How to enhance your PDF forms with JavaScript

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Introduction

If you have attempted the previous PDF how-to’s, you will be aware that you can create some powerful forms by using Scribus and Acrobat Reader. Unfortunately, Adobe has put restrictions on Reader so that it does not have all the capabilities of Acrobat Professional. However, there are many useful features still available, especially with using JavaScript to make Scribus PDF forms very useful.


Information and References Available

The Adobe Web Site has two free references available on JavaScripting

http://www.adobe.com/devnet/acrobat/javascript.html

Acrobat JavaScript Scripting Guide (PDF, 2.5M)

Acrobat JavaScript Scripting Reference (PDF, 7.1M)

Acrobat Community

JavaScript Corner

http://www.acrobatusers.com/tech_corners/javascript_corner/index.php

JavaScript User Forums

http://www.adobeforums.com/cgi-bin/webx?13@@.3bbedaa6

PDF Planet

http://www.planetpdf.com/


Some useful JavaScript examples

1. Insert the current date into a Text Field (DateField) when the PDF is opened.

function date()

{var fld = this.getField("DateField");


fld.value = util.printd("dd mmmm yyyy",new Date());


}

date(); // call my function


To place this function, on Menu select Edit - > JavaScripts -> Add


You can cut and paste the code from this page. There must be a Text Field on the page named DateField.


2. Insert the current year into a Text Field (Year) when the PDF is opened.


function Year()

{var fld1 = this.getField("Year");


fld1.value = util.printd("yyyy",new Date());


}

Year(); // call my function


To place this function, on Menu select Edit - > JavaScripts -> Add


You can cut and paste the code from this page. There must be a Text Field on the page named Year


3. Hide a Text Field (zzztext) when the PDF is viewed on Screen but allow the field to Print.


function HideView()

{var title = this.getField("zzztext");

title.display = display.noView;

}

HideView();// call my function


To place this function, on Menu select Edit - > JavaScripts -> Add


You can cut and paste the code from this page. There must be a Text Field on the page named zzztext


4. Create a Print Button


Create a Button Field

Right click with your mouse on the “Print” Button

A menu pops up and select PDF Options –> Field Properties

Next select the Action Tab –> choose JavaScript and then in the default Mouse Up event -

Click on Edit and insert the following


var pp = this.getPrintParams();

pp.interactive = pp.constants.interactionLevel.silent;

pp.printContent = pp.constants.printContents.formFieldsOnly;

this.print(pp);


5. Create a Text Field with the Date Printed which only appears on the printed document.


function Print()

{var oDate = new Date(); // get the current date time object

var sDate = util.printd("mm/dd/yyyy h:mm t" , oDate); // format date time string

this.getField("TimePrint").value = "Printed: " + sDate + "m"; // fillin the field value


}


Print();// call my function


To place this function, on Menu select Edit - > JavaScripts -> Add


You can cut and paste the code from this page. There must be a Text Field on the page named TimePrint.


You will also need to create a HideView function for the TimePrint Field some that the field is hidden from view until the document is printed