FormMagic

FormMagic

Hassle-free interactive PDF forms straight out of InDesign

If you or your team spend time creating interactive PDF forms in InDesign, you may remember with a groan the moment it registered that designing functional and elegant form fields with carefully chosen fonts, color and default text is a waste of time because this formatting does not survive the trip from InDesign to Acrobat! All formatting must be reapplied in Acrobat, and if any edits are made to the original form in InDesign, the cycle must be repeated – again and again.

FormMagic restores sanity to this process! With FormMagic, design the form exactly as needed in InDesign, freely including font formatting, text alignment, and default form field text (even Acrobat comb fields are supported!). Ready? Export the interactive form to Acrobat, and FormMagic ensures that all these details are restored with one click!

  • “I’ve now been using FormMagic Pro for two years. As I write this email, I’m working on a complex project for a client, with a lot of checkboxes, radio buttons, and text fields. There are over 30 of these forms, some with one page, some with 10 pages! Having the ability to draw the form fields directly in InDesign and assign the necessary attributes to that asset makes life so much easier than if I still needed to do all of this in Acrobat. The amount of rounds of revision would mean that it would simply not be possible to even use InDesign as the primary tool and the design would have to be completely in Acrobat – a nightmare! So, I wanted to get in touch and just say thank you for producing such a great product. A product which I’ve used more times than I can count. Thank you also for the continued and prompt support that you offer to your customers on the form. It’s very much appreciated.”
    Neil Martin - Graphic Designer (www.theworkof.co.uk)

  • “As a support office managing over a dozen hotels and their restaurants, the single most taxing job used to be regularly updating numerous restaurant menus. We were never happy with self-publishing solutions such as Word (from a branding point of view) so when we found FormMagic, all our wishes were effectively answered: Full design control and all the editability our hotels needed to update menus at their whim. Since we implemented this process we have never looked back! What a game changer!
    Nic Andrews - Scenic Hotel Group (www.scenicgroup.co.nz)

  • “When I was developing some training programs for people who are using InDesign to make forms, the process was … ready to break! I was up a creek! … I was going to say, ‘I can’t build a process for you that works.’ Interestingly enough, in my research, I found FormMagic Pro. It’s a form formatting tool for Adobe InDesign that has a really great use in the workflow … It saved the training that I did, and I can’t say enough good things about it!
    Damian Sian - Accessibility Expert

Demonstration

1. Here’s what a simple sample form with a few text fields might look like in InDesign.

Form in InDesign

2. Here’s what the same form will look like after it is exported from InDesign and opened in Acrobat without FormMagic. The formatting in the fields that was there in InDesign has been lost: wrong font, no color, and the text that is shown had to be typed manually in Acrobat.

Form without FormMagic

3. After running FormMagic on this form in Acrobat, here’s what it looks like!

The formatting is restored, and the PDF form looks like it did in InDesign! The font is correct, the same text color is preserved, the default text is there, and notice also that the ZIP field has been automatically converted into an Acrobat comb field (one number per cell).

FormMagic and FormMaker can do much more than this. But this demonstrates the basic idea!

How to Use FormMagic

After you’ve downloaded and installed FormMagic (see below), create and style your interactive form in InDesign.

1. Run the FormMagic script in InDesign (double-click on it in the Scripts panel). If all is well, you will see an alert saying that the data has been successfully stored.

2. Continue by exporting the PDF form from InDesign as usual for interactive PDF forms, and open in Acrobat. In Acrobat, select the new FormMagic command (Edit>FormMagic – it’s a new entry at the bottom of the Edit menu).

Finished! All the formatting and styling you applied to your form in InDesign is restored to the interactive PDF form in Acrobat Pro!

3. When the interactive PDF is ready for distribution, optionally run the “Purge FormMagic data” command at the bottom of the Edit menu in Acrobat. This will purge FormMagic data from the PDF, thereby reducing the final PDF file size.

User Guide

To browse the full product documentation, click here.

Download the Free Edition of FormMagic

Fill in the form below to download FormMagic Free Edition and give it a test drive.

The Free Edition is identical to the Pro edition, except that it is limited to a single-page form, and up to 10 form fields only.

Name:
Email:

Installation Instructions

In the download package of FormMagic you will find separate installation instructions (PDF) for macOS or Windows. Follow these instructions carefully. They will tell you how to install FormMagic on your computer.

If you need help installing FormMagic on your computer, please contact us.

If you have installed the two FormMagic scripts correctly, by copying them to the correct folders on your computer, you will see a new entry in your InDesign scripts panel called FormMagic, and in Acrobat you will see a new entry at the bottom of the Edit menu called “FormMagic”.

Important note for all users of the latest version of Acrobat (version 2023): If you are using the latest version of Acrobat, you must disable the new UI. See the installation instructions PDF for more information.

What formatting is restored by FormMagic?

FormMagic restores the font, size, color, alignment, and default text to the form fields in your interactive PDF. For rich text fields, it also restores superscript, subscript, strikethrough and underline formatting.

It can be used with rich text fields, regular text fields, combo boxes and list boxes.

FormMagic also allow you to rotate text fields in InDesign. The rotation will carry through to Acrobat (to the nearest 90°).

Additionally, you can create combs in InDesign with FormMagic. What is a comb? It’s a type of form field where each character is separated by a vertical line, and you can type only one character per box, like this:

|D|D|M|M|Y|Y|Y|

To create a comb in InDesign, create a form text field and separate the text inside the field with the vertical bar character (it looks like this: |). It will be converted to a comb field in Acrobat when you run FormMagic!

FormMaker Pro

FormMaker Pro includes everything that comes with FormMagic, but adds the possibility of adding Acroscripts to forms, directly within InDesign. So if you need to add validation scripts, calculation scripts, formatting scripts, or scripts triggered by keyboard or mouse events to your PDF form, FormMaker Pro allows you to add them directly in InDesign, again avoiding the crazy round-trip between Acrobat and InDesign whenever edits are made.

Subscribe to the yearly plan of FormMaker Pro and receive FREE assistance with writing the basic Javascripts needed for your interactive PDF forms! (Terms and conditions apply, please inquire.)

Click here to see an example of how FormMaker was used to add an Acroscript in InDesign that converts a user’s input into all-capital letters (just one of limitless possibilities).

Feature Comparison

FormMagic Free

FREE / license
  • Set font, color, alignment and more to form fields
  • Limited to 1-page forms only
  • Limited to 10 fields per form
  • No Acrobat scripts

FormMagic Pro

$ 14.95 / month
  • Set font, color, alignment and more to form fields
  • Create forms of any length
  • Create as many form fields as needed
  • No Acrobat scripts

FormMaker Pro

$ 29.95 / month
  • Set font, color, alignment and more to form fields
  • Create forms of any length
  • Create as many form fields as needed
  • In InDesign, include Acrobat validation, calculation and formatting scripts for automatic calculation and updating of fields
  • In InDesign, include Acrobat scripts that are triggered by mouse and keyboard events

FormMagic Free

FREE / license
  • Set font, color, alignment and more to form fields
  • Limited to 1-page forms only
  • Limited to 10 fields per form
  • No Acrobat scripts

FormMagic Pro

$ 129 / year
  • Set font, color, alignment and more to form fields
  • Create forms of any length
  • Create as many form fields as needed
  • No Acrobat scripts

FormMaker Pro

$ 299 / year
  • Set font, color, alignment and more to form fields
  • Create forms of any length
  • Create as many form fields as needed
  • In InDesign, include Acrobat validation, calculation and formatting scripts for automatic calculation and updating of fields
  • In InDesign, include Acrobat scripts that are triggered by mouse and keyboard events

Buy FormMagic Pro

FormMagic Pro: $14.95/month

FormMagic Pro: $129/year (save $50/year)

Buy FormMaker Pro

FormMaker Pro: $29.95/month

FormMaker Pro: $299/year (save $60/year)

System Requirements

System Requirements

  • InDesign CS6 or higher (including InDesign 2024)
  • Acrobat X or higher

Download Free Edition

Fill in the form below to download the free version of FormMagic.

Name:
Email:

 

Video: FormMagic & Accessibility

From a presentation by Damian Sian, accessibility expert, speaking at the A11YNYC Group in Dec. 2016, demonstrating FormMagic’s essential role in creating accessible PDFs.

Instant Download

FormMagic is available in 2 versions, and there’s also FormMaker:

FormMagic Free works with single-page InDesign documents and up to 10 form fields. Fill in the form above to download this version.

FormMagic Pro works with forms of any length.

FormMaker Pro works with forms of any length and has many more features, including adding Acrobat validation, calculation, and formatting scripts right inside InDesign, as well as scripts triggered by mouse and keyboard events!

To sign up for FormMagic Pro or FormMaker Pro click the appropriate button above. Your product and serial numbers will be available for instant download when you complete the purchase.

Still Have Questions?

Get in touch by email  or phone (+972 8 9799850) and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Money-back Guarantee

If you are not satisfied with FormMagic for any reason, simply let us know within 30 days of initial subscription for a full refund. After that, you may cancel your subscription at any time.

“FormMagic … I can't say enough good things about it!”

Damian Sian, Accessibility Expert

Article Comments

  1. Adam Kubin

    October 17, 2023 10:09 am Reply

    Hello guys, sorry but at the latest version of Acrobat 2024 doesnt work.
    Or is it hidden somewhere?

    • Ariel

      October 17, 2023 11:14 am Reply

      Hi Adam,
      On Windows: Select the hamburger menu, and then choose Disable new Acrobat.
      On macOS: Go to View > Disable new Acrobat.
      (This only changes the UI [which a lot of people are complaining about anyway] — you’ll still be using the latest Acrobat.)
      Does that help?
      Ariel

      • Adam Kubín

        October 17, 2023 1:08 pm Reply

        Yep, that does the trick.
        Thanks

        • Ariel

          October 18, 2023 1:34 am Reply

          👍. In fact, though, I’m not able to replicate the issue, at least not on my Macbook (running Monterey) and the latest version of Acrobat with the new UI where the tools are all on the left.
          The FormMagic menu items appears correctly at the bottom of the Edit menu in Acrobat as always.

  2. Duke De Dore

    August 20, 2023 1:13 pm Reply

    I tried the form field with an Adobe Cloud font “FF Good Pro Narrow Bold”. Unfortunately it does not work for me. For example, is this font one of the fonts that does not work? Do others also have this problem?

    • Ariel

      August 20, 2023 2:32 pm Reply

      Hi Duke,
      There’s one simple test to do: Try to apply this font manually in Acrobat to a form field (without using FormMagic in any way).
      Does it work, or do you get an error about embedding? Or perhaps you can’t even find the font in Acrobat?
      Post back, and we’ll continue trouble-shooting from there.
      Thanks,
      Ariel

  3. Dominik

    January 14, 2022 2:11 pm Reply

    Hi does this work in Indesign 2022? Im getting an Error Message when runnning the Script.

    best Dominik

    • Ariel

      January 14, 2022 2:47 pm Reply

      Hi Dominik,
      Yes, absolutely. What error message are you getting?
      Ariel

  4. Richard Coda

    June 29, 2021 7:40 pm Reply

    Hi Ariel.
    Quick question for you… is there any way to add “image” form fields in InDesign with or without Form Magic Pro? I know I can do it in Acrobat, but it’s a PITA. Thanks in advance for your reply and all your past help. Rich

    • Ariel

      July 2, 2021 6:01 pm Reply

      Hi Rick,
      It can be done with FormMaker (https://www.id-extras.com/products/formmaker/)
      What you’d need to do is add a “button”-type field to your document in InDesign.
      Then, with FormMaker, select the button field, and add a “mouseup” action (Actions > Mouseup > Edit), and add the following 1-line script:

      event.target.buttonImportIcon();

      That’s it! Export to interactive PDF, run the FormMaker command there, and you have a field the user can click on to select an image and import it into their document.
      HTH,
      Ariel

  5. Amanda

    December 2, 2020 10:58 pm Reply

    Hi Ariel — thank you for your response. I think I am a little confused then; in the information that you have listed about what FormMagic will do, it says that it will preserve alignment. Is that only for certain types of fields (not including combo boxes)? That is the main reason that I purchased it. Thanks

    • Ariel

      December 2, 2020 11:06 pm Reply

      Hi Amanda,
      Correct: For those fields that support alignment, FormMagic will preserve those settings. But if the type of field does not support alignment altogether (e.g. combo boxes) then it can’t. So, without FormMagic, if you have export a text field out of InDesign, it will always be left-aligned, but with FormMagic, your choice of left, right, or centered will be preserved.
      Ariel

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