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Field Highlights and Layers

Community Beginner ,
Sep 18, 2020

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Is there any way to force a layer in an Acrobat form to appear over top of a field? 
It seems like the structure of an Acrobat form is that all fields appear over top of all image layers.

 

I want to create an instruction layer that appear when a button is clicked. I've positioned the instructions where they do not overlap the field and can be read as the user fills in the field. Of course, when fields are highlighted, other fields obscure the instructions. There are many fields on the form and the instructions are fairly extensive, so there is no space large enough where no fields would overlap.

 

I'd considered turning off highlighting for the user but that highlighting does help the user to know which of the fields they need to complete. I'd also considered a solution involving multiple pages with separate fields which poplulate a page with the complete form but that just seems cumbersome.

 

Any thoughts and ideas are welcome and appreciated.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by George_Johnson | Adobe Community Professional

Fields are a type of annotation, which are always placed above regular page contents, which is (mostly) what layers (OCGs) are. While it's possible to contruct a PDF that has fields on OCGs, the bahavior is unpredictable becuase it's not really supported.

 

Buttons can be set to appear above other fields. Acrobat/Reader implement the stacking order of fields as the same as the tab order. So you can use buttons to include the instructions. You can set a button icon to anything a PDF page can include as regular page contents (text, images, vectors) and they can be any size and location you want. Also, there's a better chance they will work with non-Adobe PDF viewers, unlike layers.

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Acrobat SDK and JavaScript, How to, PDF forms

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Field Highlights and Layers

Community Beginner ,
Sep 18, 2020

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Is there any way to force a layer in an Acrobat form to appear over top of a field? 
It seems like the structure of an Acrobat form is that all fields appear over top of all image layers.

 

I want to create an instruction layer that appear when a button is clicked. I've positioned the instructions where they do not overlap the field and can be read as the user fills in the field. Of course, when fields are highlighted, other fields obscure the instructions. There are many fields on the form and the instructions are fairly extensive, so there is no space large enough where no fields would overlap.

 

I'd considered turning off highlighting for the user but that highlighting does help the user to know which of the fields they need to complete. I'd also considered a solution involving multiple pages with separate fields which poplulate a page with the complete form but that just seems cumbersome.

 

Any thoughts and ideas are welcome and appreciated.

Adobe Community Professional
Correct answer by George_Johnson | Adobe Community Professional

Fields are a type of annotation, which are always placed above regular page contents, which is (mostly) what layers (OCGs) are. While it's possible to contruct a PDF that has fields on OCGs, the bahavior is unpredictable becuase it's not really supported.

 

Buttons can be set to appear above other fields. Acrobat/Reader implement the stacking order of fields as the same as the tab order. So you can use buttons to include the instructions. You can set a button icon to anything a PDF page can include as regular page contents (text, images, vectors) and they can be any size and location you want. Also, there's a better chance they will work with non-Adobe PDF viewers, unlike layers.

TOPICS
Acrobat SDK and JavaScript, How to, PDF forms

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Sep 18, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 18, 2020

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Fields are a type of annotation, which are always placed above regular page contents, which is (mostly) what layers (OCGs) are. While it's possible to contruct a PDF that has fields on OCGs, the bahavior is unpredictable becuase it's not really supported.

 

Buttons can be set to appear above other fields. Acrobat/Reader implement the stacking order of fields as the same as the tab order. So you can use buttons to include the instructions. You can set a button icon to anything a PDF page can include as regular page contents (text, images, vectors) and they can be any size and location you want. Also, there's a better chance they will work with non-Adobe PDF viewers, unlike layers.

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Sep 18, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Sep 18, 2020

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This seems like a great idea. One of the reasons I was using layers (from InDesign) was because of the control over the typography. But, if I can import an image into a button that essetnially looks the same, that should work. I'll give it a try.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 18, 2020

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Note that it doesn't need to be limited to images. You can create a PDF that only contains text and use it as the button icon. Or you can use any combination of text, vectors, and images.

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Sep 18, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Sep 18, 2020

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After some playing around, this feels like the right solution. Instead of using a button, though, I'm using an image field. It seems more logical (though it looks like they are, essentially, the same). Thank you.

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Sep 18, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 18, 2020

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For what it's worth, an image field is a button, but less a less flexible form.

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Sep 18, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Sep 18, 2020

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Got it. Thanks again for your suggestions. This will work just as I'd intended.

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 23, 2020

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Thanks again for the advice. This works great...sort of. Actually, everything works as it should. My problem is that I have many overlapping fields and trying to get fields to the front is a challenge. Changing Tab order does not seem to work. Cutting and pasting is helpful but because my "help" fields are fairly large, the process is clunky. Am I missing something easy? Im working in Acrobat DC.

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Sep 23, 2020 0