Form design for use with Form Typer

Form Typer detects lines and check boxes automatically and creates form fields. Lines generate text fields. Other form elements (radio buttons, drop-down lists, combo boxes etc.) must be created manually. See: Creating and Editing Form Fields. The created fields are listed in the Form Controls panel that appears when Form Typer is run, unless you chose to dismiss it.

Form Typer can auto-generate both the control name and the text that appears when a mouse is hovered over the control. These are typically the same, but can be different. Form Typer uses Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to detect and generate field names and hover text.

Text box advice

For text boxes (generated from lines) it looks first to the left of the line, so from the example below the field name and text become: Address.

Address: _______________

If no such text is found, it looks immediately below the start of the line. so from the example below the field name and text also become: Address.


It is unlikely to find text above the line or to the right. Avoid putting long explanations before or under the line, since this will become the control label.

When Form Typer finds no solution, the control name and hover text become textfield0, textfield1, textfield2 etc. This requires much post-editing, so suitable form design is worth doing.

Checkmark advice

Form Typer searches text to the left or right of a detected checkbox; these are typically short texts.

Unique control labels required

Be sure all form control labels you create manually are unique. If you repeat a label within the same form, the data entered into the first occurrence is automatically entered in all fields with the same name, and these cannot be altered independently. Repetitions can occur, for example the label ‘Name’ might first reference an individual, then further down in the form it might reference a company. When Form Typer detects identical strings, it differentiates them, for example: Yes0, Yes1, Yes2 etc.

Form Control properties

Double-click on a form control or on the control name in the Form Controls panel for its Properties dialog box containing several panels. For text boxes, the General panel defines the control label and hover text, the form control appearance and further attributes, such as defining a required field. The Options panel handles alignment, allows default text to be pre-filled and lets you set a character limit for filling, define a single-line or multi line response (see below), and specify a comb box (a special type of text box for handling constrained handprint). For information on the other panels, see Creating and Editing Form Fields .

Defining multi-line text boxes

In the Options panel you must select two check boxes: Multi-line and Scroll long text. When first opened, the control gives no indication that a multi-line answer is possible. But when entered text reaches the end of the first line, a scroll bar appears on the right of the control and further text is permitted. Use a character limit to keep answers manageable.