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Why can't I change the format in multiple fields?

New Here ,
May 23, 2018

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Why can't I select a number of form fields and change all their formatting at one time? For example, change a column of text fields to number fields. As it is, I have to change one field at a time. It's laborious, to put it mildly. I understand that it's probably easier to start from the beginning by defining the field as a number. However, when I use "Use current properties as new default", it still requires that I still have to go back to each one and change the decimal places.

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Why can't I change the format in multiple fields?

New Here ,
May 23, 2018

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Why can't I select a number of form fields and change all their formatting at one time? For example, change a column of text fields to number fields. As it is, I have to change one field at a time. It's laborious, to put it mildly. I understand that it's probably easier to start from the beginning by defining the field as a number. However, when I use "Use current properties as new default", it still requires that I still have to go back to each one and change the decimal places.

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May 23, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 23, 2018

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One can use JavaScript to access each field in turn and and change the properties of the individual field. Or when I am creating a column(s) of fields I create one row with the formatting I want. If some calculation is required, then I have to create a custom calculation that can determine the row to be processed and adjust the field names as necessary. And then I highlight the row and use "Create multiple copies" form the context menu, right mouse click.

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May 23, 2018 1
New Here ,
May 23, 2018

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Apparently, I wasn't clear. I apologize. I'm new at this. What I want to do is take a column of text fields and change ALL of them from none or text to the number format without having to do it one field at a time. I want to select the entire column and change ALL the fields from one format to another. When I try "Use current properties as new default" in an attempt to create the number fields with NO decimal places, it keeps defaulting to two decimal places which means that I still have to go back and change all of them one field at a time. It's the effectively same amount of effort that it takes to change the format and decimal places one at a time and I've gained nothing. I don't understand why something like this can't simply be done on an entire group of fields.

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May 23, 2018 0
New Here ,
May 23, 2018

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I read your explanation of the Java script and it's what I want. However, there's just one of  me and it's not something that I can justify paying $60 to solve. I only have this problem a few times a year. Nonetheless, thanks for your help.

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May 23, 2018 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 23, 2018

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If you plan your work and work your plan, then life becomes easier. You did not do enough research on how to create forms.

There is also an option on the context menu, right mouse click, "Use Current Options as New Defaults"  which will keep all the settings for the selected field when one selects the field to be used as the model for the defaults.

You do not need to buy the JavaScript code. You can write your own code and run it from the JavaScript console. JavaScript is all plain text and Adobe and Mozilla provide free access to the JavaScript documentation.

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May 23, 2018 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
May 24, 2018

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I don't understand why something like this can't simply be done on an entire group of fields.

It's often the abandonment of the "wrong" question that brings the right answer:

1. Delete all the text fields in the column, except the first one.

2. Set this field as required (Format : Number or whatever).

3. Give it a name that make sense.

4. Right-clic upon this field and choose : Create Multiple Copies.

5. Enjoy.

It should take less than 30 seconds.

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May 24, 2018 3
New Here ,
Mar 19, 2020

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I've seen a few posts showing how to do this on a specified array where you have to type in each field. Is there a way to call the current selection as a variable instead of having to manually type them in?

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Mar 19, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 23, 2020

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Unfortunately no. 

 

What you can do is write a script to find and set the formatting. 

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Mar 23, 2020 0
New Here ,
Mar 24, 2020

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Thom, can you offer any assistance on that script? I'm new to Javascript and don't fully grasp the concept yet.

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Mar 24, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Mar 24, 2020

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Yes,  field formatting is performed with a script. The predifined formats in the field property dialog are actually done with a script. So all you need to do is identify the script for the formating you want. Then use the setAction() function on the field object to set the script. 

 

Do to do this you need two things, the names of the fields to be modified, and the script for the type of formatting.  So please describe the what it is you want the fields to do. Are the data entry fields? or fields that just display a value (such as a calculated field)?  

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Mar 24, 2020 0
New Here ,
Sep 10, 2020

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Thanks for providing a useful solution and not belittling the original question. 

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Sep 10, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
May 23, 2018

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You can, using a script, like this one I've developed:

http://try67.blogspot.com/2012/06/acrobat-apply-format-to-multiple-fields.html

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May 23, 2018 0