Stefan Cameron on Forms
Building intelligent forms using Adobe LiveCycle Designer

'Acrobat' Category Archive

Adobe Forums Revamped

The Adobe Forums have finally received a long-awaited update. Here are some of new feature highlights I was told about:

  • Integration of Adobe ID for true single sign on to all Forums;
  • Updated look and feel, more consistent with other forum systems;
  • Email participation, including starting a new discussion and alerts; and
  • RSS feeds for many parts of the forum (topics, users, announcements, etc.).

Rest assured, this does not change my blog mission, however if you have previously used the forums to search for other LiveCycle, Acrobat or Reader tips and tricks, it’ll make your life much easier!

Posted by Stefan Cameron on April 6th, 2009
Filed under Acrobat,Designer,General,LiveCycle

XFA 3.0 Specification Available

The recent update to Acrobat/Reader 9.1 supports XFA 3.0. Unfortunately, the currently-shipping version of LiveCycle Designer (even with its update) won’t author/support more than XFA 2.8 until the next release. The comments for the XFA 3.0 spec indicate that “there will be releases [of LiveCycle Form Server and LiveCycle Designer] for XFA 3.1 and they will also handle 3.0.”

There are still some great things worth mentioning about XFA 3.0. In particular,

  • new “inactive” value for the presence attribute which, when set on a container (e.g. subform), “prevents the container and its contents from processing calculations, validations, and events”;
  • enhancements to events framework now permits event propagation upward to parent objects — this is great because you can now implement validation code on a subform for all of its children instead of having validation code in each child, for example;
  • new validation events and global validation handling control — this should address a lot of the current issues with form validation.

It looks like John Brinkman will be detailing these new features, and perhaps others, soon.

August 18, 2009 — Added links to new XFA 3.0 topics on FormFeed.

Posted by Stefan Cameron on March 24th, 2009
Filed under Acrobat,Events,XFA

Auto-Identify Mandatory Fields

I am certain at some point in time you have had to fill-out some type of form on a website and the required fields were identified by an asterisk (*). This is a common way to communicate to a user which fields are mandatory and which ones aren’t.

This is a design pattern that the Form Guide Team adopted when they conceived the default Form Guide user experience. Since the appearance of a field in a form guide doesn’t have to be the same as that of the field in the form (PDF), they were able to automatically add an asterisk next to mandatory fields without affecting their PDF counterparts.

Continue reading…

Posted by Stefan Cameron on March 16th, 2009
Filed under Acrobat,Form Guides,Scripting,Tutorials

Acrobat 9.1 Security Patch Now Available

Everyone using Acrobat/Reader 9.0 (on both Windows and Mac) should now upgrade to the just-released 9.1 version which includes a number of bug fixes as well as a fix to a critical security vulnerability. The link has information about the vulnerability that has been addressed in the patch as well as links to the downloads for each flavor (Win, Mac, Reader, Pro, Extended…). Updates to earlier versions of Acrobat/Reader are also available.

Updated Mar 18, 2009

Posted by Stefan Cameron on March 11th, 2009
Filed under Acrobat

Transparent Image Support

Did you know that transparency in GIF and 8-bit PNG images is supported as of Designer and Acrobat/Reader 8.0?

If you have an image that has a transparent area in it (perhaps you have an odd-shaped logo which you want to place on a colored background in your form), you can save it as a GIF or 8-bit PNG with a single color indexed as transparent.

There are various PNG formats: 8-bit, 24-bit and 32-bit. The 8-bit format is supported and uses an indexed color table in which colors may be marked as transparent (only one of which is supported in Designer/Acrobat/Reader). The 24-bit format is also supported and provides true colors (non-indexed) but no transparency. Finally, the 32-bit format allows for varying degrees of transparency (i.e. an alpha channel) within the image but is not supported at this time.

The GIF format is at most 8-bit and uses an indexed color table in which colors may be marked as transparent however Designer/Acrobat/Reader only supports one transparent color within the color index.

Updated: May 26, 2009

Posted by Stefan Cameron on March 9th, 2009
Filed under Acrobat,Designer