the file won't be searchable any longer, among many other issues.

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 02, 2023 Feb 02, 2023

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I REFUSE to accept the answer tht PDFs were never meant to be edited. In Adobe's eyes, maybe. But, there is absolutely no reason that a comprehensive file format such as PDF cannot be edited in a way that is both constructive and not MADDENING!

Adobe Acrobat is a pile of crap for an editor. Just because they think it work perfectly fine does not mean that it works perfectly fine.

 

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 02, 2023 Feb 02, 2023

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Adobe thinks in its perfect world that no one ever has to edit files that they do not have the original source document for and don't want to recreate documents that might be dozens or even hundreds of pages long, or even worse have fields in them that make the only option to edit being in Acrobat. It is like saying do it over or you'll be sorry.

 

I had hoped that when Adobe challenged Quark's monopoly for desktop publishing that they would learn from Quark's mistakes, but they have become far worse than Quark ever was.

 

Adobe and Apple are the Microsofts of the 90s. Their [cursing removed by moderator] doesn't stink and heaven forbid anyone dare challenge their omnipotence.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 02, 2023 Feb 02, 2023

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@Aspire to Inspire wrote:

Adobe thinks in its perfect world that no one ever has to edit files that they do not have the original source document for...


 

 

Maybe, but that's not how I see it. When I started using Acrobat with version 2.0, nothing could be edited or changed. Nothing. That didn't stop people from asking to be able to make edits or change a logo, but it was impossible then. The one and only way was to go to the source document and make a new PDF. Adobe listened to their users and over time has made amazing changes to the application that we never thought were possible in those early days.

 

The way best way to tell Adobe what you would like to see in future releases is not to gripe on the user forums (although you are absolutely welcome to!), but to post a feature request on User Voice. That is the platform the developers follow and where other like-minded users can upvote your idea. 

 

Adobe does not own PDF. They gave it away in 2008 and are now required to follow the ISO standard.

 

Jane

 

 

 

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Community Beginner ,
Feb 02, 2023 Feb 02, 2023

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NO APPLICATION. NONE. Should EVER re-write, re-build, re-work what a human being does, unless expressly given the option. I have spent the past day, trying to move fields and corresponding text around in a single pdf file. Every single time I thought I had it working th way I needed it to, it concatenated the text areas, rewriting formating, leading, etc. making it IMPOSSBLE to move those fields without having to break up each and every text box AGAIN! 

 

To state clearly for the record, Adobe:

quote

NO APPLICATION. Should EVER re-write, re-build, re-work what a human being does, unless expressly given the option to do so.


By @Aspire to Inspire



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Community Expert ,
Feb 02, 2023 Feb 02, 2023

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LATEST

@Aspire to Inspire wrote:

NO APPLICATION. NONE. Should EVER re-write, re-build, re-work what a human being does, unless expressly given the option.


 

This comment brought me back to the old days when when I would print a ream or more of paper and use we would use couriers and overnight mail. Then FAX machines were invented did wonders for smaller jobs, and finally we had Acrobat that was exactly like a printed document except we could send it electronically. This movie shows you what the world was like in those days and how we had to work:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qRrpyY8KPWE&t=11s

 

I'm not saying you don't have a good idea, but I am saying that telling other users on a user-to-user forum does not get the word to the Adobe Acrobat developers.

 

For my part, I create and design PDF forms in Adobe InDesign, then export to PDF and avoid all the frustration that you experience. All my frames stay were I put them and none auto-merge. I've been doing this since CS6. I can use Paragraph styles for text and Object styles for buttons and checkboxes. Some fields need a little tweaking in Acrobat, but not much.

 

Jane

 

Funny marketing video from Adobe Systems introducing Adobe Acrobat & Adobe PDF in 1993. Depicts a typical "day in the life" of an office worker.

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Community Expert ,
Feb 02, 2023 Feb 02, 2023

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quote

I REFUSE to accept the answer tht PDFs were never meant to be edited. In Adobe's eyes, maybe. But, there is absolutely no reason that a comprehensive file format such as PDF cannot be edited in a way that is both constructive and not MADDENING!

Adobe Acrobat is a pile of crap for an editor. Just because they think it work perfectly fine does not mean that it works perfectly fine.

 


By @Aspire to Inspire

 

I think you are missing the fact that Adobe create the PDF specification. So they have a pretty good idea about what they meant it to be 😉  Which is electronic paper. You don't edit your paper documents do you?  You can mark them up, you can cut them up and paste the pieces on to a new sheet of paper, but you can't actually edit them can you? If you want to change a paper document you have to go back to the original electronic file and change it, then re-print. 

So this is the situation with PDF files, except you can make some small changes.  And as I stated earlier, there are other tools out there that are setup to "Edit" a PDF. You are just beating your head up against a wall trying to get Acrobat to do something it's not. And for no good reason. Using a real content creation tool is not a hardship. So don't blame Acrobat, you are the one whose trying to use the wrong tool for the job.  You only have yourself to blame for your failure. 

 

 

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

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