• Tips for Forms Designers

    Acrobat XI has many new features that are obvious when you launch the application. However some of the very best additions to Acrobat in version XI are changes that were made under the hood. There are speed and performance improvements that greatly benefit Acrobat users, particularly those who design PDF forms.

    If you're a forms designer, the first thing you'll want to do when you launch Acrobat is visit the Preferences Ctrl (Windows) or Command (Macintosh) + K.

    Click Forms in the left pane and remove the checkmark for Automatically adjust tab order when modifying fields. By removing the checkmark, your forms editing performance will be improved 1000 percent.

    Of all the new features in Acrobat XI, this little preference setting is the one thing that has helped me the most when designing complex forms.


  • Spawning Pages From Templates

    If you have a form (something like a job application form) and your form fillers may use a limited section or an expanded section of a form such as work history where job entry level applicants might have 3 or 4 job history items while professional applicants might have 10 or more job history experiences, you might want to design a form to accommodate users for amplified information.

    This task can be included in a PDF form by creating new pages upon user request such as clicking a button to create a new page.

    In previous versions of Adobe Reader such a task could only be accomplished by creating a dynamic form in Adobe LiveCycle Designer.

    Now, however, using Adobe Reader XI, users can click buttons to add new pages you set up in Acrobat. This is accomplished by using a JavaScript for spawnPageFromTemplate(template name).

    For a thorough detail on how to add the JavaScript and create template pages see the 101FormseTips.pdf file you can download from te Downloads page on this site.

  • Button Icon Imports in Adobe Reader

    Another nice addition to Adobe Reader XI is support for importing button icons. You may require a photo added to an application form or an image for a user to more clearly describe an experience when filling out a form.


    The JavaScript item buttonImportIcon() is now supported in Adobe Reader XI. It currently only supports importing PDF files, however we're likely to see this change in a future upgrade.

    For more detail on how to write the script, see the 101FormseTips.pdf file you can download from the Downloads page on this site.

Acrobat Tips