How To Create A PDF Form Using Adobe InDesign CC
Hi there in this video, we're going to make a form in in design and it's going to be interactive. We open up an acrobat and we're going to be able to type our names if we can spell them. Okay. Put an email addresses. Look, checkboxes, vegan, vegetarian and gluten free. We can do radio buttons, so I can say no to a catalog or yes, but I can't do both. Drop down menus, I can pick a date, I can add comments on lots of lines. I can hit print or I can submit it. So it will email me the form creator. This completed form ready to go. All right, So let's go and do that now in in design. So before we get started, we're going to talk about the pros and cons for doing forms. The pros are that I can create a print version of this file. Okay. So it can be printed off and left in the office to get filled out. But I can also make a digital copy at the same time. Using in design, I can save loads of time by people filling it in electronically rather than having to print it off, sign it. Either scan it...
back or send it in the post. Okay, so definitely a pro for interactive forms. Now, the cons if you make an interactive form using in design, the recipient has to fill it out to get all the features using acrobat. It can be the free version. Acrobat reader, which is the world's most popular reader but you can't guarantee everybody can so know that some people might have to print it out. And that's what we'll do. We'll add a print button and they can do it old school with a pin. The other con is that you assume that they're going to fill it out and it's going to kind of fill up in a database that doesn't happen automatically. Okay, you need help from a developer to make that happen. It's not just an easy Clickety click thing. Used to be. There was something called adobe forms and that was great but that's no longer around. So the way that these interactive forms should be used Is know that they're going to go out, 95% of the people are going to be able to fill them out fine using acrobat reader and instead of some sort of magical database where it all gets collated, you can have this option where it had submit and all. It's gonna do is going to email you a copy filled in ready to go but it's not going to yank out all the data into a spreadsheet. Okay. I hate doing that bit at the beginning because you're like ah huh. Really? Yes forms and in design isn't perfect. There is no real perfect way at the moment. Now if you are thinking okay, I'm gonna get, I'm getting into forms and I'm doing like a big job here, not just like an event registration or some sort of survey you want to collect proper data, You might want to jump into something called adobe sign. Nothing to do with in design or you can do the design and in design but check out this. Okay, so go to acrobat dot adobe dot com. And acrobats sign is the thing you might have come across it already where people can do digital signatures. Once sign people get both copies, it goes into databases. It's more of an enterprise level type thing though. Give the free trial ago. It's pretty amazing. But outside of the scope of this course we're going to do in design forms. Now. Another thing to consider is that say it's going to be a totally digital form only. It's not going to be printed. What you might consider is using something like google forms. Google forms is super quick, super easy. It's all online and it does collect it in a database. It's responsive for mobile devices and you can do is call graphs afterwards. So maybe google forms might be right for you. Alright, I'll stop now with the alternatives. Let's get into in design and look at what it does really well. All right, so let's jump into in design. If you go to file open and in 10 forms there's one called event registration form, open that up and I've done some basic work for us now. It's nothing much just text boxes. Okay, just plain old type with text on it and I kind of laid it out to look nice to help us with this document. The first thing we're gonna do is this is going to be like a dual use form. I want people to be able to fill it out by hand so I hope the W key you'll notice there's no lines in here. You could draw it with the line tool. Okay, But that's not fancy. Let's do the fancy way. Okay, I'm gonna have my cursor flashing in with my name anywhere inside of here. And I'm going to go up to the little burger menu here. I'm going to go to this one that says paragraph rules. Move this other way now, whatever yours is defaulting to above or below, it doesn't really matter. I'm going to use raw below because that sounds right. Okay. I can't remember what it is by default because I've changed it so many times. It doesn't remember my default, but yours will be Make sure you turn the rule on. Okay, and you can see the text there. Okay, let's get it down to a nice wait, I'm going to use .25 just so it's not so thick. Next thing you need to double check, is that it's the width of the column, not just the text. Text is just underline. Okay. Not very exciting. We're gonna do the whole column. That's what I want the whole way to the edge of this box here. What I'm gonna do is the offset as well, so I'm going to actually increase the offset. Okay, so it's down a couple of millimeters. Yours might be using inches. Just click up until it looks nice sitting underneath here, click Ok, now I could turn that into a paragraph style. I'm going to be lazy, copy this, replace this and then type email. Easy dan. I'm gonna get two lines in here if I was doing a big long document. Okay, I would turn into a style but I've only actually got two lines. So the next thing I want to do is I want to put in a text box so I'm going to grab my type tool and it's literally just a text box. I'm going to draw a text box. Okay? And this is gonna be the space people are going to be able to draw. Now watch this. If I start typing in it it's quite high so I'm gonna grab my black hair and just kind of get it down so it's somewhere close to here. Now you can't guarantee the font they're going to use, so don't spend too long styling the fonts. Okay, It'll be up to the reader to decide. So I've got a text box. Now I need to turn it into an editable form box that people can type into. Go to window, go down to interactive and go down to buttons and forms, we've been here before. Okay, and the difference in this one, we're gonna put in type, we're going to go to this one called text field and that's it. Okay. That'll be an editable text field. Now what we should do is give it a name. Okay, so we're gonna call this one our name, you can get a description. Now. The thing with this description here is uh maybe first and last name um if it's a confusing one you can put in lots of description, people should be able to work out name without a description. I'm going to add it here just to show you what it does. Next thing I'd like to do is you could leave it out now I want to go through and do things like I want the font size to be a little smaller, I want it to be Principal. Yes, it doesn't matter because there's no nothing in it that doesn't really matter. And then here we can decide you have to do it otherwise you can't submit the form required and that's gonna be it. Now let's make one more line and then do a preview. So I'm going to copy and paste that text box. Okay. Because what I wanted to do is an email here as well, I'm gonna w key so I can see both lines just to get them kind of lined up roughly the same. Let me drag the end here just so it lines up there. The one thing we will change is we haven't done is scroll. Herbal. Okay scrolling will just means I can turn it on for one and off For the other scroll just means when I type and I get to the end, does it allow me to keep on scrolling and typing so I can type in like 1000 characters if your name is longer than this text box here. Actually there are long names. So yeah, leave it as scalable email addresses. You might decide whether you need scalable or not. We'll test it out and have a look. So let's preview it before we go and do all the rest of it to make a form happen. We're going to go to file export and all we need to do is export pdf and it needs to be this one that says interactive. We've done him before again and click save. We've got one already and replace it and there's nothing you need to change. Just double check that It does say forms and media include all in case you've turned it off in the past. But that's the only other thing click export. Cool. And it's produced my form and in here I've got my fields, I can click in here Daniel, I left it a bit low. I'm gonna have to play around with that daniel walls scarred my email address. So this is all working fine. The difference between scalable and not scroll, I can't remember who was what but if I paste paste paste there it is. My little keyboard said no more. Whereas this one here I can put in the world's biggest email address. Okay. And it means that you can see just scrolls along. You see here, I didn't pick the font, it's the default one from acrobats, but I've spent ages trying to make it do what I want and you have to open up acrobats and try and get the fonts to work and it doesn't work all the time. So I've given up and just let the default run and whatever pdf program people have got, let's jump back into in design and add the rest of the fields. Okay, First of all, this one needs to come up a little bit. Next we're gonna do is a multi line. So comments down the bottom here, I'm gonna grab the type tool, I'm gonna draw a box that's quite big. Multi line box and it's exactly like it was before Black Arrow. I'm gonna go to type and I'm gonna say text field. And the only difference is I'm going to say this is a multi line one, allow people to write in kind of like a multi line comment, make sure you give it a name, this is my comments and I'm not going to add a description why? Because you should be able to work out what that's for one thing, I didn't show you was where the description appears. So let's jump back into acrobat, watch this if I hover above this, can you see his, his first and last name. Okay. This could be where the first and last name. So I didn't adjust this. You Name two because I copied and pasted it. It just added the word name too. Okay, so I'm going to replace that with email and down here I'm going to leave this blank. Alright, let's look at some of the other options. Let's look at a checkbox. So chicks box, I'm gonna go to w get rid of all the blue lines. They drive me mad of it. Okay, so check box is easy to make you make your own one. Okay, grab the rectangle tool, you pick stroke, color black, I'm gonna have a fill of none. It's gonna have, I'm gonna use the maybe 0.5 the stroke, I'm gonna zoom in a little bit and I'm going to draw a rectangle appropriately sized holding shift so it goes a perfect square back to my Cherokee. I'm going to kind of get it in the right spot and that is going to be my little check box to turn it into a checkbox with it selected with my black arrow. Go to type. Go to check box. You get a little tick in it. Thank you. The only thing we might do is that by default, it's got a tick in it. So we're going to set the default to off. If you wanted to be one of those tick here, if it's okay to send you lots of spam email, you could leave that on. Ah look they left it on but that would be a bit weird when it got printed out. Okay, it just be a tick there to try and get rid of. So we're gonna leave that as normal and we're gonna give it a name, check back one, we're gonna say vegetarian. And with the checkbox there's this option down the bottom here. So what it's going to say is the checkbox is and you say yes, okay, so the button value is going to give you the response and say yes it is vegetarian. Okay, um a checkbox is an end field so I can be vegetarian and gluten free and vegan. So what I can do with the checkboxes just copy it, paste it and select the box on the outside, their copy it, paste it. It's just like the edge if you've got no film. Okay? And I've got this other option and then I'm gonna drag out another option. I'm gonna select all three because I'm authentic and I want them all to be evenly spaced. Using that option. Well the only thing I need to do is I need to go through and click the edge of the vegan and say you're not a vegetarian too, you are vegan I'm not vegan, but the guy downstairs at the healthy food store sells amazing vegan burritos. And because he's really close, I eat a lot of them good and free. I am not gluten free. But you didn't ask. So I'll stop talking. Okay, so let's have a little look. I'm going to close down. You need to close down the preview here in acrobat. I'm not gonna save it. Okay, because when I export another one, I'm gonna save export same details this before interactive. I'm going to replace it if it's open, it doesn't like to update. Yes, yes, yes to all of that. And you see, you've got checkboxes. Got my multi line comments box. Now let's look at doing radio buttons. So I'm gonna close this down without saving. Jump back into in design and let's look at radio buttons to remember. I said checkboxes are and I can be vegetarian and vegan and gluten free. I can't be, Would you like a catalog? Yes and no. Okay. It's an or and those are radio buttons. So male or female or are you attending? Yes or no. It's an or you can't be both. You're not allowed to be both at least in this form. Okay. Same thing with a radio button. Like a checkbox. We just draw it with an ellipse. It's really common obviously to have radio buttons as ellipses and not squares. It doesn't really matter what you draw, it'll work. But let's say we're going to be proper and do a little circle. So I got a black stroke and no fill and then here under type of my black car. Got it selected. I'm going to pick on radio button now this radio button is going to be my catalog and this choice is going to be the choice of Yes. I'd like the default to be off. Now I want another one of these and the trick is I can just copy and paste it like I did before. But because the name hasn't changed, it's still catalog. Unlike remember the checkboxes? They said they added like a vegetarian too. Okay. This one keeps the same name. If they have the same name, they are connected and they need to be connected because if you pick one, it needs to turn the other one off. The only thing we need to do is change the choice. So remember this first one was a choice of yes. This one here didn't even change it. This one is a choice of No. So the names are the same, but the choice is yes and no. Let's save this one. Let's export. Let's have a little look. Of course it's gonna work. Here we are. Yes. No. Yes. No. Okay. Just puts a little dot in there and that is a radio button. Close this one down. Don't save it back into in design. Let's look at, choose a date and city. So this is called a combo box. Now you need to be careful with the combo box I showed you right at the intro there. Little dropdown menu. Now, the reason you might be a little bit more hesitant about adding a drop down box, is that say somebody has. Remember at the beginning I said that one of the cons is if you open this up and anything other than adobe acrobat, this form system doesn't work and that's okay because the people can print it out but you can't print out a drop down menu. Okay? It's all kind of tucked up and hidden. So when it's printed out you can't obviously interact with it. So you might decide to maybe leave this one out or if you're happy with interactive stuff or you might love it. Okay, so let's do it anyway because we want to know the technique. It starts off with a text box and I'm gonna see where my lines are. Where are we there? So I'm gonna grab my type tool and draw out a text box. How big that big like before. Okay, I'm gonna grab my selection tool and the difference between this one is going to be a combo box, they call them combo boxes instead of dropdown boxes. But that's that's what they called this one here is going to be my city slash dict and this one's a bit different right down the bottom here. This says I would like my list items Now, how many lists do we need? And all we need to do is put in how many items list we need. It doesn't make sense. Let's just do it. So let's say you want to do the Auckland one. Okay. On the 21st of december. That plus, Okay, I want to add another one. There's going to be one in London and that was on 23 December. A terrible time for it. Okay. And this one here is in Vegas and it's still probably las Vegas. Okay. And this one here is on christmas day, everyone's going to turn up to this one at plus. So that's going to create the contents for the drop down box. One other option you should add is choose uh, city. Okay. And hit plus. You need one of the options to be like the initial option. Okay. That's going to appear here to get people to kind of interact with it. And the way to decide who is the first one to appear. You can drag this around to say actually I want, it's actually an alphabetical order there. I'm gonna choose to choose the city at the top and you can kind of move them around. Okay? And that's the way they're gonna list. They're not going to automatically list alphabetically even. But if you want to initial one, you click on it and it just goes blue. That means that this is the first one that's going to appear, it doesn't matter that it's at the top, it's matter that it's blue. I'm gonna click a font size of and we're going to go and test this, save it. Going to export it same as before replace. I'm okay. I'm okay. And hopefully it's going to open up in acrobat. Alright. Here it is. And there's my combo box slash dropdown. There it is. It's got to choose the city first so I can pick on this one and that's the result that's going to come back in my form. All right. Some of the last things we need to do is these two buttons here. Now what you might do is add a little extra bit of text it to say is when you're finished save this and email it to me, okay? Or print it off and send it to this address. Okay. Because these little buttons here might just not work on some pdf readers, remember. So we want to make this as usable as we can across lots of different people but we're ignoring them and we're going to make these buttons work so close this down. Don't save it back into in design. And let's look at these buttons. Print ones easy click on it. Now I just made this button, it's just a rectangle with texting and I grouped the two together just because Okay, I wanted to be a button so you can draw this, it could just be text, it could be a printer icon, it could be anything whether it's selected, go to type and go to button and the way to make a print button is to go to actions and hit this little plus button and down here it says pdf only. I want the one that says print form and that's it. When it clicks it's going to start printing the one thing I might do is actually make it not printable, we've ignored this throughout. Is that when it prints out? Okay this button is not going to go through the printer. Doesn't really matter. But it could look a little weird having buttons on here that are interactive but don't actually print. You could also do it for this combo box here. You say you do not print. Okay principle. And it means that it's not going to print that choose a city. Okay. You might have to put a line underneath so people can write their city or date. So you might just change the language in here that might get you around it. Okay so printing is done. Let's look at the submit button. So we talked about at the beginning. One of the cons is that there's no like real easy way to get like a database driven form. You might want to sit down with a developer. Okay. A web developer and work out a way of doing that. It can be done and I'll show you where in a sec. But what most people do is they just get them to send an email with this form attached and we can do that easily enough. Okay, so what we need to do, just like the print, we're gonna turn into a button, we're gonna go to actions and we're gonna go to this one that says submit form. And the trick to get this one to work is you need to write in mail to has to be spot like that with the colon. Okay, so M. A I L T. O colon you can read. Okay, but that has to go in and then you can put in your email address daniel at B Y. O. D. E. Okay, that means when they click that button is going to launch their email client and attach this pdf. I might not make this principle, let's save it and let's export it and see what it does. Alright, so I've got my form and filled it out and I'm gonna click on print and magically it's gonna load up my printing window, awesome. Huh? Okay, so you might get into print it and then post it to you so you might get them to print it out and post it to you on a dead tree. Let's click on cancel and let's go the digital way, which kind of works. Let's click on, submit. It's going to open up what your default email application is, which is on my Mac called mail. Do you want a pc? It's probably going to open up outlook or in this case I'm going to use my web mail because I actually use Gmail, you type in your email address and that will fill it out and attach the pdf completed and send it to you. The only trouble with that is that if you're sending out to like 10,000 people, you're going to get a bunch of emails, you can send out some maybe some sort of email filter to filter out all the ones with PDFs. But if it's a smaller job it's perfect. Say you're only getting 100 of them. Okay? You can just stick them in a folder or print them all off for yourself or copy and paste all the data out. Not fun. One of the other last things I'd like to show you for the forms is that we've generated a lot of our forms if you need existing kind of stuff, let's check it out. And there are buttons and forms in this fly out menu. We've got sample buttons and forms but prepare yourself. These are ugly. These were made definitely in the nineties. Okay, so let's say that I want a nice glass button. You might love these glass buttons and I shouldn't judge you, but I am because wow, these are terrible. I did spend a long time in Photoshop trying to work out how to do those glass Mac icons back when But that was a long time ago. But there are other things in here, like radio buttons that are diamonds. Never use those. We've all been taught how to use checkboxes and radio buttons. They should be circles or squares, but there's all sorts of stuff in here. Okay. I'm going to close it down and that's going to be the end of our forms and in design. Alright. Goodbye. Glass buttons. Get off my beautiful form. Okay. And I will see you in the next video by now.