Day 11 – Lesson 1 from Creating PDF Forms with InDesign

Today I started with new training videos for “Creating PDF Forms with InDesign.” There are two programs that can be used to do this: Adobe Acrobat and, of course, InDesign. Adobe Acrobat has more limitations that InDesign, and should only be used to create documents when you know that you will not come back to that same form to make any changes. If you make changes, you have to open the document back in InDesign, make your changes then export it to Adobe Acrobat and recreate that same form.

You use InDesign if you know you are not finished, or will be revisiting the form again that way you can make as many changes on the fly.

In Lesson 1, I learned a few practices, or points that I should remember when laying out a PDF form. These are paying attention to aesthetics, functionality and usability. The form has to be organized and clean to that users don’t feel confined, as well as maintain a clear visual path in the form. And most importantly, test the form thoroughly before sending out into the world.

After learning those key points for creating forms, I then went through a form to establish some text fields for basic registration, as well as learned to apply check boxes and/or radial buttons.

Lesson 1 - Before Shot

The image above shows the form when opened. In the “Registration Information” section you see a very cut and dry list of information that is needed with now boundaries for where this information needs to go.

Lesson 1 - Applied underlines for Registration info

Now in the above image, you see that I’ve added underlines by going into paragraph styles and establishing how the underlines are added. I’ve also put like info grouped on the same line of text such as: City, State, and Zip AND Phone Number and Twitter ID.

However, while I now have established underlines where the info needs to go, I don’t have text frames that need to be there in an interactive PDF that will be viewed and filled out online. Below, I added text field frames to first and last name, and used a temporary fill so that I could visually see where they are and if they fit the underline boundaries or if I need to make adjustments.

Lesson 1 - Applying text field for registration info

Below, you see that I also added a radial button in “Member Status” and a checkbox under “Special Dietary Needs.” These are used in a lot of forms where just a check is needed and not text.

Lesson 1 - applied text fields, radial buttons, and checkboxes to form

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