How to change the default state of radio buttons on your PDF form

Sometimes when you create a form with radio buttons, you don’t need to worry if the default state of your buttons is on or off—and sometimes you do. Like when you’re creating a form that has “yes/no” radio buttons that are configured so that when one is selected, the other is deselected.

In that case, you may want both deselected in order to require users to make a conscious decision to choose among the options you’re presenting so that you get real answers from them and don’t negatively impact data collection if someone left an otherwise preselected button in that state.

So, how can you make this happen? The answer is simply to turn to Foxit PDF Editor.

Once you’ve launched the program, select the Form tab.

Next, choose Radio buttons, then double-click on the radio button in your PDF file that you want to make changes to. This will bring up the Radio Button Properties window that belongs to the button you’ve selected.

Now, under the Options tab, select the Radio button Properties dialog boxes and ensure that Radio buttons with the same name and value are selected in unison is unchecked for all of the radio buttons you want to impact. You’ll then have to ensure that all of the radio buttons you want to affect have the same name. Then, click on the Form tab again and select Reset form to set all of the radio buttons you renamed to the unchecked status by default in your PDF file.

Want another option? Try Javascript

You could get the same result by using Javascript to add a push button to clear the selection of the radio button. Here’s how:

Go to Form > Radio button to add a radio button named “Radio Button0”. Then, go to Form and select Push Button to add a Push button. Then click open Properties > Actions > Run Javascript, then add the following:

var f = this.getField(“Radio Button0”);


In either case, you’ll change the default state of radio buttons in your PDF forms so that you get users to make decisions actively by selecting radio buttons to state their preferences. Try it yourself.

2 thoughts on “How to change the default state of radio buttons on your PDF form

  1. Paul LochbihlerPaul Lochbihler

    How do I associate buttons for a question/statement in a form so only one is marked as selected? Such as responding to question with a “yes” or “no” radio buttons. I only want one to be selected. If one is selected, the other one is unselected.
    Thank you


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