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I am designing a printed form that will be printed on paper, where the user can only put a certain number of characters per an answer. The form is printed off and given to the end user.

Example:

What is your Post Code?
[ ][ ][ ]     [ ][ ][ ]

The user's answer for this question can only have 6 letters, so 6 boxes are shown.

What's the best way of creating these boxes for the form? I can draw them in (using a box shape tool), but then it gets a bit messy if the form needs to be revised and re-printed in the future and the number of questions change (because then I will have to move the boxes and realign them so they fit with the question).

Is there a good font I can use to produce the boxes? If so, what font size should I set it to? Or is there another more useful method.

(I know I should just try different fonts and print them out, but I was wondering if there was an accepted standard)

I am designing in Apple Pages, but can also use InDesign if needed.

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I dislike mixing text with other elements in forms. To this end I stick with text formatting as much as possible - using tabs with leaders, paragraph rules, special glyphs etc.

If I need to create boxes to define form inputs on a print piece, I use Zapf Dingbats, specifically the square glyph and remove the fill and add a stroke.... For some forms setting the fill to white can help define the area if there's a background color on the form.

This allows me to alter the boxes - size, color, spacing - as I would any text.

enter image description here

The square can easily be found in InDesign's Glyph panel. No clue how to access glyphs in Pages, but I'm sure it's possible. I'd also wager many fonts other than Zapf Dingbats contain that glyph. I simply default to Zapf for it.


All that being posted, you could draw your own box, and then merely copy and paste it inline with the text as anchored objects. For me, that's generally more trouble than necessary. But some prefer that method.

  • Is 20pt a good font size to use with Zapf Dingbats to make sure the box is big enough for people to fill in? I know I should just try and print it out, but I was wondering if there was an accepted standard – big_smile Jun 13 at 17:47
  • It's all relative to the form. I can't provide a good size to use. It's like asking if 20pts is a good headline pt size -- there's no way to know without seeing the entire piece. You merely have to see what size works best in relation to the text of your form, ensuring the boxes are large enough so that viewers feel they can fill them in (but the boxes typically don't have to be large enough to actually contain any possible letter. – Scott Jun 13 at 18:03
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I'm sorry but your question is not clear, the example is not clearing the platform you're working on.

  • Currently the boxes are taking 'single-digit' as input but boxes will fail getting a 'long-text-string'
  • Is this an HTML form?
  • Didn't get how you are thinking about form updating. The form edit mode and view mode are different.

May be you can simply handle this by "fill-in-the-blank" concept.

It will be great, if you can screenshot something or explain it better.

  • I have made it clearer. Thanks for any help you can offer! :) – big_smile Jun 13 at 14:05

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