Link to file: InDesign File - watch out. There are text fields (with the captions) sitting more or less "on top" of the comb fields.

It's not a trick question. I really did it already, last year! I have been trying to figure out how for thirty minutes and I simply cannot remember how I did it! I do not consider myself an InDesign expert.

Here's what they look like in InDesign:

enter image description here

I recall it was relatively simple, they are not individually drawn lines (as far as I can see), and I recall that varying the amount of characters was trivial as well, you can see two here, but there are many on the form.

My first guess was something in "text frame options", hopefully "render a comb of n characters" but I cannot see anything. It also doesn't seem to show up in the stroke panel.

There is only one linked image in the document (the logo) so it is definitely not an "image".

When you select the layer, the "whole thing" is highlighted (see image below) and the layers palette reports the object as simply <text_frame>

enter image description here

If I try to type in it I get one or two characters in the first box and then they wrap/disappear when you type another.

If you resize the field nothing happens to the comb:

enter image description here

I can find nothing online, except https://forums.adobe.com/thread/2416378 which is recent, but every option there is definitely way harder than whatever my former, and evidently more intelligent, self did last year.

Anyone want to prove themselves cleverer than me? But hey... only as clever as I was last year :)

  • Sure It is not a table? I can do that with character Styles and greps, but this is not so simple.
    – user120647
    Jul 7, 2018 at 7:23
  • No it doesn't appear to be a table. I cannot select rows/columns. Selecting it and opening the "table" palette reveals nothing. I cannot select the "cells" not the lines with the white arrow (direct selection) tool. I feel like I am going mad! Jul 7, 2018 at 7:37
  • 1
    Could you upload the file somewhere?
    – user120647
    Jul 7, 2018 at 7:49
  • Not really related, but shouldn’t it say ‘variant’? What is ‘varient’? Jul 7, 2018 at 8:13
  • 1
    Great idea, I have uploaded it and link to it from the edited question Jul 7, 2018 at 8:46

2 Answers 2


How to make a form field with a table:


After checking the original file:

It's a table, exactly the same as the description in the first part of the answer.

To edit a table, double click with the Selector Tool, the cursor changes to the Table Editing Options like select column, select raw, change cell width, etc.


The way InDesign manage tables is perhaps a little different than in other applications. In Indesign, a table is not a separate object but is an object inserted within a text frame. Selecting the text frame you will see just text frame options. The only way to select the table is editing it with a double click.

Editing a table

  • That looks like a great, and easy way to do it. It even occurs to me I might have done it this way - or tried it - but I cannot get the thing to "register" as a table no matter how I click it. I have now uploaded the document. Thanks for your input. Jul 7, 2018 at 8:49
  • Yes indeed it is a table! But the reason I missed that was not due to the text in front, it was the (seemingly to me) odd GUI of InDesign that seems to deliberately conceal that something is a table until you perform the magic of double-clicking it! (See my notes above) Jul 7, 2018 at 13:20

Box Drawing fonts allow you to do just that in any application that allows you to chose the characters from the macOS's character panel - even right here:

└┴┴┴┴┘ or ┗┻┻┻┻┛ or ╚╩╩╩╩╩╩╝

On the keyboard, press CMD + CTRL + Space.

Chose the right symbols by clicking them twice. You can tweak the width of the symbols to make the fields wider or narrower or taller or shorter (make sure to leave enough room for people who write fat! 😉 )

enter image description here

  • 1
    Did now know such a thing existed, great info thanks Apr 1, 2021 at 7:40

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