Stefan Cameron on Forms
Building intelligent forms using Adobe LiveCycle Designer

'Books' Category Archive

PDF Forms Bible Review

PDF Forms Using Acrobat and LiveCycle Designer Bible

Last February, I announced the release of a new Designer book titled, “PDF Forms Using Acrobat and LiveCycle Designer Bible”.

Over the past few months, I had the opportunity to review it and I thought I would share my comments, with respect to the second-half of the book, which deals with LiveCycle Designer ES and XFA forms, to help you decide if it would be a good book for you*. (The first-half deals with authoring PDF forms, a.k.a. AcroForms, in Acrobat and is beyond the scope of my blog.)


  • explains the licensing agreement involved when enabling forms for Reader using Acrobat’s “Extend Features in Adobe Reader” feature (p. 268) — this is a frequently-used feature however its governing licensing agreement, seldom understood, is explained here in “plain English”;
  • presents and reasons through different design approaches for a particular solution, helping the reader make an informed decision on the best course of action;
  • anything and everything you could possibly want to know is dealt with in some way;
  • lots of important, time-saving insights in the inline ‘notes’;
  • something for everyone from beginner to advanced;
  • many cross-references between various topics, making it very easy to start in any chapter and still find all the information you need.


  • risk of “information overload” — use this book as reference since it’s not a light read, though their goal is simply to present a myriad of options and let you pick the one that best suits your needs.

Overview of Topics Covered:

  • all about tables (from simple layouts to advanced);
  • data merging with bindings;
  • Designer user interface details and lots of tips and tricks for accelerating form layout tasks;
  • working with static forms (with PDF backgrounds) and dynamic forms, highlighting the differences;
  • great details on all sorts of pagination options;
  • lots of detail on JavaScript and FormCalc, good scripting exercises with explanations, debugging tips, table with JavaScript and equivalent FormCalc functions to make it easy to script in either language if the other is more familiar to you;
  • form deployment options;
  • when and how to use data connections in your forms (XML, schema, database, web service) and setting data bindings;
  • great overview of LiveCycle ES, its components (e.g. LC Forms, LC Reader Extensions, LC Rights Management, LC Content Services, etc.) and what they do.

This book is available now on and and elsewhere.

* Please note that these opinions are not necessarily those of Adobe Systems Incorporated.

Posted by Stefan Cameron on November 13th, 2009
Filed under Acrobat,Books,Data Binding,Designer,Instance Manager,Scripting,Tables,XFA

New book: Acrobat and Designer Bible

PDF Forms Using Acrobat and LiveCycle Designer Bible

Angie Okamoto, Director of Enterprise Development at Easel Solutions, and Ted Padova, the "PDF Guru" and author of the "Adobe Acrobat PDF Bible" series, have published a new book titled, "PDF Forms Using Acrobat and LiveCycle Designer Bible". I’m sure it’ll be a great reference!

Their book is available now on and

Posted by Stefan Cameron on February 5th, 2009
Filed under Acrobat,Books,Data Binding,Designer,Instance Manager,Scripting,Tables,Tutorials,XFA

Book now available: Creating Dynamic Forms with Adobe LiveCycle Designer

That’s right: The day has finally come! Designer officially has its very first book on the market, thanks to J.P. Terry at SmartDoc Technologies.

The book is the result of J.P.’s own expertise and a collaborative effort with the Designer Team in Ottawa. It tackles form design and techniques in building dynamic XML-based PDF forms with Designer.

As Alan Siegel (Founder & Chairman of Siegel+Gale, branding pioneer and champion of simplifying corporate communications) put it,

“J.P. Terry is a rare individual who understands both the design and technical issues involved with effective communications. This book will teach you about LiveCycle Designer but more importantly it will teach you about effective form design.”

How to get the book

The book is now available for immediate ordering at the following sites

as well as at various local bookstores.

For some reason, it’s still on “pre-order” status at but should be “officially” available shortly.

The Designer book will also be available for purchase at MAX 2007 and I will be giving away a copy or two at my hands-on sessions on Designing PDF Forms and Flex-based Form Guides so be sure to attend if you’re at MAX 2007 North America!

Sample Files Posted

For those of you who already have the book, you can now download the sample files from

Posted by Stefan Cameron on August 30th, 2007
Filed under Books,Designer,Instance Manager,Scripting,Tables,Tutorials

It's almost here: A book on Designer!

I’ve lost count of how many times, over the past year, I’ve been asked if there was a good book on designing forms using LiveCycle Designer. Until now, the answer was always an unfortunate “no”.

Well, I’m very happy to announce that J.P. Terry from SmartDoc Technologies has been hard at work over the past few months on a book titled, Creating Dynamic Forms with Adobe LiveCycle Designer.

Based on some of the chapters I’ve reviewed so far, this is going to be an excellent resource for those of you who might not know where to start or perhaps would like a few pointers on good form design. I, for one, am really excited about this since it’s the first (of hopefully many more to come) book about the product and technologies I work on every day. It’s almost like a milestone — Designer’s first book.

No word yet on a specific release date but I’ll keep you all posted as I get more details over the coming months.

So how about you? Are you looking forward to a book on Designer and dynamic forms?

Posted by Stefan Cameron on May 18th, 2007
Filed under Books,Designer,Instance Manager,Scripting,Tables,Tutorials