I need to make a form in InDesign for an application. The entries need to made so that each letter/number goes into an individual box. Here's an example I just found on the web: http://scholarshipsfile.com/scholarships-application

Is there an easy way to do this in InDesign?

  • That link smells spammy. Anyways, are you asking to create an interactive form? Or just something that you print and someone fills in by hand?
    – DA01
    Feb 21, 2012 at 23:30
  • @DA01 - this is for print. I did a quick google images search for an example of what I wanted, sorry for the spammy link.
    – at.
    Feb 22, 2012 at 1:39
  • The form you linked to looks to be an OCR form, which is why the characters each have their own box. There's not much point in manually designing such forms if you're not printing forms that need to be automatically read by an OCR/ICR/OMR scanner. But if you are, then you probably also have specifications from your software vendor to design to. Different solutions require different form types (color drop-out, raster, b&w linear, etc.) and different reference point and ID field requirements. Typically the software vendor will provide templates as starting points. Feb 22, 2012 at 6:07

1 Answer 1


I'm assuming that you're making this for print. Automating the little boxes is actually quite easy using InDesign's built-in "Step and Repeat" function, which was added in CS3 or CS4.

  • Create the first little box, 1 cm square (or whatever) with no fill and a .25 point stroke.

  • Press Ctl-Alt-U (Mac Cmd-Opt-U) to bring up the Step and Repeat dialog. Enter 1 cm (or whatever size you specified) for the Horizontal displacement and 0 for vertical. Turn on Preview, and enter the number of repeats (not the total number of boxes).

  • Group the set to make it easier to move around.

  • Repeat as needed.

  • Excellent!!! Going to try this when I get back to my office.
    – at.
    Feb 22, 2012 at 1:37
  • If you want a gap between the boxes, add a small increment to the box width. If you want the lines between the boxes to be the same visual weight as the top and bottom, adjust the spacing so they exactly overlap. Feb 22, 2012 at 2:01

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