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Work with PDF Forms

Set the Preferences about PDF Forms

You can set form preferences before creating, designing, or filling in a PDF form.

Fill out PDF Forms

Foxit PhantomPDF Mac helps you work on both interactive PDF forms which contain fillable fields and non-interactive PDF forms which act as plain PDF files with lines and texts.

Fill in Non-interactive PDF Forms

You can use the Fill & Sign tools to add text and symbols in non-interactive PDF forms. As you move the cursor on the page with a fill tool selected, a blue frame appears if the cursor is hovering above a fillable area.

Tip: The fill tool will be kept as selected by default for you to add the same object continuously. If you need to exit the fill tool, press the ESC key, or select another desired tool directly.

Fill in Interactive PDF Forms

Reset Interactive Form Fields

You can clear all the interactive form entries with the following steps:

Manage Form Data

For AcroForms, Foxit PhantomPDF Mac allows you to import and export form data in XML, XFDF, TXT, or CSV formats. For XFA forms, you can import and export form data in XML and XDP formats.

Import Form Data

Export Form Data

Create PDF Forms

Form Field Recognition

Recognize Form Fields with Designer Assistant

The Designer Assistant command automatically detects form fields that can be created on PDF pages and displays a blue frame where there is a suggested form filed. For more information, please refer to “Create Form Fields”.

Run Form Field Recognition

You can use the Run Form Field Recognition command to recognize text fields, check boxes, and digital signature fields through the whole document.

Create Form Fields

Foxit PhantomPDF Mac provides a group of buttons that can be used to create and design form fields in interactive PDF forms. You are able to add form fields like push buttons, text fields, check boxes, combo boxes, list boxes and radio buttons to an interactive PDF form and specify their properties.

Lay out Form Fields on Grids

You can use grids to line up form fields in a PDF document. When you create or move a form field, Snap to Grid can align the form field with the nearest grid line.

Manage Form Fields

After creating form fields, you can still move, resize, copy, and arrange them.

Move a Form Field

Resize a Form Field

Delete a Form Field

Copy a Form Field

Copy and Past a Form Field

Tip: The signature field cannot be copied.

Create Multiple Copies of a Form Field

Duplicate a Form Field

You can duplicate a push button, radio button, check box, combo box, list box, and text field on forms that contain more than one page.

Set Tab Order

You can set the tab order of the form fields you created. The order number will show on the top left corner. By default, the tab order is based on the document structure. Please do any of the following to set tab order:

Tip: You can only set tab order within one page.

Set Form Field Properties

You can set properties that apply formatting, determine the appearance and actions, and so forth.
To set properties of a form field, make sure that you have chosen the Select Annotation command or the corresponding form field tool, and then double-click the form field, or right-click the form field and choose Properties. After setting form field properties, you can right-click the form field and choose Use Current Properties As New Defaults to set your settings as the default for all form fields of the same type.   

Properties may vary based on the type of a form field. In form field properties dialog box, there are two items on every tab:

Tip: If you select Locked on any tab, it will lock all options for the button, but not just the options on that tab.

General Tab

The General tab in properties contains the following options:

Appearance Tab

The Appearance properties determine how the form field looks on the page.

Tip: You may not see the difference if no color is chosen as the border color.

Tip: A Fill Color choice other than No color will block any images on the PDF page that are behind the form field.

Tip: Some text related properties, including Font Size, Font, and Direction, are not available for form fields that do not display text.

Options Tab

Options tab is available for all types of form fields except signature fields. The options in the Options tab may change according to the type of form field selected.

Options Tab for Push Buttons

The Options properties for push buttons determine how labels and icons appear on the form field. A button can have a label, an icon, or both.

Options Tab for Check Boxes

Options Tab for Radio Buttons

Options Tab for Combo Boxes and List Boxes

Tip: The highlighted item in the Item list box appears as the default selected item in the combo box field. To change the default item, highlight another item from the list.

Options Tab for Text Fields

Tip: If you entered a default value, that value is clipped to this limit.

Format Tab

The Format tab is only available for text fields and combo boxes, which enables you to format the field values.

Select one of the format categories listed below:

Validate Tab

The Validate tab is only available for text fields and combo boxes, which enables you to restrict entries to specified ranges, values, or characters to ensure that users enter the appropriate data in a specified form field.

Calculate Tab

The Calculate tab is only available for text fields and combo boxes, which enables you to perform mathematical operations on existing form field entries and display the results.

Actions Tab

The Actions properties specify any actions that you want to associate with the form field, such as jumping to a specific page or going to a web site.

Signed Tab

The Signed tab is only available for signature fields.

Arrange Form Fields

Select Multiple Form Fields

To arrange the form fields, you have to select multiple form fields that you want to arrange first.

To select multiple form fields, make sure you have the chosen Select Annotation command, and do one of the following:

Tip: The form field highlighted in red is the anchor. When you select multiple form fields by clicking, the last field selected is the anchor.

Align Form Fields

Center Form Fields

Distribute Form Fields

In the context of laying out form fields on a page, you can give a group of form fields uniform spacing, based on the centers of adjacent form fields. This function will be available when selecting three or more form fields.

Resize Multiple Form Fields

Select one of the form fields as the anchor, and the rest of the form fields will be resized with the same height or width as that of the anchor form field.

Add Tooltips to Form Fields

To make form fields accessible to screen readers, you can add text description (tooltip) to a form field in its properties by doing any of the following:

Set Form Field Calculation Order

When you define two or more calculations in a form, the order in which they are carried out is the order in which you set the calculations. In some cases, you may need to modify the calculation order to obtain correct results.

Form Fields Panel

Foxit PhantomPDF Mac lists all the form fields in Fields panel. To open the Fields panel, choose View in the menu bar > Navigation Panels > Fields, or click Fields icon  in the Navigation pane, or press the shortcut key Option + Command + 6. In the Fields panel, you can click the Set Order menu  on the top-left corner to specify how to order tabs and whether to show tab numbers or not. When you right-click on a form field in the Fields panel, you can choose desired options from the context menu to manage that form field and modify its properties. For more information, please refer to “Manage Form Fields” and “Set Form Field Properties”.

Page Templates

Page templates can be used to fill a PDF form where users need to add more pages if they still have info to enter. Or, an official organization like Customs creates a page template which contains several buttons with JavaScript actions that corresponding forms will appear when users click on different buttons to fill in forms based on different situations.

Create a Page Template

Manage Page Templates

In the Page Templates dialog box, choose a template and click Goto to navigate to the page. You can also rename, replace, delete, show, or hide page templates.

Rename a Page Template

Replace a Page Template

Delete a Page Template

Show or Hide a Page Template

Edit Static XFA Forms

With Foxit PhantomPDF Mac, you can edit static XFA forms as AcroForm. To edit static XFA forms, please do as below:


With Foxit PhantomPDF Mac, you can invoke JavaScript code using actions associated with documents, bookmarks, links, and pages. Foxit PhantomPDF Mac provides four options for you to create, debug, or edit JavaScripts – Document JavaScript, Document Action, JavaScript Console, and Edit All JavaScripts. These options are only available when you have the edit permissions for a document. To execute JavaScripts in a PDF file with Foxit PhantomPDF Mac, you need to make sure that you have enabled JavaScript actions in the File tab (or Foxit PhantomPDF in the menu bar) > Preferences > Trust Manager.  

Document JavaScript

Document JavaScripts are variable and function definitions that are generally useful to a given document, but are not applicable outside the document.

To create or access document level scripts in Foxit PhantomPDF Mac, please follow the steps below:

Document Action

You can create the document-level JavaScript actions that can be executed when certain document event occurs.

JavaScript Console

JavaScript Console is a control panel for the execution and debugging of JavaScript code.

JavaScript Editor

You can use the JavaScript Editor to view, create, and edit all the JavaScripts in a PDF file.