Uncheck All Radio Buttons on a PDF Form

I’ve been banging away at this issue today and figured it would be useful to others out there.

I made a PDF form for my company’s web site using Adobe Acrobat 8. In a couple places I have a “radio” control — that’s where you can select one, and only one, option from multiple choices. If you tick one box, all the others in that set are turned off. When distributing the blank form, however, I want all of the options to be blank. No default — the user has to pick one.

Here’s the issue: In the course of making the form, I checked one of the options, and now I can’t turn it off to distribute the form. I hunted around and got a lot of useless “you should use a checkbox instead” answers. No, I don’t need a checkbox, I just need to un-fill this field.

So how do you blank the field? You add an extra radio button to the set. Flip over to Preview, click the extra box. Back to Edit mode, delete that button. Voila! Blank radio buttons.

You’re welcome. 😉

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10 Responses to Uncheck All Radio Buttons on a PDF Form

  1. Jennifer Juergen says:

    > You add an extra radio button to the set.

    What about the Clear Form menu option?


  2. Jeff says:

    Thank you so much for the tip! This is insane that you have to go to this length to do something that should be so simple.
    Jennifer, I purposely pre-fill most of my form, so the Clear Form option doesn’t work.

  3. patrick says:

    Thank you very much. It should be way easier to do something simple like uncheck a radio button.

  4. Anthony says:

    Genius… THANK YOU. 3 years later and this still works.

  5. Tarziah says:

    I was having the same issue. If you use check boxes instead of radio buttons you will be able to deselect. Check boxes can be linked so that only one can be selected at a time making them function like the radio buttons with the added function of allowing you to have nothing selected.

  6. Teri says:

    Oh…my…word…THANK YOU!! I was about to lose my ever loving mind!

  7. Paul K says:

    Well, I tried all of these tips and couldn’t get any of them to work (InDesign CS 6 and Acrobat X). Ultimately, what did work, was selecting all the radio buttons in each group, changing them to checkboxes, then changing them BACK to radio buttons AND having to rename each group. Thanks Adobe, for thinking this through. NOT.

  8. Paul K says:

    …and, once I did that, I saved a group that works correctly to the Sample Buttons & Forms palette so I won’t have to go through this again on an entire form.

  9. Fred says:

    just set the value of the group to “off”
    so if the group is named “grpOptions”

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