A few customers have asked me recently if they can add a QR Code to a PDF file for each link they have on the page. We all know that PDF files can have links to external material. But, PDF files often get printed… and the last time I checked, you can click on a piece of paper all day long and it won’t execute a hyperlink. However, a piece of paper can display a bar code and most smart phones can read a QR code.Let me show you this QR Code generator.
Introducing the QR Code Generator for Acrobat:
The QR Code Generator for Acrobat is a .SWF file that you can add to any PDF page that will create a QR code from any string that you enter into the input field but links are particularly useful. The recipients of your PDF file will need to be using Reader 9 or higher to ensure the QR code appears on the printed page.
To add a QR Code link to your PDF file follow these steps.
- Download the QR Code Generator for Acrobat. You only need to do this once.
- Choose Tools > Content > Multimedia and select the SWF tool
- Drag or double-click to select the area on the page where you want the bar code to appear. The “Insert SWF” dialog box opens.
- Click Browse to find the “AcrobatQRCodeCreator.swf” file that you just downloaded, and then click Open.
- Use the advanced options on the “Insert SWF” dialog box to change the “Enable When:” to “The page containing the content is visible”, and then click OK.
- Click on the QR Code widget to activate it.
- Enter the fully qualified URL for the link you want the QR code to send the user to.
- Save the file
A few additional notes:
Double-Click on the QR code twice to modify a QR code that has already been placed on the page.
Because the QR code string is stored in the SWF widget, you can have as many of these widgets in your PDF file as you like.
If a recipient of the document is using an earlier version of Reader or a non-Adobe tool to view your PDF file, the QR code will not appear on the page and won’t print.
At this time there is no API for the QR Code Generator for Acrobat so you won’t be able to automate the insertion of the link text or use it for forms workflows.