02 Apr in  How-to tutorials

How to Change Form Field Appearance


PDFs can be designed to look like virtually anything. This is part of why most forms you’ll encounter will be in the PDF format. Seeing how to change form field appearance will help you seamlessly add them to your PDF documents.

Forms are a great way to capture key information. A clean and professional looking document will increase the likelihood that people will complete your forms. With clearly defined fields, anyone reading your document will have an easier time with it.

An application like Soda PDF has simple property options that explain how to change form field appearance. Not only can you customize your fields, but you can set defaults for future use.


How to Change Form Field Appearance – General Properties

Certain options are available for all form fields. Regardless of the type of field, it’s the same instructions to access the properties.

  1. Switch into Edit Mode.
  2. Choose the field you want to update.
  3. Click the Properties option (Wrench Icon).
  4. Choose the Appearance



Each option in the Border section will update the outline of your form field.

You can make the border thicker or hide it completely next to Width.

  1. Click on the number next to Width.
  2. Increase it to make the form field outline thicker.
    1. Make it 0 to hide the border.
  3. Hit the Enter key to confirm your choice.



The Style option will change the pattern of the border. By default, it’s set to a solid line.

  1. Click next to Style.
  2. Choose from the available options in the drop down.



You can review your new style immediately.



You can change the border color at any time, click here for more information on choosing custom colors.

  1. Click the button next to Color.
  2. Choose a color.



The Highlight option will set an animation when a user selects your form field.

  1. Click next to Highlight.
  2. Choose from the available options.
    1. You can test that it worked by selecting your form field while in View Mode.



Under Rotate you can choose to change the orientation of text (or any icons) in your form field.

  1. Click next to Rotate.
  2. Choose the angle from the list.
    1. 0 is standard.
    2. 90 will have your text type out vertically, with the bottom facing the left.
    3. Etc.



Using the Tooltip option, you can provide instructional text when a user hovers their mouse over their form field.

  1. Click where it says Set next to Tooltip.
  2. Enter the text you’d like to use.



  1. Click into View Mode.
  2. Hover your mouse cursor over the field to verify.



The last option that is available for all form fields is updating the background color.

  1. Click the box next to Color under Background.
  2. Choose the color you want to use.



How to Change Form Field Appearance – Text Options

When your form field contains text elements you will see the following properties available.

  1. Flick the switch next to Multiline and enable a user to leave more than a single line of text.
    1. This is mainly used for longer text answers.



When a user types in text, it will appear like this:



Enabling Password will hide any text that appears in the field.



  1. Click next to Text Alignment and choose from the available options if you want to change how the text aligns in the field.



The Font section contains standard features to update the text aesthetic for your form fields.

  1. Click the option to update it.



How to Change Form Field Appearance – Other Options

Check Boxes and Radio Buttons have a couple of unique options.

You can update the symbol that appears when someone selects the field by changing the Caption.

  1. Click the drop down next to Caption.
  2. Choose the new icon from the available options.



Under Font you can update the size and color of the icon.

  1. Increase or decrease the number next to Size and the caption will update accordingly.
  2. Next to Font Color you can update the caption’s color.



Form Field Appearance Defaults

Whenever you change the appearance of a form field, you can set this new configuration as the default for new fields of the same type. This means if you customize a check box, and make it the default, all new check boxes will keep the new settings.

Each type of form field can have its own unique default. The option to set defaults will only appear once a change has been made.

  1. Click SET AS DEFAULT to keep your new appearance settings.



These new settings will remain the default until you actively reset it.

  1. Open the properties to the form field.



Feel free to give Soda PDF a try now that you know how to change form field appearance.




  1. Pingback: Soda PDF 11 Sneak Peek: Introducing Dynamic Forms

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