Stefan Cameron on Forms
Building intelligent forms using Adobe LiveCycle Designer

Designer 8.0 Now Shipping!

That’s right! The day has finally come. At the moment, Designer 8.0 is only shipping with Acrobat 8.0 Professional. You can download the trial to check it out.

Jeff Stanier, our product manager, has put together a great document detailing what’s new in Designer 8.0. This is a really nice upgrade with lots of really nice brand new features like an integrated spell checker, greatly improved PDF Form importing (as "artwork"), improved digital signature support, test data generation, ability to show all scripts in a container, support for transparency in PNG and GIF image files and much, much more including some nice little usability improvements to make it easier to work with your forms.

In the coming weeks, I’ll be giving more details on these features and I’ll also be transitioning to Designer 8.0 and Acrobat 8.0 for future tutorials, targeting Designer 7.x/Acrobat 7.x only where appropriate.

One of the nice things about Designer 8.0 is that it now supports side-by-side installations along with older versions, making it easy to have Designer 7.1 and Designer 8.0 on the same machine for comparison and testing.

Posted by Stefan Cameron on November 9th, 2006
Filed under Designer
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6 Responses to “Designer 8.0 Now Shipping!”

  1. James Pepper on November 13th, 2006

    The tab order in Acrobat 8 Designer doesn’t work. It scrambles the tab order, usually causing the tabs to move to the top of the next page. Its odd because if you open up the tab order and look at it, everything matches up, but it skips anyway.

    Also I need to test Acrobat documents in Adobe Reader 7.0, not in a simulated environment, so I uninstalled Acrobat 8 and reloaded Acrobat 7 until you can fix this situation. You need the ability to test in previous versions natively, because 8 is completely different. Acrobat 8 also has the same bugs with its PDF writer as Acrobat 7.08. I am using Designer to make acrobat accessible to the blind and while I can do it in Acrobat 7, Acrobat 8 scrambles everything. If you can make the read form fields checkbox accessible via a keyboard shortcut, you will open up your program to the blind where they can set up Acrobat all by themselves so they can read documents.

    Also can you fix the check unchecked check field so that when it is read by the read out loud feature there is some differentiation in the audio. Right now the words “checked” and “unchecked” are impossible to separate, there is no feedback to guide the blind, it exactly the same. Acrobat 8 sometimes has no audio feedback on entries in text fields and when it does it sticks to the first entry and doesn’t change. If you are blind you are constantly changing the entries. If you can make the read out loud feature repeat each typed letter when making an entry that would really be helpful.

    We are using Acrobat 7 to make fully accessible PDF documents where you can turn off the mouse and the monitor and move around in the document with full control of navigation using the keyboard and audio feedback. You might want to keep Acrobat 7 in production longer so that the blind can use it.

  2. Stefan Cameron on November 14th, 2006


    This is very valuable feedback for both the Designer and Acrobat Teams. I’ve passed-on your comments to the appropriate teams for further investigation.

    Thank you for taking the time to tell us about these issues.

  3. Hari on December 7th, 2006

    I recently downloaded LiveCycle Desginer 8 version and running it on trial.

    I wanted to build a form from the excel sheet i already had.

    Import from Spreadsheet wizard doesnt allow to finish ,it comes up to the step copy from excel sheet . But the “Finish” button is not activated in it.

    Is this the intended way?

  4. Hari on December 7th, 2006

    I am starting to use the LiveCycle Designer.I want to create a form for Salary calculations. Table with 3 rows n 2 columns.

    Gross Salary – 10000 (Default and Editable)
    Basic Sal – (Gross Salary * .012) (It shows based on Default GSal value)
    Rest – (Gross Salary *.088) (It shows based on Default GSal value)

    The functionality :
    Basic Sal and Rest will by default show value based on the Gsal
    Every Time GSal Changes the Basic Sal and the Rest columns.

    What will be the Javascript to be associated to achieve the recalucation part once the user enters some other gross salary value.

    I have problems even seeing the defalt one itself.

    Mycode for the Basic Sal and Rest cells:
    form1.#subform[0].Table1.Row2.BSal::calculate: – (JavaScript, client)
    this.rawValue = (GSal.rawValue * .012);

    form1.#subform[0].Table1.Row3.Cell2::calculate: – (JavaScript, client)
    this.rawValue = (GSal.rawValue * .088);

    Can you please do help me out with this.

    Thanks and Regards,

  5. Stefan Cameron on December 11th, 2006


    With respect to your question about creating a form based on an Excel spreadsheet. The “Finish” button at the end of the wizard will be disabled if you haven’t copied any Excel data onto your system’s clipboard prior to getting to that step. If the button is disabled, open your spreadsheet, copy the cells you want to use and then go back to Designer. The “Finish” button should then become enabled.

    Note that you can also simply paste Excel data into a form in Designer 8.0 and the data will be placed into a table containing text objects with their text set to the cell values you copied.

  6. Stefan Cameron on December 11th, 2006


    As for your question on calculations, I believe your scripts are OK as far as the equations go and you have them set on the correct event (Calculate) on the Basic and Rest fields.

    I’m therefore going to guess that your problem is related to the fact that both fields are in different rows than the GSal field within the table and so never display a calculated value.

    Each row in a table is a separate subform. When you reference an object from a script on a field (where a field is different from a subform), you can simply use its name as long as that field is a sibling of the referencing field’s container (subform) — in other words, both fields have to be in the same subform. (Also note that all fields in a row are siblings.)

    To get around this problem, you simply have to properly scope the GSal field with respect to the location of the Basic and Rest fields.

    First, make sure that you specify a name for each row in your table. You can do this by using either the Object or Hierarchy palette.

    Let’s say the GSal field is in “Row1” and the Basic field is in “Row2”. The correct Calculate script for the Basic field would then be:

    this.rawValue = (this.parent.Row1.GSal.rawValue * 0.12);

    In that script, “this.parent” references “Row2”, which is a sibling of “Row1”, so “parent.Row1” will correctly reference “Row1”. From there, “GSal” is a child of “Row1” (a subform) and is also correctly referenced.