When I create an document in InDesign and put some different kind of checkboxes in it that are provided by InDesign. And afterwards export it as an interactive pdf. Then the checkboxes design is overwritten by Acrobat Reader when I open it. It looks fine when I open it in Chrome but not in Acrobat.

If I hover the checkboxes in Acrobat Reader they do show their 'customer' design but not when they aren't hovered.


enter image description here

In Acrobat (right top is hovered) enter image description here

Now I got a pdf from the internet in which the checkboxes keep their custom design. Except for a little blue overlay like every form element gets in Acrobat. So how can I fix my own checkboxes?

1 Answer 1


This is due to the (annoying) "Highlight existing fields" feature.

You can turn it off in Acrobat, but be aware this is an application setting, not a document one. So, even if the PDF is displayed fine for you, this feature might be turned on in any other user application.

Now, here comes the trick: you can use a small JavaScript code in order to turn it off by default while opening the PDF.

In Acrobat Pro, go Tools > JavaScript > Document JavaScripts, create a new Script (name it as you wish), click add and replace the existing bit by:

app.runtimeHighlight = false;

Click OK and you are done.

  • But I have an old pdf which was created in Adobe Indesign CS5.5 of which I don't have the InDesign file anymore but that one doesn't have this problem. But let me check your solution and if it works for us.
    – Julian
    Jan 9, 2018 at 15:18
  • Even if I'm still not sure why the other older pdf has another solution that works. This works great. Thanks alot!
    – Julian
    Jan 9, 2018 at 15:35
  • I found this of great help. But, now, any document that I create has the highlight turned off. What can I do to revert the process? Thanks
    – Bart
    Nov 6, 2018 at 22:36

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