How to test a fillable PDF form with Acrobat X or Acrobat XI

Learn how to test a fillable PDF form, including text, dates, tab order, calculations and buttons.

By March 26, 2012

 



In this tutorial, learn how to test a fillable PDF forms, including text, dates, tab order, calculations and buttons. There are lots of items to check in your form before it’s ready to send.Type text in your fields to see how it looks. The first thing to fix is the oversized text in these fields. Click Tools to open the Tools pane, then click Edit in the Forms tools to activate the Form Edit mode.

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How to test a fillable PDF form with Acrobat X or Acrobat XI

Donna BakerMarch 26, 2012

There are lots of items to check in your form before it’s ready to send.Type text in your fields to see how it looks. The first thing to fix is the oversized text in these fields. Click Tools to open the Tools pane, then click Edit in the Forms tools to activate the Form Edit mode.

To fix the text in both fields at once, click the first field, press SHIFT and click to select the second field, right click over either field, and click Properties from the shortcut menu. Make changes on the Appearance tab in the Text Field Properties dialog box and click Close.

Now click Preview, and you see the text matches the other fields.

Check out custom text features next. The dates use a specific format. Click the Order Date field to see the actual text typed into the field. Click to check the other date field, and you'll see the original text.

Now let’s start checking out the Tab order. The upper fields tab top to bottom in each column. Press TAB to move through the fields. The lower table tabs left to right, top to bottom. Press TAB to move through the fields.

Next, check the calculations in the form. Each row has one calculation: Order Quantity - Ship Quantity = Backorder Quantity. The first two are correct, but 14 - 8 is not equal to 14! Click Edit to track down the problem.

Double-click the BackorderC field to open the Properties dialog box, and click the Calculate tab. Here’s the problem! The notation uses the wrong field. Click Edit to correct the text in the JavaScript Editor, then click OK. Now the calculation will work. Click Close. Click Preview to check it out: 14 - 3 = 11—the calculation is correct.

Finally, let’s test the buttons. To delete the entries in the top fields, click Clear Customer Info. The fields are blank. To delete the entries in the table, click Clear Order Info. The form is cleared, and ready to go. Click Save.


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Acrobat XIAcrobat X

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4 comments

Lori Kassuba

3 weeks ago

Hi Elizabeth,

Thanks for letting us know you figured it out.

Thanks,
Lori

Elizabeth

1 month ago

Lori,

I did figure it out…there are 2 modes (at least to me)...When I first open a PDF form…it’s in edit the text mode…but if I click on the form tab to the right, and click on “Edit Form” then the Preview button shows up…I know…I’m new. It’s probably so lame that the experts didn’t even remember that when you first open the form it’s not in “edit” mode ie…edit the fields etc. Thanks for responding!! Elizabeth

Lori Kassuba

1 month ago

Hi Elizabeth Roche,

The Preview button should be located in approximately the center of the toolbar. If you’re not seeing it you might want to consider running the Repair command from under the Help menu.

Thanks,
Lori

Elizabeth Roche

1 month ago

Hi Donna,

I need some help figuring out how to “test” or “Preview” a form I’m working on. I have adobe acrobat x pro (10.0)...and I can’t find the “preview” button…I always seem to be in edit mode…

Thanks for any assistance…! Elizabeth

donna baker

9, 2012-05-22 22, 2012

Hi Sarah -

Thanks! Fillable PDF forms just keep getting simpler to use and more powerful all the time.

donna.

Sarah Mark

9, 2012-03-31 31, 2012

Useful post though I think anything about fillable PDF is really informative. Thanks! 

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