Posts in Category "Uncategorized"

List Form Fields with this Acrobat XI Pro Action

Jonathan Schreiber, a very smart colleague of mine who specializes in Adobe EchoSign, asked me if it was possible to list all of the form fields in a PDF. Jonathan was developing an application to map the Acrobat form fields to a custom API for EchoSign.

If you don’t understand what any of that means, don’t worry about it. If you develop PDF forms, it can be useful to have an inventory of all of the fields. That can help you check for errors and better understand tabbing order and naming.

Oddly, although the Forms panel in Acrobat shows a list of them, there is no way to export the list.

So, I cooked up an Acrobat Action which uses a custom JavaScript to write all of the field names, in order, to the JavaScript console:

000_list_fields

You can select the text in the Console and copy it into another application or (top tip!) choose Create PDF from Clipboard in Acrobat to create a new PDF listing your fields.

Installing the Action

  1. Download the List Form Fields Action here
  2. Unzip the file
  3. Rename the action to List Form Fields.sequ
  4. Double-click the .SEQU file to import to Acrobat.

Some Set-Up

Most folks should be able to use the Action to write the form fields list to the JavaScript Console. However, it wouldn’t hurt to make sure that your JavaScript settings are set correctly so that it works.

Choose Edit>Preferences and select the JavaScript category. On the Mac, choose the Application menu, then Preferences.

Make sure your JavaScript Prefs look like this:

JavaScipt console Prefs

Using the Action

Here’s how to use the List Form Fields action:

  1. Open a PDF with form fields
  2. Open the Tools pane then open the Actions section
  3. Locate the List Form Fields action and click on itSelect the List Form Fields Action
  4. Click the Start button
    Start the Action

A few Notes about the Action

The Action works on both AcroForms (traditional Acrobat forms) as well as LiveCycle Designer (XML-based) forms.

If your organization deploys Acrobat with JavaScript turned off and locked, you will not be able to run this Action. If your JavaScript preferences are grayed out, that is likely the case.

 

 

Real Time Transcripts, Collaboration and More

Adobe® Connect™ is Adobe’s web conferencing platform for web meetings, eLearning, and webinars. My guess is that most legal professionals have taken part in a web conference which allows for computer screen sharing and collaboration. Most large law firms have access to webinar services hosted by one of the major web conferencing platforms such as Adobe Connect, WebEx, Go to Meeting, etc.

One thing that distinguishes Adobe Connect from other web conferencing tools is that Adobe positions it as a development platform. This allows our partners to create some really interesting tools that run on top of the platform to meet the needs of vertical markets.

In fact, when I saw StreamText Legal’s new add-ins for Adobe Connect, I was blown away.

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Acrobat/Reader 11.04 Update Fixed Signature Detection Issue

Yesterday, Adobe released Acrobat/Reader 11.04 which fixes the signature detection issue I reported in a previous post.

The update also includes improvements for Export to Excel and Word, enhances performance and fixes some bugs.

You can read the full release notes here.

The Vastly Underutilized Create PDF from Clipboard Feature

PDF from ClipboardThere are many ways to create PDF files using Acrobat, but one of the most useful might not be very well known to many Acrobat users.

I’m referring to Create PDF from Clipboard.

As the name suggests, Create PDF from Clipboard takes whatever is on your Clipboard and converts it to PDF. Amazingly, it works for just about anything you can put on the clipboard. I use this feature in Acrobat every day, sometimes several times a day.

How do I access Create PDF from Clipboard?

While it’s not hidden, you might not have run across it. The Create PDF from Clipboard feature works in both Acrobat Standard and Pro. Here’s how it works:

  1. Copy something to the clipboard
  2. In Acrobat, X, choose File > Create > PDF from Clipboard
    - or – Click the Create Button and choose PDF from Clipboard
    - or  (Windows only) type ALT-F-R-C

The instructions above are for Acrobat X, but the feature works substantially the same in Acrobat 9.

Acrobat converts the content on the clipboard to PDF and create a new, Untitled PDF document. Save the new document and you’re good to go.

How it Works and Limitations

  • Converting text on the clipboard generally preserves fonts and formatting, but not always. Results are typically like pasting text into a new word processing document and converting that to PDF. Text is laid out generically and the margins may be different.
  • If there isn’t anything on the clipboard, or if the content cannot be converted to PDF, this feature will be grayed out.
  • The content you want to convert must be in an application. You can’t, for example, select a JPEG file on your desktop and copy it to the clipboard. Acrobat won’t know what to do and the feature won’t be available.
  • Some applications don’t copy with the same quality. I noticed that while I can copy Visio objects to the clipboard, that the results are bit-mapped when converted via the clipboard to PDF.

Read on to learn about a few ways to use this feature and I’ll even tell you about a related and even more obscure way to create PDF.

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