INTRO & TOC: "Creating Adobe Acrobat Forms" by Ted Padova
Book's CD-ROM contains extra chapter plus free copies of two Acrobat/PDF eBooks by author

18 August 2002

Creating Acrobat Forms

"Creating Adobe Acrobat Forms" by Ted Padova
Published by Wiley Publishing, Inc. (a division of John Wiley & Sons, Inc.)
Library of Congress Control Number: 2002106034
ISBN: 0-7645-3690-7
Printed in the United States of America

Copyright (C) 2002 Wiley Publishing, Inc. All Rights Reserved. No part of this book, including interior design, cover design, and icons, may be reproduced or transmitted in any form, by any means (electronic, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of the publisher.

Author's Preface

"Over the past several years, readers of my Acrobat PDF Bible have written to me regarding a variety of questions related to Adobe Acrobat. Of the questions asked, inquires concerning some aspect of PDF forms have outnumbered all other Acrobat features more than ten to one. In addition, people in many different market sectors have approached me with the question, "Why don't you write a book on Acrobat PDF forms?" From government to business and education, people have asked for something specific to address the complexity of creating PDF forms.

When I first approached my publisher with the idea of writing a book on Acrobat PDF forms, my proposal went to committee and was promptly rejected by the assortment of personnel approving new book proposals. The belief of the committee members was that there wasn't enough general interest in addressing a subset of Acrobat functionality like PDF forms.

Fortunately, my acquisition editor, Mike Roney, with his continuing support and confidence suggested I try to accumulate some data supporting the idea that PDF forms are of interest to a much larger group of people than the handful HMI thought existed. With Mike's words of encouragement and willingness to take it back to committee, I went forward and sent emails to people whom I thought could help support my argument.

In a short time letters arrived from people like Paul Showalter of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service; Christine Yarrow, Publisher of Adobe Press; and Kurt Foss and Karl De Abrew of Planet PDF who sent letters and a mountain of data to support my claim. And with more letters and growing support from colleagues and users, the battle was soon over. The HMI team took only a few minutes to look over the arguments and the Creating Adobe Acrobat Forms book was born.

The result of the support from many PDF experts and interested users is what lies ahead in the pages of this book. Over the past three years I have saved letters from readers, reviewed all the letters, and answered EVERY question any reader has asked me regarding PDF forms. If you have any curiosity related to designing, creating, or using Acrobat forms, this publication is for you."

-- Ted Padova

Detailed Table of Contents

Part I: PDF Form Basics

  • Free Sample -- Chapter 1: Getting Started with Acrobat Forms

    Understanding the Forms Industry

    • Comparing costs
    • Why are Acrobat forms cost effective?

    What Are Acrobat PDF Forms?

    • Scanned paper forms
    • Static forms
    • Dynamic forms

    Converting Files to PDF

    • Converting to PDF from Acrobat
    • Exporting to PDF
    • Using Acrobat Distiller

    Understanding the Acrobat Viewers

    • Acrobat viewers
    • Web viewing PDFs

    To Top

  • Chapter 2: Using Authoring Applications

    Using Microsoft Word

    • Defining the paper size for the printer (Windows only)
    • Adjusting printing defaults
    • Creating a PDF file from Microsoft Word

    Using Layout Programs

    • Using Adobe PageMaker
    • Using Microsoft Publisher

    Using Illustration Programs

    Working with Scanned Forms

    • Creating a form template
    • Converting scans to text

    Converting HTML Forms

    Using Layout Grids and Guides

    • Designing with grids in authoring programs
    • Working with grids and guides in Acrobat
    • Working with grid templates

    Modifying Forms

    • Editing images
    • Editing objects

    Editing Pages

    • Changing background designs
    • Repurposing forms
    • Editing the Open Page view

    Cropping Forms

    • Using the Crop tool
    • Cropping from a menu command

    To Top

  • Chapter 3: Understanding Field Types

    Understanding Form Field Basics

    • Using the Form tool and Field properties
    • Naming a field
    • Understanding name attributes
    • Naming nomenclature
    • Using appearance attributes
    • Setting the field tab order
    • Copying and pasting fields
    • Understanding default field attributes

    Understanding Text Fields

    Understanding Check Boxes

    Understanding List Boxes

    Understanding Combo Boxes

    • Creating list items defaults

    Understanding Radio Buttons

    • Duplicating fields

    Understanding Button Fields

    Understanding Signature Fields

    Acrobat Field Types

    Saving Forms

    To Top

  • Chapter 4: Understanding Field Properties

    Setting Field Appearances

    • Creating borders and fills
    • Creating text
    • Using Common Properties
    • Creating Radio buttons and Check box options
    • Creating Button field appearances

    Using Appearance Preferences

    • Setting field highlight preferences
    • Setting Focus Rectangle preferences

    Setting Options

    • Using Text field options
    • Using Button field options
    • Using Check box and Radio buttons options

    Defining Actions

    • Understanding mouse behavior
    • Adding Actions

    Using Formats

    Validating Data

    Calculating Fields

    Using Selection Changes

    Using Signed Properties

    To Top

  • FREE SAMPLE - Chapter 5: "Creating Form Fields"

    Naming Fields

    • Duplicating fields
    • Calculating on names

    Copying and Pasting Fields

    Organizing Fields

    • Understanding the anchor field
    • Aligning fields
    • Sizing fields
    • Distributing fields
    • Deleting fields

    Creating Table Arrays

    Setting Tab Order

    Spell Checking Fields

    Auto spell checking

    • Manual spell checking
    • Managing dictionaries
    • Adding words to a custom dictionary

    Creating Tool Tips

    Using the Fields Palette

    • Renaming fields
    • Locking fields
    • Docking the Fields palette in the Navigation Pane

    Creating Multiple Fields Property Changes

    To Top

  • Chapter 6: Calculating Field Data

    Formatting Text Fields

    • Formatting dates
    • Formatting whole numbers
    • Setting number defaults

    Using Preset Calculation Formulas

    • Calculating a product
    • Creating sums
    • Creating averages

    Using Arrays with Calculation Scripts

    Creating a Validation

    Creating a Reset Button

    Setting Calculation Order

To Top

Part II: Working with JavaScript

  • Chapter 7: Getting Started with JavaScript

    Understanding JavaScript

    • Security
    • Field scripts
    • Document Level JavaScripts
    • Page Actions
    • Document Actions
    • Searching for page templates

    Finding Help

    Using External Editors (Windows)

    JavaScript Basics

    • Comments
    • Variables
    • Punctuation
    • Formatting
    • Using the JavaScript Console window

    Using Duplicated JavaScripts

    • Copying and pasting JavaScripts
    • Creating a script library

    Sharing JavaScripts

    To Top

  • Chapter 8: Writing JavaScript Routines

    Understanding JavaScript and Mouse Behaviors

    • Using Mouse Up mouse behavior
    • Using Mouse Down mouse behavior
    • Using On Enter mouse behavior
    • Using On Exit mouse behavior
    • Using On Focus mouse behavior
    • Using On Blur mouse behavior

    Creating Calculation Scripts

    • Subtracting values
    • Dividing values
    • Calculations with Table Arrays

    Creating Viewer Options Warning Alerts

    • Creating Viewer Type Alerts
    • Creating viewer version alerts

    Working with Fields and JavaScript

    • Adding fields based on user responses
    • Adding page numbers with JavaScript
    • Changing field attributes
    • Importing images
    • Securing button imports

    Using Document Actions

    • Using Did Print Document Actions
    • Using Did Save Document Actions

    To Top

  • Chapter 9: Creating Templates and Spawning Pages

    Working with Templates

    • Creating custom stamps from templates
    • Creating templates from pages with fields

    Spawning Pages from Templates

    • Creating a new page from a template
    • Imprinting pages
    • Spawning pages from multiple templates

    To Top

  • Chapter 10: Creating Advanced Form Designs

    Adding Audio Messages to Forms

    • Finding sound creation applications
    • Recording sounds
    • Adding sounds to page actions
    • Adding sounds to field actions

    Adding Motion Effects to Forms

    • Creating motion objects
    • Scripting motion effects

    Creating Application Pop-Up Menus

    • Creating named destinations
    • Navigating to a destination
    • Creating a pop-up menu

    Creating Help Messages

    • Adding Help text to fields
    • Hiding and displaying fields with JavaScript

    Using Document Level JavaScripts

    • Checking for empty fields
    • Auto tabbing fields

    Creating Smart Forms

    • Locking data fields
    • Forcing data choices

    Merging Form Data

    • Adding data from Application Response dialog boxes
    • Swapping data

To Top

Part III: Distributing Forms

  • Chapter 11: Using Acrobat Security

    Securing PDF Files

    • Understanding password protection
    • Using 40-bit encryption
    • Using 128-bit encryption
    • Opening secure files
    • Changing security

    Using Self-Sign Security

    • Creating a signature profile
    • Securing a PDF with Acrobat Self-Sign Security

    Using Digital Signatures

    Securing Form Fields

    • Securing signed documents

    Verifying Signatures

    • Authenticating a signature
    • Comparing changes after signing documents
    • Using the Signatures palette

    To Top

  • Chapter 12: Working with Accessible and Tagged PDFs

    Creating Accessible Documents

    • Understanding Accessibility
    • Creating structured and tagged forms

    Verifying Accessibility

    • Checking the accessibility of a form
    • Changing the reading order
    • Adding alternate text

    Making Forms Accessible

    • Adding tags to a PDF form
    • Adding field descriptions

    Exporting Tagged PDFs

    • Using the SaveAsXML plug-in
    • Saving accessible PDFs as RTF files
    • Using handheld devices

    To Top

  • Chapter 13: Submitting and Distributing Forms

    Using FDF Data

    • Importing and exporting data

    Creating and Using Submission Buttons

    • Submitting data to URLs

    Submitting Attachments to E-mails

    • Attaching PDF forms to e-mails
    • Attaching FDF data to e-mails

    Distributing Forms

    • Hosting forms on Web servers
    • Writing forms to CD-ROMs
    • Setting up an Autoplay

To Top

Part IV: Working with Real-World Forms

  • Chapter 14: Using Form Design Assistants

    Using Dedicated Form Design Applications

    • Using low cost design programs
    • Using OmniForm

    Using Acrobat Plug-Ins

    • Creating/Designing PDF forms
    • Editing PDF documents
    • Exporting PDF structure
    • Managing data
    • Using server-side applications

    To Top

  • Chapter 15: Understanding the Real-World Forms Market

    Understanding the Growth of PDF Forms

    • Adobe marketing directions
    • Working with standards

    Working with Government Forms

    • Reducing and eliminating paper in government
    • Filling in government forms
    • Working with Comb forms

    Working with Legal Forms

    • Forms for legal professionals
    • Legal forms for consumers

    Working with Enterprise Markets

    • Understanding ADBC basic architecture
    • Understanding DSNs
    • Examining a quick code example
    • Obtaining data via an SQL query
    • Working with row objects

    To Top

  • Chapter 16: Creating Forms for Real-World Uses

    Creating Personal Management Forms

    • Password security form
    • File organizer
    • Recipe shopper

    Creating Printing Templates

    • Business cards
    • Greeting cards
    • Golf tournament invitation

    Creating Customer Service Forms

    • Creating an order form
    • Creating a quote calculator
    • User guides

    Creating Accounting Management Forms

    • Purchase order form
    • Equipment inventory and valuation summary

    Animating Presentations

    • Ticker tape displays
    • Animation graphics

    Creating Forms for Non-Profits

    • Fundraising barometer
    • Calendar maker


To Top

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