Add an interactive text box with instructions to be overwritten

Feb 10, 2020

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I am creating an interactive PDF form in InDesign and would like the text box to have instructions that are then overwritten. The text box should read [Instert Name of Training/Requirement]. Then when the user fills out the form this text will be overwritten with the correct information. I have a text box, with this text in it. It is set to a text button with the basic defaults. When I export to PDF the text box is blanc. I don't want to have these instructions remain on the form, and I don't want them to only appear on roll over or click. 

Is there a way this can be done?

Latest version of InDesign. 

Thanks

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Add an interactive text box with instructions to be overwritten

Feb 10, 2020

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I am creating an interactive PDF form in InDesign and would like the text box to have instructions that are then overwritten. The text box should read [Instert Name of Training/Requirement]. Then when the user fills out the form this text will be overwritten with the correct information. I have a text box, with this text in it. It is set to a text button with the basic defaults. When I export to PDF the text box is blanc. I don't want to have these instructions remain on the form, and I don't want them to only appear on roll over or click. 

Is there a way this can be done?

Latest version of InDesign. 

Thanks

TOPICS
How to, Import and export, Type

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Feb 10, 2020 0
Feb 10, 2020

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That has never been possible with interactive PDF. Sounds like you need an HTML form which could be programmed with JavaScript perhaps?

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Feb 10, 2020 1
Feb 10, 2020

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Thanks for the reply. I will look for alternatives. Probably redesign the form. 

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Feb 10, 2020 0
Feb 10, 2020

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I cannot believe this. I myself am looking for the same simple feature. You can even use such a feature/ function in MS Word 2010!! Having a normal text/ form field with a kind of place holder text, that will disappear when filling the form field. 

 

I'm pretty sure that this standard function is possible in a way. (If really not the may be an add-on with that help we can archieve this function).

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Feb 10, 2020 0
Feb 10, 2020

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Placeholder text can be done in Acrobat. Right click the field, choose properties and then options.

Add the text to the Default Value field.

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Feb 10, 2020 1
Feb 10, 2020

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This placeholder mehtod does not work when the text boxes are set to be interactive in InDesign. I tried what you suggesteed and the only option I get is to paste something in the box. I am gussing what you are stating is for non-interactive text boxes, or when a form is created strictly in Acrobat? 

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Feb 10, 2020 0
Feb 10, 2020

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As Steve says, it cannot be done natively in InDesign.

However, with FormMaker (https://www.id-extras.com/products/formmaker/) you can add default text, and add a little script to make it disappear when the user types, all in InDesign.

For short forms, the free edition of FormMaker could work.

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Feb 10, 2020 1
Feb 10, 2020

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Thanks for the hint. I'll give it a try and have a look if it works for my purposes. 
But to be honest: This function is one of the most standard one when talking about forms - and InDesign doesn't have this feature? How long claims InDesign himself as market leader? Can't believe this.. or better: I don't won't to believe that Indesign is that kind of oldschool... but seems like this..

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Feb 10, 2020 0
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This is not about InDesign...it's about PDF.

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Feb 10, 2020 0
Feb 10, 2020

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Actually this is about InDesign. The orginal post was asking about how to do this in InDesing to get it to show up in a PDF. If you have to design it in InDesign and then do more to it in Acrobat, what is the point of InDesign? 

 

As for my portion, the original poster, I am satisfied with the answer "It can't be done" and have redesigned my form so it works fine now. Well, maybe not fine, but it works. 

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Feb 10, 2020 0
Feb 10, 2020

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This seems to be nice add-on, but I read that I have to have it installed to be able to see the "placeholder text" (after opening the pdf I have to activate this add-on to use it). But most people won't have it installed...

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Feb 10, 2020 0
Feb 10, 2020

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Many users won't even have Acrobat or Reader and beyond those applications, on a desktop, it might not work anyway. This is especially true in a browser or mobile device.

Honestly, if you want this to work the way you say, you're far better off putting it on the web and using an HTML form. If the website is Wordpress based there are any number of fabulous forms plugins.

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Feb 10, 2020 0
Feb 10, 2020

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You cannot do it with InDesign but it's easy to do with Acrobat Pro, you just have to copy-paste 2x2 lines of JavaScript.

See this topic: https://community.adobe.com/t5/acrobat/show-default-value-in-text-field-until-user-inputs-data/m-p/1...

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Feb 10, 2020 1
Nov 24, 2020

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I've just been making the interactive boxes and then adding the text to be overwritten to the PDF.

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Nov 24, 2020 1
Nov 25, 2020

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Nov 25, 2020 1