Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Acrobat -- Create Dependent Dropdowns

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There are many instances where you might want to have dependent dropdowns (or combo-boxes, as they're sometimes called) in your PDF form, to provide the users of the form with a limited set of pre-defined option to choose from. This can be, for example, a set of clients and contact people, or a set of product categories and specific products, or even a list of countries and then cities within each country.

Creating such dependent drop-downs is complex and requires scripting knowledge, but now you can set up such a system with ease. All you have to do is use this script to select the relevant fields and then enter the primary and secondary items. The script will take care of the rest for you!

Here's how it looks like: First of all you select the 2 fields...

If the primary field already contains items, they will automatically be added to the first list.
Then you enter the primary and secondary values, either one by one, or multiple items (which also allows you to copy and paste text from other applications or files). 

Adding a single item to the Primary Data list (click to enlarge)

Adding multiple items to the Primary Data List (click to enlarge)

Adding multiple items to the Secondary List (click to enlarge)

And after you click OK, the values are immediately applied to the selected boxes:

For more information about this tool, you can contact me directly.


mikeych said...

Hi. Does this tool works with Adobe Acrobat Pro XI?
Thanks. Regards, Michael

Gilad D. (try67) said...

Yes, it sure does!

Mirek Palega said...

I'm interested in, whether it'll work my tablet with Android?

Gilad D. (try67) said...

No, this script will not work on mobile devices.

Timothy Gean said...

Is it possible to do 3 cascading drop list.

Gilad D. (try67) said...

@Timothy Gean
Use this tool for that: http://try67.blogspot.com/2014/11/acrobat-create-cascading-dropdowns.html

Lindsey! said...

Does this tool work with the new Adobe Acrobat Pro DC?

Gilad D. (try67) said...

Yes, it is.


Cindy Rowles said...

Is Adobe Acrobat Pro required to do this as I only have Adobe Acrobat XI Standard?
If so, will people who only have XI Standard be able to use this form and the cascading and/or dependent dropdown boxes?
thanks :)

Gilad D. (try67) said...

@Cindy Rowles

Hi Cindy,

The script itself can be used in any version of Acrobat (Standard or Pro, not the so-called "Acrobat Reader"). The files that you edit using the script can then be used in both Acrobat or in the free Reader.

Regards, Gilad.

Alonzo Hudgins said...

Can you use the script multiple times on the same box? For example I have a Location field and want Dept and Cost Center to be dependent on the Location selection. Then from the Dept selection have Job Title field dependent.

Alonzo Hudgins said...

Can you use this script to have dependent fields of another dependent field?

For Example:

Field 2 and 3 are dependent of Field 1 Selection
Field 4 is dependent on Field 2 Selection
Field 5 is dependent on Field 4 Selection

Gilad D. (try67) said...

@Alonzo Hudgins
It's possible, but would require a custom-made solution.
Please contact me privately (try6767@gmail.com) to discuss it further.


Brooke Simmons said...

Hi, I have a list of 1 - 5 and dropdown of 1 - 5.
if I selected 1 in dropdown 1, I shouldn't be able to select 1 in the other dropdowns and if I selected 5 in dropdown 2, I shouldn't be able to select 5 in other dropdowns.

Gilad D. (try67) said...

@Brooke Simmons
This tool can't do that, but I can certainly develop for you a tool that will.
Contact me privately to discuss it further, please.

M Smith said...

I am trying to have a field that either will take the total from another field or you can chose na is there a way to do this?

M Smith said...

I am trying to create a drop down where if you chose one it pulls the number from the total field and if you chose the other it just says NA.

Gilad D. (try67) said...

@M Smith
Contact me privately (at try6767@gmail.com), please. I can create for you a script that will do it.

Hasan said...

Does this tool store the value for dependent dropdown field after closing the document? Or the value gets cleared after saving document, closing and re-opening it?

Gilad D. (try67) said...


Yes, the selected value should be kept after the file is saved and re-opened.
If it's not doing that for you send me the file (try6767@gmail.com) and I'll look into it.

(Sorry about the delay in replying. The comment was stuck in a hidden moderation queue.)