Applies To: Cloud
In some cases during PDF template design a user might need to align or set same properties to various controls at once. This article describes how to perform alignment or property set on multiple controls simultaneously.
Selecting multiple controls
Multiple controls can be selected by holding left mouse button while drawing a rectangle with cursor.
Once left mouse button is released, all fields inside rectangle become selected:
In “Form Elements” hierarchy all selected fields also become highlighted.
It is possible to perform various operations with multiple selected controls.
All selected controls can be moved simultaneously. Put mouse cursor over the blue header of one of the selected controls – once cursor is changed from default arrow to move arrow, you can move all selected fields by holding left mouse button – just like with single control.
2. Align & Distribute
Aligning options are available in “Align & Distribute” section in “Design” tab when multiple controls are selected.
Available aligning operations
Horizontal alignment – allows aligning fields horizontally: to the left, right and center.
For example, left alignment for this field composition:
aligns selected fields to the leftmost element (checkbox in this example)
Vertical alignment – allows aligning fields vertically: to the top, bottom and middle.
For example: top alignment for this field composition:
aligns selected fields to the topmost element (TextField1)
Distribution – distributes controls vertically or horizontally.
For example, vertical distribution for this field composition:
makes even space between fields.
3. Common properties
Set or change common properties for selected controls.
The following set of fields is used as an example:
Allows to define if selected fields should be enabled, required or visible. Applies to all selected fields, for example making all selected fields required based on a business stage.
Size and Position section
Allows positioning and resizing all selected fields simultaneously. For example setting left positioning moves all fields to the left.
Allows setting visual properties of controls such as font color, type, size, control color and borders. For example setting background color changes it for all selected controls.
Some additional options are available for multiple selected controls to speed up PDF form designing and make process more convenient for the user. The following options are available in Action section:
Remove - removes all selected controls.
Clear Mapping - removes mapping for all selected controls.
For example, this selected group of fields have two text fields with mapping to SharePoint library columns.
Clicking “Clear Mapping” removes all relations between fields and columns. Visually represented by removing blue link icon beside the fields' names in Form Elements hierarchy
4. Best practices and general advise
The most common scenarios for using multiple controls can be split in three major directions:
Positioning of controls and fields
Usually, fillable PDF forms have a certain visual pattern. For example, space between fields or column/row alignment. By dragging multiple fields and aligning/distributing them automatically, the user does not need to fine-tune every single field.
Most business workflows built around forms have multiple users involved. Requester and approver for example. Business stages feature can enable, make required or even hide some fields based on the current stage. Selecting multiple fields and setting desired behaviour based on the business stage is a good practice.
Alternatively, setting same font for multiple text fields can remove monotonous process of adjusting each field specifically.
Bulk deletion of mapping and fields
Save time by selecting multiple controls to remove mapping from a group of fields or even remove fields themselves – no need to pay attention to each field if the whole process can be finished by a few clicks.
Switching between selected controls
It is possible to deselect one field or select more fields by holding Ctrl key and selecting elements in Form Elements hierarchy.
In order to select all elements on the page, select a control in Form Elements hierarchy and click Shift+A