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Check Mark reappears in PDF Checkbox after exporting

Explorer ,
May 07, 2019 May 07, 2019

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I've noticed that no matter how you change the normal-on appearance of a checkbox in InDesign, once it is in the PDF and selected, the selection is indicated with a check mark. Is there any way for the PDF to retain the appearance of the normal-on state that you create, rather than revert back to the check mark?

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Community Expert , May 08, 2019 May 08, 2019

Hi Joel:

Yes, I can confirm that I keep Show border hover color off—I'm not a fan.

Once I turned it on, I do see the black checkmark flashing by. So strange.

May-08-2019 17-40-47.gif

It doesn't do it when Show border hover is off:

May-08-2019 17-45-37.gif

~Barb

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Community Expert ,
May 07, 2019 May 07, 2019

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Hi JoePeg:

Be sure to uncheck the checkbox for Selected by Default.

Screen Shot 2019-05-07 at 5.27.35 PM.png

Off:

Screen Shot 2019-05-07 at 5.28.16 PM.png

On:

Screen Shot 2019-05-07 at 5.28.54 PM.png

~Barb

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Explorer ,
May 07, 2019 May 07, 2019

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Hi Barb,

Thank you for your response. And thanks for your use of images. Very helpful.

I don't think my initial question was as clear as it could have been. Thanks to you, I'm going to include some images to help focus in on what I'm asking.

I've created a custom red "X" as the glyph I prefer when any item is selected in a list. "Selected by default" is unchecked.

Screen Shot 1.png

When I export the PDF and it opens, I see what I expect — the highlighted boxes. When I make my first selection, I see the box with the red X.

Screen Shot 2.pngScreen Shot 3.png

However, when I tab to, or click to make the selection of the next box, the red x goes away and a check mark appears instead.

And that continues to be the case after I leave each checkbox to move on to other selections.

Screen Shot 4.png       

Is there any way to direct the red X (or any other designated art) to remain in place as the indicator of a selection in the PDF,  rather than reverting to the check mark image?

Thanks again for your help!

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Community Expert ,
May 07, 2019 May 07, 2019

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Hi JoePeg:

Yes, we can figure this out, but I don’t see where the check is coming from. Can you scroll down and show the other appearance states?

~Barb

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Explorer ,
May 08, 2019 May 08, 2019

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Hi Barb,

Thanks for your help!

Here are 2 images showing the appearance states of my custom check box.

Appearance States 1 0f 2.pngAppearance States 2 0f 2.png

I wonder if there is some default coding in Acrobat that changes check boxes back to the solitary black check mark after the user moves to ensuing selections? Acrobat behaves the same way on the check boxes created from the InDesign Sample Buttons and Forms palate.

Thanks again!

Joel

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Community Expert ,
May 08, 2019 May 08, 2019

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Hi Joel:

I just keystroked a new checkbox and it works like it is supposed to. I'm going to document the process below (but note that my panel looks just like yours).

1.) Draw a new frame.

Screen Shot 2019-05-08 at 10.59.44 AM.png

2.) Set Type to Check Box. The black arrow appears.
Screen Shot 2019-05-08 at 10.59.57 AM.png

3.) A button is a group, so select the frame inside and delete it.
Screen Shot 2019-05-08 at 11.00.06 AM.png

4.) Replace with the custom image.

Screen Shot 2019-05-08 at 11.00.22 AM.png

5.) Check the [Normal Off] state. It should be empty. All other states are inactive.
Screen Shot 2019-05-08 at 11.00.28 AM.png

6.) Save as an Interactive PDF. The check box is empty because Selected by Default was off.
Screen Shot 2019-05-08 at 11.01.00 AM.png

7.) Clicking activates the [Normal On] state. It remains in place when I mouse away

Screen Shot 2019-05-08 at 11.01.03 AM.png

Can you make a new checkbox following these instructions?

FYI, I'm using InDesign 14.0.2 and Acrobat Continuous 2019.10.20099.

~Barb

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Explorer ,
May 08, 2019 May 08, 2019

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Hi Barb,

Thanks again for your help!

We are on the same page with app versions.

I created the checkbox step-by-step following your instructions. When I clicked to activate the on-state, the correct image appeared. It stayed in place when I moused off. But if I save the document, close it, and reopen it - guess who's back! Yep, the default checkmark.

Also if I have more than one checkboxes, when I click the first and mouse-off, the correct image stays. But the moment I click the second checkbox, the default checkmark reappears in the first.

Would you mind checking your PDF test file to see if you had the same result as I'm describing. If it re-opens with the red x, then I've obviously missed something in my execution of your instructions.

Thanks!

Joel

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Community Expert ,
May 08, 2019 May 08, 2019

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Hi Joel:

I'm still not encountering the behavior you are describing. To confirm:

  1. With the single checkbox, I can check it off or on, mouse away, close and reopen in either state and the selected state remains.
  2. When I add a second checkbox, I can check either one, the other is deactivated and the state remains when I mouse away or save and close and reopen.

Here are my test files, if you would like to take a look: Dropbox - checkboxes - Simplify your life

~Barb

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Explorer ,
May 08, 2019 May 08, 2019

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Hi Barb,

Thank you for the test file. With your help, I think I have finally determined what was going on.

When I opened your document in Acrobat, I saw the dreaded checkmark instead of your custom art. So my first thought was that maybe the behavior was caused by a Preference setting. I opened Acrobat Preferences and looked at the Forms prefs.

Under the Highlight Color section, the "Show border hover color for fields" was enabled in my preferences. I turned that off. Low and behold, both your test file and mine behaved the way we intended.

Acrobat Forms Prefs.png

I think this may have been my issue. Would you mind confirming that suspicion by looking at your preferences and verifying that your Highlight Color option is deselected.

THANK YOU for all your help!

Joel

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Community Expert ,
May 08, 2019 May 08, 2019

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Hi Joel:

Yes, I can confirm that I keep Show border hover color off—I'm not a fan.

Once I turned it on, I do see the black checkmark flashing by. So strange.

May-08-2019 17-40-47.gif

It doesn't do it when Show border hover is off:

May-08-2019 17-45-37.gif

~Barb

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Community Expert ,
May 08, 2019 May 08, 2019

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This is the normal behavior of button appearance (applied in Indesign) and check box style (applied in Acrobat) with the interactions of selecting the checkbox, and then rolling off the button in Acrobat.

About the only thing you might consider: In Acrobat, change the check box style to a "Cross" (which is an X) from the "Check". The final result of the X will resemble the initial appearance.

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Community Expert ,
May 08, 2019 May 08, 2019

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Hi Joel:

I just created new checkboxes entirely in Acrobat (right column, below) . No mysterious checkmarks, which makes me think this is an InDesign issue as opposed to an Acrobat issue. You can report it as a bug here: Adobe InDesign Feedback. Be sure to reference this thread.

~Barb

May-08-2019 17-52-37.gif

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Explorer ,
May 08, 2019 May 08, 2019

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Hi Barb,

Thanks so much for your help. We have resolved my initial mystery to my satisfaction.

I replicated your diamond checkbox in Acrobat with the same result that you had attained. Thanks for the neat GIF figures! I agree that something gets lost in the translation from InDesign to Acrobat. The downside of creating the checkboxes in Acrobat is that it is much less convenient when you are creating a document that's several pages long with quite a few selections to be made per page — not to mention the limitation of the variety of checkbox graphics in Acrobat. 

I will report the bug to InDesign referencing this thread.

In past projects, I've created forms for which the appearance of the mundane checkmarks have been sufficient. I'm about to begin a series of forms for a new client whose branding is more sophisticated, and I needed options to reflect that sophistication. I'm now confident that I'm adequately equipped to accomplish that end result.

Thanks again for your insights and assistance!

Joel

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Community Expert ,
May 08, 2019 May 08, 2019

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Always happy to help, Joel!

~Barb

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Community Expert ,
May 13, 2019 May 13, 2019

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JoePeg  wrote

… I will report the bug to InDesign referencing this thread. …

Hi Joel,

best come back here after reporting the bug and post the link to the report so that others can vote for fixing it.

Thanks,
Uwe

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Explorer ,
May 15, 2019 May 15, 2019

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The bug post is now available for all who would like to vote in favor of fixing it.

Generic check mark reappears in PDF check box after exporting to Acrobat Pro – Adobe InDesign Feedba...

Thanks!

Joel

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Community Expert ,
May 15, 2019 May 15, 2019

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Voted!

~Barb

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Explorer ,
May 15, 2019 May 15, 2019

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Thanks, Barb!

Joel

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Community Expert ,
May 16, 2019 May 16, 2019

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IMO, this is not a bug, more of an oversight of extending show/hide appearance functionality to form elements... which really is not needed when the PDF viewed in Acrobat produces the end result.

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Guide ,
May 16, 2019 May 16, 2019

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JoePeg

Be aware that "Highlight existing fields" feature is an application pref, not a document one.

Meaning that you might have it disabled and that an other user might have it on.

Have a look at this thread: https://forums.adobe.com/message/10205359#10204847 for a javascript trick.

Also please reade Uwe's comment on another similar thread: Re: Check boxes: checkmark resizes on click away

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Community Expert ,
May 16, 2019 May 16, 2019

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Hi vinny38:

That's a good tip. And I received a notice this morning that​ amaarora is taking a look.

~Barb

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Explorer ,
May 16, 2019 May 16, 2019

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Thanks vinny38, I'm aware of this. I wonder whether Adobe might consider allowing the forms designer to make this choice of a document specific highlight pref in the properties of the Acobat's Prepare Form panel.

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