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Flexible content lengths in form fields - how?

Not applicable
Hi everyone,

I am new at this Designer tool and need help regarding flexible contents inside form fields.

1. Inside my pattern-form there are fields for customer/product-contents which VARY their size.

--> Example: If field #a gets a size of 20 lines instead of 5, field #b (below #a) MUST move/relocate downwards.

(It is not acceptable to offer a maximum sized field only = I need flexible frames!)

2. Ideal would be: If form #a becomes too big, the form should be able to push field #b to the following page.

Can someone explain me the steps how to do produce a form which contains the requirements above? Many thanks in advance!

7 Replies
Level 2
Level 2
Hi Matt,

this issue should be resolved by placing the fields in question inside a sub-form. Subforms can either be Positioned (where the fields cannot grow) or Flowed (where the fields can grow).

To do this you can Ctrl+select all the fields in the hierarchy view and right-click --> Wrap in Subform.

This will alter the hierarchy structure; you will see the fields under your new subform.

Next, go to the Object's tab (once you have selected the subform) and change the property to 'Flowed' (the alternative is Positioned). Once you have changed it to Flowed, you have the option of flowing it either Top to bottom or Western Text (from left to right). This choice must be based on your requirement.

I won't lie - the Flowed/Positioned subform option can be tricky, the 'Margins'settings can mess with the rest of your layout. If this subform thing throws off your layout too much, you can also place Positioned subforms within it - just remember those subforms will not grow. Testing will reveal what suits you best.

It is very important to remember to tick 'Allow Page Breaks within Contents' - this allows the subform to flow over onto the next page if needed. Also, remember to look at your Field's properties (such as 'Allow Multiple Lines', etc).

I hope this has helped. Perhaps look for a tutorial on this matter on the Adobe site - you'll probably need a reference to look back on if you get stuck.

Not applicable
Thanks! But my n00bism continues:

We use Acrobat Pro 6 in here, the prog I use for testing your advice is named "Form Designer". I made a new subform, changed margins and the field-attribs to "flowed" "top to bottom" etc. But I cannot write something into it, neither in Adobe Pro-mode and of course not in Adobe Reader-mode. So what is this field good for at all? The parameters all seem useful, but how do I get test-content into it to see how it works? I want simple text and numbers to appear in the field, nothing else.

Thanks in advance

Level 2
Level 2

would you mind posting me your email address?

I will contact you to get a copy of your form.

I honestly can't tell you if this is a software issue (I am not entirely fluent in all the versions and the functions of the various Adobe programs), but if it is a design problem - I think I can help.

Also - perhaps you would like to do a little research on the functionality of the programs you are using. Perhaps there are features disabled.

Talk soon.

Not applicable (no native speaker 😉 )
Not applicable
Hi Matt,

If I have two textfields wrapped in a subform, how can I wrap this subform in another subform so that it can position the text in the textfields in the middle of the box automatically?

Level 2
Level 2
Hi Steph,

It is as simple as you think it is - you just wrap them, and make it positioned.

It gets tricky if you want the subforms to grow - just remember for a flowing field, the outer most sumform must be 'Flowed'.

The best will be to experiment with it.

* Remember - if your fields inside the subform start moving about 'by themselves', you need to take a look at the Margin settings; these settings will override your placement in the subform.

Hope that helps,

Not applicable
Hi all,

I need to create a text field where the person who is filling out the form must select one of three different maximum character lengths. In my searching I have found some vague help about adding radio buttons and scripts to achieve this but I really need a step by step explanation or method. I also need to give the user choices which when made will show and hide fields depending on their choice.

Hope someone can help,