It is possible.
In InDesign, create a text field in the header position. Mark it as uneditable. Give it the same name as the text field on the page whose text you want it to capture.
That should work, and in Acrobat you should find that after the user fills in the text on the page, the text in the header updates accordingly.
When the form is published, Acrobat renames the field. I tried to edit the field name, but Acrobat renames it again so that each field has a unique identifier. Any other workarounds?
What I ended up doing in Acrobat is using "Duplicate Across Pages..." on the field I wanted to repeat from the first page and moving the field into the desired position on all the remaining pages. The only problem is that I need to do this every time I update the form, rather than having the information publish correctly from the InDesign doc. Thanks for your suggestion.
var a = this.getField("variable"); event.value = a.value
What do you mean when the form is "published"? Published in what sense?
When a form prepared in InDesign is exported as an interactive PDF and opened in Acrobat, I have never come across Acrobat renaming fields.
Thanks Jeffrey. I'm trying to do this in InDesign so that when I publish the form in Acrobat, it is already functional. I was trying to avoid having to update the PDF each time I publish.
If you look at the Fields panel in the Form Editing mode, you will see what Acrobat appends to the name (I am using Acrobat Pro DC).
Just double-checked. Created 2 text frames in InDesign. Converted them to text fields. Named them both "myfield". Exported to interactive PDF. Opened in Acrobat. Fields names stay the same, and text typed into one appears in the other, all as expected. InDesign 2015, Acrobat DC.
Either you're doing something wrong, or I've misunderstood what you're trying to do.
Are you making a multiple-page document. I have fields that are duplicated across six pages. Acrobat appended ".Page 2" to the button on the 2nd page, ".Page 3" on the third page, etc.
Well, tried it again in a multi-page doc, and no, nothing is being renamed. It is true that in InDesign itself, when you copy and paste a text field, InDesign renames that field. But that is something that can be changed inside of InDesign.
Why are you talking about buttons though? I thought the issue was text fields?
In any case, no renaming is happening for me.
I do have text fields that I can successfully duplicate, but one field is a drop-down box that has multiple items to select from. It has to be a button to have that functionality.
I get the feeling that the goalposts keep moving here. First it was text fields, then buttons, then dropdowns.
I think you'll need to describe more clearly exactly what you're doing in InDesign. In fact, best would be if you could post an InDesign file somewhere, and the resulting PDF that shows the problem.
Unfortunately it's proprietary material and I can't post it. I will try to describe it more carefully.
The InDesign document is 6 pages long. On the first page is a dropdown button with multiple items. I would like the resulting selection to appear in the same position on pages 2-6. I have copied the dropdown button to the master pages of pages 2-6 (there are 2 master pages) thinking that the information would automatically duplicate because the buttons have exactly the same name as the button on the first page.
When I export the file to PDF, the buttons on the following pages are renamed with the Page number appended to the name, and the text from the first page does not duplicate to pages 2-6.
Well, you've basically answered your own question! Because the combo-boxes are on a master page, they are indeed given different names (probably this is being done by InDesign during interactive export rather than by Acrobat, in fact).
The answer is, of course, not to have them on master pages but to copy paste them on the actual pages of the ID doc itself. That way you can adjust their names and make sure they all share the same name.
Or, if it is more convenient to have them on master pages, detach them on the document pages (ctrl/cmd-shift-click), and rename.
Now when you export, if they all have the same name, they will all display the same selection.
Well basically, I didn't answer my own question, because I asked if there was a way to capture the answer from the first page and generate it as an uneditable variable on the following pages. I don't want the text on the following pages to be edited.
I feel that the goalposts are shifting again.
I think you'll need to make a simple mock-up of the document in InDesign, and post that, if you want help, because I don't know what you mean, and the terminology you're using seems too inconsistent for a technical discussion such as this.
No need to post the proprietary doc, just make a barebones example document that isolates and demonstrates the problem you're having and post that.
The stripped-down version is in a public dropbox:
I was able to get the information to duplicate across pages, but unable to make the text boxes/buttons uneditable. That is why I wanted to be able to capture the results from the first page and generate them on the following pages as text, using a text variable.
Okay, thanks for uploading the doc.
Acrobat does not, AFAIK, have "text variables".
You will need to use form fields, as you are doing, to pick up the user input on the first page and display it in the header of subsequent pages.
The issue, in fact, then, is simply that despite setting the fields to "Read Only" in InDesign, this setting is not respected in Acrobat and you have to set it manually for each page, correct?
That looks like a bug in InDesign to me. You may want to report it: Feature Request/Bug Report Form
Since it is a bug, I can see any workaround for it.
You could take a look at our product http://www.id-extras.com/products/formmagic. Although it does not deal with this particular issue (I was not aware of the bug), I could probably modify it quite easily to force Acrobat to respect the "Read Only" setting.
Thanks for all your help.