/ Id-Extras Forum / Controlling the appearance of checkboxes, radio buttons and dropdowns

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  • #6196 Reply

    I am wondering if there is a way to control the appearance of checkboxes, radio buttons, and dropdown fields within InDesign and/or FormMaker. In many projects that use check boxes and radio buttons as selectors, I like to keep the appearance the same for simplicity, so I change the shape/symbol within Acrobat. I also find the default check (and other symbols) or the drop down arrow not particularly attractive. I also tend to size up the symbol larger than the default sizing assigned in Acrobat, but I don’t see a way to set a point size for non-text fields.

    I know there are sample buttons and forms within InDesign and am curious about using these and whether they’ll export with FormMaker or if it defaults to the standard check/radio/dropdown options once it’s in Acrobat. (If anyone has resources on how to create new styles for these buttons and forms, particularly to demonstrate selected/unselected states, I would be grateful for a link, as many of the options included in ID are not my taste, but I appreciate the opportunity to use something beyond the default.) I’ve just gotten the FormMaker script last week and I haven’t had a chance to experiment yet, so if you can share your experience on this, I would be grateful!

    Finally, I am having trouble with assigning a square shape I created as a radio button and applying the object style to it again. It appears to remove the Normal State fill, so if the user selects it, they won’t see that it has been selected until they click off or into another field and can see the dot. I get overrides on my object style panel if I go in and select the circle of the radio button field with a direct selection tool to add a fill to it, and clearing the override appears to reset the Normal State fill to blank again.

    Thank you for any thoughts you have!

    • This topic was modified 5 months, 3 weeks ago by Ariel.
    #6423 Reply
    Ariel
    Keymaster

    Hi Kate,
    I don’t think you can change the shape of the arrow in a dropdown box.
    Regarding making custom shapes for checkmarks: You can select the various states of the checkmark (Normal On, Normal Off), etc., and play around with the stroke and fill options. You can also go in with the white arrow and change the actual shape of the checkmark.
    Also, you could even create a multi-state object in InDesign (https://www.peachpit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=1924981&seqNum=13), and then use that as a checkbox.
    The biggest issue with checkboxes, though, is how they appear in Acrobat.
    Their appearance in Acrobat very much depends on whether the user has selected the “show field highlights” option. Because if they have (and this is, unfortunately for us, selected by default), the appearance of checkboxes gets very weird.
    For this reason, I think I would stick to the defaults.
    Not sure I’ve understood the issue with the radio button and object style…

    #6424 Reply
    Ariel
    Keymaster

    Hi Kate,
    I don’t think you can change the shape of the arrow in a dropdown box.
    Regarding making custom shapes for checkmarks: You can select the various states of the checkmark (Normal On, Normal Off), etc., and play around with the stroke and fill options. You can also go in with the white arrow and change the actual shape of the checkmark.
    Also, you could even create a multi-state object in InDesign (https://www.peachpit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=1924981&seqNum=13), and then use that as a checkbox.
    The biggest issue with checkboxes, though, is how they appear in Acrobat.
    Their appearance in Acrobat very much depends on whether the user has selected the “show field highlights” option. Because if they have (and this is, unfortunately for us, selected by default), the appearance of checkboxes gets very weird.
    For this reason, I think I would stick to the defaults.
    Not sure I’ve understood the issue with the radio button and object style…

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