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Sorting the tab order with many (500) form fields -- is there a better way to do this?

Explorer ,
Nov 18, 2022 Nov 18, 2022

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I have a PDF with about 500 form fields and need to adjust the tab order on occasion.  Most often this is to move a new form field (which gets created at the bottom of the tab-ordered list) relative to another form field somewhere else in the list.  Somtimes it's to re-arrange the relative order of two arbitrary form fields each of which can be anywhere in the list.


I'll use "target form field" to describe where I want my other form field (the "dragged form field") to end up, typically either right above or right below the "target form field".


I try to use the form field slide bar in the right pane to figure out where the two form fields are relative to each other but, with 500 form fields, the position of the slide bar doesn't provide enough resolution to tell me where each one is.  If I drag the "dragged form field" too fast towards the "target form field", I can miss (skip over) the "target form field".  If I drag the "dragged form field" too slow, it takes forever.  My document organization doesn't allow organizing the form fields by row, by column, etc.  And all of the form fields are stacked on top of each other so I can't read their numbers.  So, the process I'm using is as follows:


1. Organize the form field list alphabetically and find & highlight the "target form field".

2. Change the list to tab order (the "target form field" will still be highlighted), and observe visually where the "target form field" is positioned in the list of 500 form fields.  This position can be determined approximately by looking at the form field slide bar in the right pane.

3. Go back to an alphabetical view and find & highlight the "dragged form field".

4. Change the list to tab order in which case the "dragged form field" will still be highlighted.  

5. Start dragging the "dragged form field" up or down the form field list to where I remember the "target form field" was located, being careful not to drag it too slow or too fast.


Is there a better way to do this??   It would really be helpful if the form fields in the right pane were numbered when organized by their tab order.  Then you would know EXACTLY where the "dragged form field" is relative to the "target form field".  Absent this, is there a better way to do this than I've described above?  The process I'm using is very time-consuming and error-prone.


Thanks for anyone's thoughts on this.




P.S.  In my application, most of my form fields are text boxes and the tab order is used to determine their visibility relative to each other as they are displayed.  Thus, it's not a traditional tab-over-to-the-next-box type of application.

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