Indesign forms

by Design Workshop Sydney

Creating interactive forms in Adobe Indesign is easy and straight-forward. We show you how in our Indesign coursesIndesign-forms
Basically, we create the structure of the form (text, images, etc) in Indesign, then add form fields and buttons in Adobe Acrobat. Pre-Acrobat version 9 you would use a mini-program called LiveCycle; now we use the Create Form Wizard in Acrobat.
In Indesign create a new file: File > New > Document > 1 Page > A4 > Columns 1 > Margins 12mm (for example).
Then place any logos or images: File > Place > browse to your company’s logos. Using the Type tool > type “Name”, “Address”, “Phone”, etc. Also type any text that you want on the form, for example, choices for check boxes, radio buttons, drop-down
lists, a Comments box, a Submit button & Print labels (see screenshot right).
You could also use the Line tool to create dividers, borders, etc. When you are happy with the basic design: File > Save As > Form.indd. Then go to File > Adobe PDF Presets > Smallest File Size > and Save.
Now go to where you saved the file & open the PDF you just created – this will open in Adobe Acrobat. Go to the Forms drop-down menu > Start Forms Wizard > select An existing electronic document > Next > select Use current document > Next > OK. You may find that Acrobat has created some odd fields – just select these on the left-hand panel, right-click > and Delete.
The Form tools should be on the top Control panel; if not you can access these in the Forms drop-down menu > Form tools (or Show in the Options button on the top left). Drag out some guides to keep the fields and buttons lined up. Click & drag the Text Field tool to create fields > Show All Properties > Close. You can also right-click to “Set All Fields to Same Size” or “Set as Required Field”, etc. Also use the Check Box tool to create tick boxes.
Also the Radio Button tool > click “Add another button to Group” – these will be exclusive choices. Also use the List Box and Combo box tools > note Options for Adding items to list. Create a Comments box with the Text Field tool. Use the Button tool to create a “Submit by Email” button > Show all Properties > Actions > Select an Action > Submit a Form > Add > Enter a URL > OK > Close.
Use the Button tool to create a “Print Form” button > Show all Properties > Actions > Select an Action > Execute a Menu Item > Add > File-Print > OK > Close. When the form is complete click the Close Form Editing button (top right). And File > Save. If you need to edit the form later, go to the Forms drop-down menu > Add or Edit Fields.
More tips can be found at the Sydney Indesign User Group which meets regularly in the city, and is a free forum for designers to discuss topics and the latest Indesign features. See many examples of our own clients’ work on our Facebook page.
Other related Indesign Blog Posts: