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!

  • “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 FormMaker 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 - Senior Web Accessibility Advisor, Princeton University

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 Form Magic

Click here 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.

Installation Instructions

In the download package of FormMagic you will find a text file called “Installation Instructions.” 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 FormMagicFree, and in Acrobat you will see a new entry at the bottom of the Edit menu called “FormMagic”.

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.

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

Would you like to add Acrobat validation scripts in InDesign? (Validation scripts are Acrobat Javascripts that check whether a field contains the right type of data, such as digits only, or letters only, or that update another field based on the value of one field.) We have developed a corporate version of FormMagic, called FormMaker, that provides these essential functions.

Click here to see an example of how FormMaker was used to convert 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 Javascript
    validations

FormMagic Pro

$ 129 / license
  • Set font, color, alignment and more to form fields
  • Create forms of any length
  • Create as many form fields as needed
  • No Javascript
    validations

FormMaker

$ 249 / license
  • Set font, color, alignment and more to form fields
  • Create forms of any length
  • Create as many form fields as needed
  • Include Javascript validations

Buy FormMagic Pro

FormMagic Pro: $129.00

For multiple licenses (5 or more), please contact us to arrange a discount.

Buy FormMaker

FormMaker: $249.00

For multiple licenses (5 or more), please contact us to arrange a discount.

System Requirements

System Requirements

  • InDesign CS6 or higher (including CC2018)
  • Acrobat X or higher

Download Free Edition

Click on the button to download the free edition of FormMagic.

Video: FormMagic & Accessibility

From a presentation by Damian Sian (Senior Web Accessibility Advisor at Princeton University) to the A11YNYC Group in Dec. 2016, demonstrating FormMagic’s essential role in creating accessible PDFs.

Note: You may upgrade at any time from FormMagic Pro to FormMaker for the difference in price between the two products. Get in touch for an upgrade…

Instant Download

FormMagic is available in 3 editions:

FormMagic Free works with single-page InDesign documents and up to 10 form fields. Click here to download FormMagic Free Edition.

FormMagic Pro ($129.00) works with forms of any length but does not include the ability to add Javascript validations to form fields inside InDesign.

FormMaker ($249.00) works with forms of any length and has all features, including adding Javascript validation to form fields right inside InDesign!

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

Money-back Guarantee

If you are not satisfied with FormMagic for any reason, simply let us know within 30 days of purchase for a full refund.

Buy Now

“FormMagic … saved the training that I did. I can't say enough good things about it!”

Damian Sian, Senior Web Accessibility Advisor for Princeton University

Your thoughts here
  1. I just downloaded the free version to test out before purchasing and I’m not getting the results in the example.

    The font always exports as Times, and it doesn’t retain the paragraph formatting.

    Not sure if I’m missing something or if I’m doing something wrong.

    Jennifer Larson
  2. And I just figured it out.

    I’m good now. 🙂

    Jennifer Larson
  3. Hi, I’ve been using your free product to get a sense of what it can do, and being able to use the font formatting from Indesign makes such a dramatic difference to the experience the viewer gets… well done!

    I’m not sure if someone has mentioned this above, but I am struggling to get FormMagic to recognise and store the leading or line height for multiline form fields.

    Any help on how I can remedy this?

    • Hi Jeremy,

      Thanks for your comment.

      Unfortunately, Acrobat doesn’t make those properties accessible to scripting (last time I checked). So FormMagic cannot set those properties (line spacing and leading) for multiline form fields.

  4. I am having problems running the paid version of FormMagic Pro. I am InDesign CC 2017 on a Mac running El Capitan. I have followed the installation instructions and can see the FormMagic script in the Scripts window in InDesign. When I double click on this script I get a modal dialog prompting me to enter a serial number. When I enter the serial number and click OK I get the following error message: “An unexpected error has occurred. Please contact admin@id-extras.com for assistance. ERROR CODE -1″

  5. Hi there,
    I tried out the free version for Indesign. I copied it into my script folder, but when I try to start it, it always brings me the registration form, and doesn’t do anything. What can I do? Its IDD CC 2015 on an OSX 10.11.6 Mac.
    thanks
    OH

    • Hi,

      You should be getting a “Thank you for registering” message at the end of the process.

      If you do not see this, it probably means that the computer isn’t connected to the Internet, or is being blocked by a firewall, and so you’re being asked to register again.

      Could it be that the computer’s access to the Internet is being blocked somehow?

      • Hi,
        thanks for the answer, but the computer is connected to the internet, and I get the “Thank you…” message. Is it possible, that I’ll need administrator privs for the script?
        thanks
        OH

        • Perhaps… just for the registration process. Not sure.
          Try putting the InDesign script into the Application folder (in the Script Panel there are 2 folders: User (which has lower privs) and Application (which has admin privs).

  6. Hello Ariel,
    sorry for the delay. You solutions works.
    Thanks a lot.
    OH

  7. Does FormMaker allow to add any kind of script to a field or a validation script only ?
    By any kind i mean a script with a user action, for example allowing to change a picture in a field or a script for locking/unlocking all/several fields in the form.
    Thanks

    • Hi Alan,

      Currently, FormMaker only allows adding validation scripts. However, this could fairly easily be expanded to include the following actions if needed:
      MouseUp
      MouseDown
      MouseEnter
      MouseExit
      OnFocus
      OnBlur
      Keystroke

      • Rereading your question, perhaps you’re asking whether the script could do anything? In that case, the answer is yes, you can add a script that does anything you like, such as hiding or showing objects.

        A “validation” script means a script that is triggered when the field is validated, which mainly happens when the user focuses out of the field after typing in it.

        The list I gave above means that the script could be triggered by any of the listed events as well — this is something that could be added to FormMaker if needed.

        However, the script itself can do anything that a regular Acrobat script attached to a form field could do — not just validation!

  8. Hi, first of all good work with this improvement.

    Secondly, I have a small problem: in the text frame I use bold font in two sizes. In Acrobat, the font is transformed to regular form.
    One size for all characters eliminates this problem.

    Using Eastern Europe characters causes them to be converted to arial or similar.

  9. We have FormMagic 1.7.2 Pro and are finding that it remembers all font attributes from InDesign with the exception of alignment. I set up text boxes, click the FormMagic script in InDesign, export the interactive PDF, open that in Acrobat and apply FormMagic there. All text is converted to the way I set it up in InDesign but the type remains flush left even though I set it up as centered in InDesign. This is happening on PC and Mac.

    Can you tell me what I’m not doing correctly?

    By the way, we LOVE FormMagic. It has saved us sooo much time!

    • Thanks Amy!

      I’m not having any difficulty setting center alignment. There must be some other problem. Could you send me a sample InDesign file that is giving you difficulty? Send it to admin [at] id-extras.com.

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