• Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint
Share this Page URL

Chapter EIGHT. Working with Acrobat Form... > TIP 67: Testing and Tweaking Your Fo...

TIP 67: Testing and Tweaking Your Forms

Before you send your forms out into the world to gather information for you, give them a test run. Here's a checklist you can use to make sure your forms are ready for public use:

  • Click the Hand tool and add values to all your text input fields. Then press Enter/Return or click another field to check the calculations.

    Who Took My Fields?

    Sometimes it seems your fields disappear from the document. They aren't lost. Only those fields created with a selected form field tool are active on the document at any time. If you have a collection of text fields, for example, and click the Button tool, only buttons are active; other fields are hidden.

  • Make sure to cipher the calculations manually to verify that the scripts are written correctly. For example, if you need a value of 3 * 50, the result must be 150 or there is an error.

  • Check to see when and where values change. If you are using my method of copying and pasting JavaScript from one field to another, it is a simple error to forget to change the variables and target field names; in that case, when you type a value in one product's field, the result should change in the appropriate field. Ordering a bunch of lemons shouldn't change the value of the oranges.

  • Lock down fields that your users can't type into. In our sample project, all the fields in the Price column are calculated; you can click the Read Only check box on the General tab to prevent users from trying to add content to those fields themselves.

  • Test the calculation order. The fields are added to the calculation order according to how you add them to the form, which may not be correct. First, click the Text Box tool on the Forms toolbar to activate the fields so you can see the names. Then choose Advanced > Forms > Set Field Calculation Order to open the dialog shown in Figure 67a. Your calculated fields are listed in the dialog in the order of calculation. Click a field and then click Up or Down to rearrange the order. In the figure, you can see that the field for calculating the first product's price is at the end of the list, rather than at the start where it belongs.

    Figure 67a. Make sure the calculations are performed in the right sequence.

    Considering Accessibility

    In many situations you need to make your forms compliant with accessibility standards. One of the key features of accessibility is appropriate communication with screen readers and other devices. Open the form field's Properties dialog and in the Tooltip field on the General tab, type a short instruction, such as “Your month of birth”; without a tool tip, the screen reader names the type of form field, and the user has no means of understanding its purpose.

  • Test the tabbing order for your form. You would like your users to tab in a logical way, usually from left to right, top to bottom. Click the Pages tab in the Navigation pane to open the Pages pane. Click the page thumbnail, and choose Page Properties from the Options menu to open the Page Properties dialog (Figure 67b). Click Tab Order and choose an option. Our sample project uses a standard format of left to right, top to bottom.

    Figure 67b. Specify how your users can tab through the fields on your form.



Not a subscriber?

Start A Free Trial

  • Creative Edge
  • Create BookmarkCreate Bookmark
  • Create Note or TagCreate Note or Tag
  • PrintPrint