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Set default font type and size in formcreated using Acrobat X Pro

Sep 2, 2012 6:11 PM

Tags: #acrobat_10_pro

I have a word document that I used Acrobat X Pro to create a PDF and then a Form.  The Form has over 200 text fields.  Is there a way to globally set the font type and size to one type, for instance Arial 10 so that when someone opens the Form and fills it in, the global font type and size is preset         

 
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  • George Johnson
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    Aug 11, 2002
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    Sep 2, 2012 11:58 PM   in reply to Brandt2012

    If you're using the Form Wizard to create the forms, there is not. If you create fields manually, you can set the default for a particular type of form field by first creating one with the properties you want, right-click, and select "Use Current Properties as New Defaults". You can also use JavaScript to loop through the collection of fields and set any of the properties the same.

     
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    Sep 9, 2012 8:45 AM   in reply to George Johnson

    Hi George

     

    Like many others I read about, changing the font away from Helvetica as the default font for new text fields does not work, as it did in all previous versions when the user right-clicks on a text field and chooses "Use Current Properties as New Defaults". Given the number of forms my teams create, this bug is very serious. As said to me by more than one of the developers, this is doubling the time taken to prepare forms.

     

    Is there a fix, and has this been raised as a bug? How do we raise it as a bug? Adding in Javascript to change this is not a solution, just a workaround that adds to development time.

     
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  • George Johnson
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    Sep 9, 2012 10:14 AM   in reply to RusticRanger2

    Are you talking about fields that you create manually or field created with the Form Wizard? Exactly what version of Acrobat are you using? What OS?

     

    In any case, using a script is a quick and easy approach:

     

    for (var i = 0; i < numFields; i++) {

     

        var fName = getNthFieldName(i);

        var f = getField(fName);

     

        if (f.type === "text") {

            f.textFont = font.Times;

            f.textSize = 9;

            // Other properties go here

        }

    }

     

    I use this type of thing all the time to quickly alter a form. Such a script isn't added anywhere, just executed (e.g., JavaScript console). Over time a developer can build up a collection of utility scripts that can do all sorts of things to dramatically speed up development. It would be bad if this option were not available.

     

    If there is a bug, it should certainly be addressed, so don't think I'm arguing against that, but I'm not seeing it on any of my systems. I can successfully set the default field properties by selecting "Use Current Properties as New Defaults". The Form Wizard does not use these defaults, but that's a different matter.

     
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    Sep 9, 2012 10:44 AM   in reply to George Johnson

    Hi George

     

    Thanks for the script - I am talking about new fields manually created, not using the form wizard. We abandoned that long ago because we couldn't set the font default, or anything else for that matter. So in my sets we have over 4500 forms or varying lengths from 2 to 105 pages, most of which were built using Acrobat 9 Pro, where creating the first text field and setting its font to Arial (and other setting), then selecting "Use Current Properties as New Defaults", any new text fields created would have Arial as default.

     

    With Acrobat X Pro, following the same procedures saves everything but the font setting - new fields always revert to Helvetica. This is particularly on Windows 7 64-bit machines - Acrobat Pro 10.1.2.

     

    We use document level scripts for all sorts of functions, so have a hefty set of such scripts already, some even based on your expertise over the years. But that is a different matter really - just my guys moaning about a feature that was always present, and does not work now.

     
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  • George Johnson
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    Sep 9, 2012 12:03 PM   in reply to RusticRanger2

    Got it. These default settings are stored in the Windows registry, so you might want to experiment by changing them directly and see what happens. This should at least be a workaround to setting them in Acrobat.

     

    It would also be interesting to see of they are saved for other field types and for comments, such as line, oval, text box, etc. It could be a bug with Acrobat, or something's preventing writing to the registry. My Acrobat 10 is running on WinXP, but this works fine for me with Acrobat 9/Win7-64.

     
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    Sep 9, 2012 12:25 PM   in reply to George Johnson

    Agreed - WinXP/Acrobat 10 works, Win7-64/Acrobat 9 works. Just not Win7-64/Acrobat 10.

     

    From a few years ago, I do remember changing the registry for something else, so thanks for the reminder. Is it here:

    .

    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\10.0\Tx Properties

     
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    Sep 9, 2012 1:40 PM   in reply to RusticRanger2

    UPDATE:

     

    I have been playing around with this registry key, and have changed the sTextFont to Arial and the sTextSize to 10.0. For this I did the following: deleted those two binaries, closed regedit, opened Acrobat, modified a text field to be Arial 10pt, and set "Use Current Properties as New Defaults". When I opened the registry key again, the two binaries had been recreated with the Arial 10pt values. So Acrobat is writing new values, but not overwriting existing values. With the binaries in place, changing the font settings and clicking "Use Current Properties as New Defaults" does not change the values in the registry.

     

    I restarted the machine, opened Acrobat again, and edited the form. I created a new text field, and hey presto! the new field was Helvetic Auto!! Went back to check the defaults in the registry, and those were still Arial 10pt. So, in short, there is some sort of disconnection between the registry and Acrobat 10 on Win7.

     

    Also, the script does not seem to make any difference - I put the exact script you posted in as a Document Level javascript, changing only Times to Arial and 12 to 10 pt, and nothing seems to change the values of the text fields.

     
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  • George Johnson
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    Aug 11, 2002
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    Sep 9, 2012 5:52 PM   in reply to RusticRanger2

    It's not intended to be a document-level script, though it will work there. But if you put it in a function definition, the function has to be called at some time.

     

    It's really meant to be run the the interactive JavaScript console (Ctrl+J), by highlighting all of the lines and pressing Ctrl+Enter, or Enter on the numeric keypad. I just tested what I posted and it works for me.

     
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    Sep 10, 2012 6:29 AM   in reply to George Johnson

    Hi - since the original post was about defaulting text fields to something other than Helvetica Auto, is there anything that can be done about this bug in Win7/Acro 10? As above, my tests show a disconnect between Acrobat 10 and the Windows 7 registry.

     
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    Jan 10, 2013 7:52 PM   in reply to Brandt2012

    This is what I do, and it does not require any script. It is not fully automated, but more so that doing it field by field. I create my form in Form Wizard. Once the fields are automatically created, I use the "Select Object" tool from "Advanced Editing." Then I box around the multiple text fields I want to edit at the same time. Once they are all highlighted (on my mac they turn blue), I right click just one of them (ensuring they all stay blue)... Select properties from the dropdown list, click the "Appearance" tab and change the font size. Voila, all the text fields I highlighted now have the same text size set so that when the user types in the field the font sizes are not all wonky due to the default being "Auto."

     

    Hope this helps... Plus I hope my search will find this post next time I can't remember how to do it

     
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    Feb 2, 2013 6:43 PM   in reply to oowefawe

    oowefawe,

     

    You're simply Awesome. This is exactly what I was looking for. Thanks a billion.

     
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    Feb 3, 2013 12:19 AM   in reply to onetimemember

    Reading back over the messages: there seems to me no good reason to EVER change Helvetica to Arial. All it does is make the PDF bigger without changing the appearance. Helvetica is a magic "always works" font which looks almost exactly the same as Arial (indeed, often the two are swapped silently).

     
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    Mar 6, 2013 9:54 AM   in reply to Test Screen Name

    Of course adding text to a PDF with Acrobat XI doesn't have Helvetica any longer - although it DOES have Arial.

     
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    Mar 6, 2013 10:12 AM   in reply to Garf!eld

    I'm not talking about adding text. This is specific to form fields.

     
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    Mar 25, 2013 10:35 AM   in reply to Brandt2012

    For Acrobat XI:

     

    Under Forms; highlight the fillable spaces you'd like to alter; under Tasks select Edit Fields; select Show Field Properties; adjust font size/color/etc.

     

    That's it!

     
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    May 26, 2013 2:35 AM   in reply to RusticRanger2

    Hi to all.

    I tried to solve the same issue for long time and now I found the solution! :-)

    I think this issue regards only Win 7 64bit users with Adobe X Pro.

    So, if you want to change the default font for the textbox, and the right click and Set As Default Properties does not work, the only way is to modify value in regedit.

    Don't worry about, but be really careful inside registry.

    Follow these steps:

    For the first, cloe adobe X Pro, if still opened!

    Open Regedit and go to HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\10.0\Tx Properties.

    There are all values about textbox properties. Now double click on "sTextFont" and left click inside the box, after Helvetica. Delete the word Helvetica and type Arial. (you can check the value of any font here: http://www.asciitohex.com/).

    Now on the left side of the window you must see the Hexadecimal value of Arial (41 72 69 61 6c). Left click after "6c" and add "00" value, that will add "." (dot) after "Arial" on the right side.

    Now hit OK and save. Exit Regedit and you've done! :-)) Open Adobe X Pro, add an new textbox, and voila, the default font is Arial.

     

    Enjoy!

    Rene

     
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    May 26, 2013 2:39 AM   in reply to rendy1968

    That's interesting information, but a negative and pointless thing to do, surely - to change from Helvetica to Arial (see above).

     
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    May 26, 2013 7:39 AM   in reply to Test Screen Name

    The current version of Acrobat XI Pro now uses a TIMES ROMANESQUE font named "Minion Pro" as a default instead of Helvetica, so the work-around is certainly applicable.

     

    Of course, the correct approach would be to place this variable somewhere in the "Preferences" group. That way we wouldn't be subject to the whims of Style Gurus as to what fonts are good for us.

     
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    Jun 4, 2013 2:03 AM   in reply to rendy1968

    Great idea, but the registry is different in XI. A fix for XI would be greatly appreciated. I hate having style dictated like this!

     
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    Jun 4, 2013 7:33 AM   in reply to George Johnson

    You should be able to click on field the choose properties Adjust the font then whe saving should come up make this default.  You may have to do this with any Field created with Forms Generator.

     
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    Jun 4, 2013 11:15 AM   in reply to Phillip Jones

    Dear Phillip jones, this does not solve the issue, and I'm not sure you've read all posts. Infact "set default properties" does not work (bug of Adobe Pro X) The only way is the solution I've found. If you have 100 fields to set, well it's simply; select all fields > properties > change font > OK. But when you work with thousand fields, well it's impossible to do it without nervous breakdown! :-)

    I've read about similiar solutions like mine, about registry settings, but no one works properly, because indicating wrong hotkeys. The only one is
    HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\10.0\Tx Properties....it's simply! :-))

    Now, is true that Helvetica is an good font, in reply to Test Screen Name, and for someone maybe pointless to change it with Arial, but I thing this is subjective. I don't like Helvetica, above all I don't like to be forced to use it, just because Adobe default settings.

     
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    Jun 5, 2013 1:40 AM   in reply to rendy1968

    All - I dropped out of this conversation after it became clear that manual resetting is the only way, whether by bulk selection or otherwise. Why Arial - very simply because on Windows it is NOT a default font - only on Mac. On Windows it is a paid-for font. And here is the why - our forms are used by many thousands of customers, most of whom have Windows. For those users who do not have Helvetica installed, the forms produce an error. With Arial, it is installed as a default in all Windows and Mac systems (Linux uses Arial too), so we are never in danger of irritating the customer.

     
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    Jun 5, 2013 1:45 AM   in reply to RusticRanger

    It's not the only way. It can also be done using a script.

     
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    Jun 5, 2013 1:53 AM   in reply to Gilad D (try67)

    When you have nearly 5000 forms with many variations, even a script becomes manual. What I still want is for Adobe to address the issue that  "Use Current Properties as New Defaults" does not default the font to the one I want. The Helvetica/Arial issue is going off the subject.

     
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    Jun 5, 2013 2:14 AM   in reply to Gilad D (try67)

    Sure, maybe, but who, like me doesn't know about scripts, the most simply way is regedit, although you have to remember to be very careful in using regedit and do not change any other value, if you are not sure!

    This issue was started from people, that had only one question; how to change the default font in Adobe Pro X? The right way should to be > right click > properties > set as default properties! Unfortunately there is an bug in Adobe Pro X with Windows 7 64bit and that's the reason about our thread :-)) So or script (who know to use it) or my simply solution with regedit....does no matter. Everyone takes what he wants to be good, it is important to have found alternatives to bug, I think! ;-)

     
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    Jun 5, 2013 2:18 AM   in reply to rendy1968

    I agree that this bug should be solved, but I didn't mean that you can

    change the default font used by a script, by the way (since you can't),

    just that you can change it afterwards for all the fields in a single

    process.

     
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    Jun 5, 2013 2:38 AM   in reply to Gilad D (try67)

    Ok, so what about to post your script and the way how to apply it. I would definitely like to delve into the world of scripts, can always come in handy! ;-))

    However I prefer my solution, because I don't like Helvetica in any way, so it's more simply to set default font forever in registry.

     
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    Jun 5, 2013 4:01 AM   in reply to RusticRanger

    Helvetica should be used, in preference to Arial in every case. It should in no case give an error - if it does this is a serious problem, so please let us know the detail.

     
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    Jun 5, 2013 4:38 AM   in reply to Test Screen Name

    Meant to say that Helvetica is NOT a default Windows font, but Arial is, so anyone without Helvetica installed will receive errors on opening un-embedded Helvetica.

     
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    Jun 5, 2013 4:40 AM   in reply to RusticRanger2

    You are correct that Helvetica isn't a standard Windows font, but that shouldn't matter a bean. Have you ever actually seen an error from using this recommended, standard, PDF font?

     
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    Jun 5, 2013 4:55 AM   in reply to Test Screen Name

    With near 5000 forms (and ten times that many users) of course I have, otherwise do you realy believe I would waste my time with this? Anyway, as said, the typeface is not the question, it is that we cannot change it to another default font - that is all people above want to do.

     
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    Jun 5, 2013 5:15 AM   in reply to RusticRanger2

    Can you share a file or evidence of this? It goes against standard advice and the rules of PDF.

     
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    Jun 5, 2013 5:32 AM   in reply to RusticRanger2

    Sorry but I still don't understand the prolongation of this thread. The thread was opened, because the software does not alow to "save" default font for the fields (other default properties seems can be set and remains saved, after the right click on "use as default properties")........... (seems to be only for Adobe Pro X version working on Windows 7 64bit version)

    Now:

    1) Adobe have an bug and this is the most important thing to correct by Adobe: OK!... Until this bug does not will be corrected, there are two solutions for now; script and regedit (for fewer fields there's also the option "select all fields and set same font from properties for all selected fields")

    2) Helvetica should be installed on all windows systems, and i think does not cause errors if is not...(it's never happened to me)

    3) I don't know yours, but my real issue was that I don't like Helvetica, and also results slightly higher than Arial (or other font), positioning it on the line of the field. For these reasons I chose to modify the default setting. Now I have Arial font as default, everytime I need to work on.

    So the question, at least for me, is "finally" closed! :-))


     
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    Jun 5, 2013 5:47 AM   in reply to rendy1968

    My concern is that the advice to use Arial in place of Helvetica (for font fields, for western fonts) is continuing to be repeated, advice that I have always considered to be bad. So, if the "bad" advice is repeated, I will repeat my disagreement,

     

    This advice has nothing to do with whether Arial, Helvetica, or any other font is installed on the system. If you have typographic preferences that's another thing, though it's odd given that Acrobat/Reader will most often use Arial to show on screen anyway.

     
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    Jun 5, 2013 6:05 AM   in reply to rendy1968

    Hey Rendy - glad the regedit worked for you (see my post points 6-10) but for me the default setting will not remain.

     
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    Jun 5, 2013 6:09 AM   in reply to Test Screen Name

    I missed the part of thread, where you explaining the reasons for to choose Helvetica. Which is the reason for to use it in place of other fonts? For example between Arial and Helvetica...

    I seem to have seen that you've mentioned about more size of Arial....that the PDF created with Arial results bigger than with Helvetica, right?

    Actually my PDF created with Arial, 33 pages and thousand fields was around 12MB. If Helvetica helped to make the file lighter, I could reconsider all :-)

     
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    Jun 5, 2013 6:13 AM   in reply to RusticRanger2

    Hi Ranger

    Are you sure the hotkey is right? Have you found HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Adobe\Adobe Acrobat\10.0\Tx Properties? Tell me the voices you see inside the hotkey...

    Have you restarted your PC? (not only Adobe Pro X)

     
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    Jun 5, 2013 8:53 AM   in reply to Test Screen Name

    To echo the original problem / defect comments.

     

    Acrobat XI should allow for a user-selectable font as the default to be used instead of an Adobe defined default font

     
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    Jun 19, 2013 7:38 AM   in reply to George Johnson

    Hi

     

    The script works fine. What is the name for 'combo box' and if i want to use different font for this what do i do

     
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