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Is there a way to make a large text field lined like old fashioned notebook paper?


Level 4

I have a client who appreciates being able to fill out forms onscreen but has many users who will print out the form and handwrite in all the information for large narratives. He wants the text fields to expand and wrap correctly if the form is used on screen, but to contain lines for the narrative when printed out and filled in manually.

Does anyone know of a way to do this so it displays correctly within a text field? 

In playing around with the text field, I designated it with "Custom" chosen as the appearance. Then I changed the background fill style to "Pattern: Horizontal" and the fill colors to white first and then a medium gray. This created the lined paper appearance but getting the text to actually line up on those lines eluded me. I tried all manner of spacing of the text and it would be on the line for three or four lines of text and then start sinking below the lines subsequently and if I made the field large enough the text would eventually reseat on the lines but would still have an area where it was out of sync with the lines. I have my text set to Arial 10.

I add this information in case there are other out there who don't know that this is available but if anyone has a solution for either getting the text to line up correctly or adjusting the size of the line spacing in the pattern, please let me know.


I edit again because the client did not like that solution. The lines were spaced too close for handwriting. Since the idea was to show lines for those who print out the form and fill out manually, I made a subform of .25 spaced lines and wrapped that subform in a subform along with the narrative field, that is Positioned but is checked in the Layout palette to "Expand to Fit" in height. This is a trick I learned from a sample form created by Assure Dynamics (available here:  Two column layout | Assure Dynamics developing dynamic LiveCycle and Flex solutions). The large narrative field is also set to Auto-fit the height because it flows to another page.

The next thing I did was set a condition in the Tools section that when the narrative field is entered, set the subform with the lines to hidden (because the lines don't actually line up with the text and make it confusing to read). Now if the user just opens the form and prints it out, they have the lines to write in. If they fill it out on screen, the lines disappear when they enter the text field so they don't print out on the final copy.

I'm sure this could have easily be accomplished with javascript but since I don't write javascript, I had to think of a way to do this.

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