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Tab Order Changes After Switching to Preview

Explorer ,
Aug 16, 2016 Aug 16, 2016

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Hello,

I am using Adobe Acrobat Pro DC to create numerous PDF forms for my company. A good majority of my work day involves working with Acrobat. After upgrading to DC recently, my tab order NEVER stays put. I'll spend 10 minutes arranging a section of fields, then as soon as I hit "Preview", the order is completely screwed up. Returning to the Edit screen shows the order in shambles again. So I spend another 10 minutes re-arranging the same section, and hit Preview again. The order has scattered once again. It usually takes 3 or 4 tries of doing this until the tab order is "locked" in place and results in me wasting an ungodly amount of time.

I do have my tab order set to Manual and have unchecked the "Automatically adjust tab order when modifying fields" box in preferences. This has done absolutely nothing.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated! I am incredibly sick of dragging fields around when my time could spend elsewhere.

Thank you!!

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Acrobat SDK and JavaScript

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LEGEND ,
Aug 16, 2016 Aug 16, 2016

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What happens if you don't use preview and instead just close form editing mode? If you enable keyboard accelerators in preferences, you can toggle between form editing and normal mode by pressing the A key.

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Explorer ,
Aug 16, 2016 Aug 16, 2016

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That seemed to be working and I had very high hopes that it fixed the problem, but alas, it did not. Still ordering and reordering over and over again with no rhyme or reason. I feel like I'm stuck in a time warp.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 16, 2016 Aug 16, 2016

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Strange. I'll do some testing to see if I can find anything useful to report.

What OS are you using?

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Explorer ,
Aug 17, 2016 Aug 17, 2016

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I'm using OS X El Capitan 10.11.3. I've tried toggling the "Automatically adjust tab order" preference but that just made it worse 😕

Can't tell you how much I appreciate the help! Did you discover anything in your testing?

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LEGEND ,
Aug 17, 2016 Aug 17, 2016

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In case it wasn't clear, I meant for you to turn it on and then turn it off.

I'm using Windows and do not see that same behavior. I'm not able to test on a Mac, unfortunately. There are a number of forms and JavaScript related problems that seem to only occur on a Mac. Consider posting a bug report and it should get addressed.

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Community Expert ,
Aug 16, 2016 Aug 16, 2016

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When you're re-ordering the tab order, are you dragging multiple fields at the same time up or down the list?

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Explorer ,
Aug 17, 2016 Aug 17, 2016

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Either/Or... although I usually try to do one at a time as I have a ridiculous amount of fields and Acrobat tends to get overwhelmed & crash if I try to make it do too much

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Community Expert ,
Aug 17, 2016 Aug 17, 2016

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It's a huge pain in the neck, I know, but don't drag multiple fields at once. If you do, their internal order will be reversed when you drop them.

So if you have this order:

Field4

Field1

Field2

Field3

Field5

And you select the three middle fields and then drag them above the first one, the result will be:

Field3

Field2

Field1

Field4

Field5

The internal order of the group of the three fields you moved is reversed. You might not see it right away, but if you save the file, close it and then re-open it you'll see that that's what happened.

Instead, drag Field4 to the bottom of the list and drop it under Field3, to get the desired order.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 17, 2016 Aug 17, 2016

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I'm having trouble getting Adobe to assign a high priority to this particular bug, which has been present since this the ability to select and move multiple fields simultaneously was introduced with Acrobat 11. If you (or anyone else) have not already posted a bug report, please consider doing so.

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 19, 2016 Oct 19, 2016

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Dear George, The issue as observed by you (and others) is already noted in our backlog and we have our engineering investigating already. The work around here is that – instead of moving multiple selected fields in fields panel to re-order tab order, please try single fields move action. Although not an ideal situation in case wherein you have many number of fields to re-order, but I hope it helps. We might have a fix for the issue in upcoming future releases.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 16, 2016 Aug 16, 2016

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As a test, try toggling the "Automatically adjust tab order" preference to see if this behavior persists.

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LEGEND ,
Aug 16, 2016 Aug 16, 2016

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Make sure you have updated your version of Acrobat.

I would save the form prior to opening "Preview". This will write the current file in memory to your disk drive. Now try Preview. If it changes the tab order, close the open PDF without saving and then open saved disk file.

If there is still an issue, I would run the "Repair" option under Acrobat's Help.

If this still persist report as a bug.

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Explorer ,
Aug 17, 2016 Aug 17, 2016

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I am using the current version and get automatic updates. Unfortunately, saving doesn't do anything to help... which is very confusing. I have not yet tried repairing but that will be my next attempt to fix this silly problem. Thank you for the advice!

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New Here ,
Oct 18, 2016 Oct 18, 2016

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I am having this identical issue. I will happily report as a bug; can someone please direct me how to do that? Sorry, not a regular Adobe user.

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 19, 2016 Oct 19, 2016

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Dear Jennifer The issue as observed by you (and others) is already noted in our backlog and we have our engineering investigating already. The work around here is that – instead of moving multiple selected fields in fields panel to re-order tab order, please try single fields move action. Although not an ideal situation in case wherein you have many number of fields to re-order, but I hope it helps. We might have a fix for the issue in upcoming future releases.

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New Here ,
Jan 23, 2017 Jan 23, 2017

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Hey JoeAlosa and all,

Has this issue ever been resolved?

I just started this job and what it entails is the same as JoeAlosa. I have several different forms to create with text fields. Some with 100 text fields, some with only 5, depending on the project. The tabs have to be in a specific order for the end user. I set this in InDesign CC17 along with whatever needs to be set in the Buttons tab, then I Export as an Interactive PDF. When I bring it into Acrobat Pro DC, tab order changes. Show Tab Numbers and Text Field order are totally out of wack. I tried all your suggestions below. Nothing works other than manually moving each Text Field to its proper order. Again the problem with this, is having a 100 or more text fields to move while working with multiple pages with these text fields, just as JoeAlosa had also said.

I'm working with Windows 10, InDesign CC17, Acrobat Pro DC

Please help. We can't possibly be the only two people having this issue.

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New Here ,
May 17, 2018 May 17, 2018

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Hi all,

I'm having the same issue. We are working with >30 forms a day with around 1000 text fields and check boxes per form.. the manually replacing them is doing my head in. Only thing that seems to work is manually re-ordering them one by one instead of per group.

Hope Adobe has a solution?

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