Below are the most commonly used form fields:
Textboxes are one of the most common form fields. Follow these steps to add a textbox.
- Click on the Textbox button.
- Drag your mouse over where you want to add the field.
- Click and drag to draw the field.
To change the appearance, position, option, etc., right-click the field and select the Properties option. To make the fields required, check the Required checkbox.
Use the multiline option if the textbox spans more than one line by checking the Multiline option in the Properties > Options panel.
The Actions, Validate, and Calculate options in the Properties panel offer more advanced options.
Checkboxes are commonly used in forms when the user is enabled to select multiple options. To add checkboxes, click on the Checkbox button and draw the checkbox field.
Change the appearance of the checkbox by right-clicking the checkbox and selecting Properties > Appearance.
To change the shape of the checkbox, select Options in the Properties panel.
The radio buttons force users to choose one option. Radio buttons require additional steps to ensure accessibility. Tip: Use checkboxes to avoid this issue. To add a radio button, click on the radio button and draw the field.
Group radio buttons under a corresponding question. Therefore, all the radio buttons in the group must have the same Name. If you use different names for each radio button, they will not relate to the same question or be in the same group.
For example, consider the form field below:
The Properties panel for the Yes radio button:
In the Options tab, add the radio button choice.
Properties panel for the No radio button:
Add the radio button choice in the Options tab.
See the correct grouping of the radio buttons in the fields list on the right side.
If you do not see all radio buttons grouped under the correct question, you most likely have different Name values for each radio button. This will have to be fixed or your form will not work properly. See the explanation earlier.
Change the appearance of radio buttons by right-clicking the button and selecting Properties > Appearance.
Dropdown vs Radio Button
Use the dropdown field instead of radio buttons to save space in the document and enable users to add custom text if the choice is not included in the dropdown list.
To create a dropdown form field, follow the following steps:
- Click on the Dropdown button and draw the field.
- Right-click on the field and click on Properties.
- To add multiple choices, go to Properties > Options.
- Write each option in the Item field and click Add. Screen readers will add them to the Item List. Note: Select the item in the item list to make it a default choice. In the image below, the item “Parent” is the default choice. If you check the checkbox “enable users to enter the custom text”, the users will add custom text instead of choosing the item in the item list. The Sort items option will sort the items alphabetically in the Item List.
Droplist vs Dropdown
What is the difference between Droplist and Dropdown in an accessible document?
The Droplist shows all the items in the Listbox. The Dropdown field requires you to click on the arrow to access all the items. Another major distinction is that the user can only select one item in the Dropdown, but the Droplist users can select multiple options.
Creating a Droplist
To use the Droplist field, click on the Droplist button and draw the Listbox of the desired size. Resize the Listbox if doesn’t fit all the items you want to include.
To add the list items, right-click on the field and select Properties > Options, enter the Item field and click Add.
If you check Multiple selections, the users will be able to select more than one option.
The date field enables the user to manually type the date or use a dropdown to select the date from a calendar.
Example of the Date field: