Archive for May, 2006

What’s new in 7.1?

For those of you still running Designer 7.0 or earlier, check-out the new stuff available in 7.1 on the “Adobe LiveCycle Designer”:http://www.adobe.com/products/server/adobedesigner/ site.

There’s a “what’s new” link under the _Learn More_ column.

Among my favourites are:

* *New Table object* — play with rows and cells to get really nice layouts.
* *Dynamic Properties* — automatically populate list objects with data from data connections.
* *Paper Forms Barcodes* — reduce data entry errors by encoding field values into a barcode which can be scanned from paper once the form has been filled, printed and manually signed.
* *Conditional Breaks* — use changes in your data to trigger breaks in your pagination (e.g. when the category changes, start the new one on a new page).
* *Data-Nominated Subforms* — use changes in your data to determine which subform should be filled next.

Debugging Scripts

p. Here’s a simple tip that could make a huge difference in your ability to debug your scripts in Designer:

p. If you use the JavaScript language for a script, you can use the following function to output information to the Acrobat Console:

bc. console.println(“string”);

p. Anyone who has attempted to debug their script(s) in Acrobat knows that it’s a painful thing to do. Unfortunately, many only know about

bc. app.alert(“string”);

or

bc. xfa.host.messageBox(“string”);

p. which gets the job done but not without some headaches and, in certain cases, RSI in your index finger! The other problem is that showing a message box can cause differences in the form’s behaviour especially if you’re trying to debug a script which is setting focus to an object on your form. The fact that a dialog is displayed can really mess things up.

p. By using console.println, you can output text to the Acrobat Console (when in Acrobat — even Preview in Designer — just press Ctrl + J to display it) so that you don’t change the behaviour of your scripts.

p. The ability to debug scripts is something we know needs serious attention in Designer and trust me, we’ve talked about it and we have plans to address these issues but I can’t speak about anything definite at this time.

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~*Updated:* November 1, 2006~

Who Am I?

You may recognize _FormBuilder_ as an alias for posting on the “Adobe LiveCycle Designer 7.x forum”:http://www.adobeforums.com/cgi-bin/webx/.3bb7d189/ . That would be me!

My name is Stefan Cameron. I’m a software developer at Adobe and I work on our LiveCycle Designer product.

This blog will be about designing forms using Designer. Unless specified, my posts will refer to the latest publicly-released versions of Designer and Acrobat. At the time of this post, that’s Designer 7.1 along with Acrobat 7.0.7.