How to Create Drop Down Lists in Acrobat

By Cooper Temple

The Acrobat line of products from Adobe are PDF writing applications used to create and edit or read Portable Document Format files. Dense with features, the Acrobat products allow users to complete simple conversions of source documents to PDF files to more complicated tasks such as creating forms. Acrobat's Forms tools allow for a variety of form field types, such as text boxes and drop down lists. You can easily create drop down lists in Acrobat by following a few steps.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Acrobat Standard or Pro

Step 1

Download and install one of the Adobe Acrobat products. Adobe Acrobat Pro is used in the following steps, but the same process will work for Adobe Standard. A free trial of Acrobat Pro is available for download at the Adobe website. (link is in the Resources section)

Step 2

Open the PDF file to which you want to add a drop down list. Click once on the “Open” icon on the “File” toolbar. Use the “Look in” drop down list to choose the folder to which the PDF document is saved. Double click on the document name to open it.

Step 3

Use the “Tools” menu to select the “Forms” option and click once on the “List Box Tool.” The cursor will change to a plus sign. Click once on the area of the document to which you want to add the drop down list and drag to the appropriate size while holding down the mouse button. After you release the mouse button, a separate “Properties” window will launch allowing you to adjust the properties of the drop down list.

Step 4

Use the “Options” tab to add the list items. Type the text for the selection in the “Item” field and click once on the “Add” button. Repeat this process for each item that you want to include in the drop down list. Click once on the “Actions” tab. Choose the “Mouse Down” option from the “Select Trigger” drop down menu. Click once on the “Close” button on the “Properties” window when you have finished adjusting the drop down list.

Step 5

Repeat steps 3 and 4 for each drop down list that you want to add to your document. The list fields may be moved by clicking once on the border and dragging to an alternate location while holding down the mouse button. The size of the list fields may be adjusted by clicking once on one of the small squares on the border and dragging to a new size while holding down the mouse button.