Stefan Cameron on Forms
Building intelligent forms using Adobe LiveCycle Designer


XFA 3.1 Spec Now Available

The XFA 3.1 specification is now available. Note that while XFA 3.1 is supported by ES2, Reader and Acrobat will not support it until a future release. Therefore, you may want to stick with XFA 3.0 for the time being, unless you have a specific need for XFA 3.1 features within an ES2 environment.

Here’s a short list of what’s new in XFA 3.1:

  • relational data support for data containing multiple tables related by keys;
  • ability to bind to non-schema-defined elements (i.e. data injection into a schema data description);
  • long or short edge duplexing; and
  • support for more label printers, including Datamax Printer Language (DPL), Intermex Printer Language (IPL), and Tally Compressed Printer Language (TCPL).

Posted by Stefan Cameron on December 1st, 2009
Filed under XFA


Hello everyone!

Thanks for being patient over the past couple of weeks while I’ve been on vacation getting some local R&R.

I had a nice break spending time working on the “job jar” around the house as well as continuing web design work on, a site I designed and developed last year for a group of professional classical musicians from the Ottawa and surrounding regions. Incidentally, they have a Christmas concert coming-up on December 11, 2009. You should definitely consider attending if you don’t have plans yet — it’ll be a wonderful time for you and your family!

I will be catching-up to comments in the queue over the next week or so. Stay tuned for more news and tutorials!

Posted by Stefan Cameron on November 30th, 2009
Filed under General

Away Until Nov 30

Just a little note to say I’m currently away for a short break and will return Nov 30, 2009. I managed to catch-up to the latest round of comments/questions I received over the past 10 days or so but I will not be responding to new ones until I return.

Have fun with those forms!

Posted by Stefan Cameron on November 19th, 2009
Filed under General

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

Designer ES2 Scripting Reference

This is one of the references I find the most useful when writing scripts and it’s now available for Designer ES2.

What’s more, you can now find all of the ES2 Developer and Programmer documentation all in a single place just like all ES2 documentation (which includes the Dev and Prog docs from the former link). Great sites to bookmark and nice to finally have it all in one spot!

This all comes to you due to the recent LiveCycle Developer Center site refresh in conjunction with the recent release of LiveCycle ES2. Check it out!

Posted by Stefan Cameron on November 12th, 2009
Filed under Designer,LiveCycle,Scripting