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How do I change appearance states for checkboxes in InDesign CS6?

Sep 10, 2012 8:15 PM

Tags: #custom #indesign #state #cs6 #checkboxes #interactivity #appearance



I am creating an interactive fillable PDF form and need to use a custom checkbox.

I am aware as to how I add my 'Icon' to the Sample Buttons and Form Box, but am having difficulty when attempting to alter the appearance states 'Normal' or 'Rollover' or 'Click'.

It seems that when I turn my button into a checkbox, as soon as it becomes selected, it puts a god awful default tick inside it as opposed to allowing me to choose my own 'Normal' state.


Please help.


  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 10, 2012 10:15 PM   in reply to Mykel

    I haven't tried to create custom graphics for a checkbox in CS6, but I can tell you where to find out. However, unless someone else here can explain it to you, you need to get a subscription to InDesign Magazine. Sandee Cohen has written a great article in the current issue (August/Septemer 2012) on creating forms and form fields in InDesign. She spends two pages on your topic alone. There is no way I can copy that much material from the article (pages 15-16).


    Here's where you can get a subscription to InDesign Magazine—a great resource.



    With the coupon code FRIEND you can save $20 on a 1-year subscription. With the coupon code FRIENDS, you can save $15 off a 2-year subscription.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 24, 2012 5:22 PM   in reply to Mykel

    I found a solution to this.


    When you choose an interactive element (say checkbox, radio button, etc) you are able to choose the different states of the button by clicking on those states in the Button and Forms panel. In order to edit the buttons, click the state you wish to edit and go to your button. Select it with White Arrow (A) and then you can modify the individual state... i.e. change color, delete parts, perhaps draw too...


    I hope this is useful to you. Try it and let me know.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 14, 2013 5:44 AM   in reply to Mykel

    I am having the same problem as Mykel. Using CS6, I've created a form and added checkboxes. I had a request that I customize the checkboxes to make them easier to see when checked. I adjusted the states of the checkbox and they seemed to function well....but only in Acrobat Pro X. When I open the PDF in Acrobat Reader XI, then the checkboxes act strangely. (Most of the end users will be using Acrobat Reader, so this is a concern.) When intially checked, they appear in the modified way that I want them to. However, as soon as the user clicks somewhere else on the page, the modified checkbox reverts to the default checkbox with a tick mark in it instead.


    I'm exporting the PDF as an interactive PDF and have tried various settings. I've also experimented with creating a checkbox from scratch rather than modifying a provided checkbox. All to no avail. I'd welcome any thoughts or suggestions anyone may have. Hoping I've just missed a step in the process!


    Here are links to my original CS6 InDesign document and the PDF:


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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 4, 2013 12:18 PM   in reply to Mead324

    I'm having this same problem. I want my checkboxes to look like my radio buttons (circles with a dot in the middle when "on" ugly checkmarks), so I made them look that way for every state in the "Appearance" list.


    Once exported, the checkboxes look correct, even when first clicked. But the minute you click on anything else on the page, the nice little dot turns to a checkmark.


    What is the fix for this?

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    Dec 5, 2013 6:14 AM   in reply to Bussieb

    What software and operating system are you using to view the PDF? I'm not familiar with the problem, but I can test it for you.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 5, 2013 6:17 AM   in reply to Sandee Cohen

    I used InDesign CS6 to make the form, and I've viewed the pdf in both Acrobat & Reader (which both show the same problem). And my computer is updated to Mavericks.


    Thanks for your help!

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