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Chapter 10. Forms > Setting Properties

Setting Properties

Use the Properties dialog box to determine how each field looks and behaves. The dialog box contains a variety of options that change for each field type. You can set the font and text style of text boxes, designate various actions that will occur when a user interacts with the form in certain ways, and write scripts that calculate or validate form data. This section discusses setting the properties of a text box, which offers the widest range of options:

  • The General pane has settings for the name, tool tip text, and common properties such as form field visibility, orientation, and whether a form field is read-only (not editable by users) or required (users have to fill it in before closing the form). The General properties, as well as the properties for Appearance and Actions, are identical for all form field types.

  • The Appearance pane offers settings for the border color, fill color, line thickness, line style, font, font size, and text color of the field box.

  • The Options pane provides settings for the alignment of text within a box, and lets you specify whether you want to automatically scroll long text to fit within a text box, among other options. . The options on this pane vary according to the type of form field you're working with.

  • The Actions pane enables you to set triggers and actions linked to a particular field. Choose an action and trigger, such as clicking with the mouse button over a defined area (trigger) to make a sound play (action). Other types of triggers include releasing the mouse button over a form field or simply rolling the mouse pointer over a field. The range of actions Acrobat can carry out in response tothese events is very broad, including such things as going to another page (as a link does), playing a movie, executing a JavaScript, or executing a menu item.

  • The Format pane lets you specify the format for items that are represented by numbers, such as percentages, date, and time. For instance, you can choose how many decimal points to display for numbers and whether dates will include just the month and day (12/8) or the month, day, and year (12/8/04). If you don't see the item you're looking for, check the Special category. You can even create your own item under Custom, which is an advanced task (you'll probably need to find documentation on this topic before trying it).

    You can access the Format pane only when you're working with text and combo text fields.

  • The Validate pane enables you to set a field to be validated. For instance, Acrobat can check to see if the text a user enters in a serial number field looks like a valid serial number. You can access the Validate pane only when you're working with text and combo text fields.

  • The Calculate pane lets you specify that the value of a text field is the result of a calculation. That calculation may be the sum, difference, or product (or other type of result) of two or more other form fields. For example, the field could contain the product of quantity multiplied by price per item. You may also specify a more complex calculation using Simplified Field Notation or JavaScript.

    As with Format and Validate, you can access the Calculate pane only when you're working with text and combo text fields.


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