Sunday, November 23, 2014

Acrobat -- Create Cascading Dropdowns

Direct purchase using PayPal ($75 only per license)!

This new tool is similar to my Acrobat -- Create Dependent Dropdowns tool, but it offers a more powerful functionality: Using it you can create a set of "cascading" drop-down fields, where the selection in the first field filters the values of the second field, which in turn filters the values in the third field, etc.

The desired "cascading" effect
This allows you to represent a complex data structure in a simple and easy-to-use way for the end-user of the file, who is not presented with thousands of items, only with those relevant for their selection.
This tool sets it all up for you. And you can use it multiple times in the same file, on as many fields as you like!

So how does it work?
We start with our source data, like this Excel file that contains information of various products, divided into Department, then Prefix, Category, Part Number and finally Suffix.

(click to enlarge)
If the user selects the "PLIF STD" department, for example, we want to then only show those Prefixes that are relevant for that department in the next drop-down.

So we save our data source as a tab-delimited text file (this can be done directly in Excel):

We then open a PDF file and add drop-down fields that match the names of the columns from our Excel file:

We use the "Create Cascading Dropdowns" button that the script added to the Tools menu in Acrobat to run it, and are asked to select the input text file:

The script embeds the into the PDF (as a file attachment) and applies the scripts required to make it work:

We can now see that the Department drop-down contains all the (unique) values from the Department column:

And when we make a selection that filters the next fields:

Until eventually we select a unique record:

 And we're done!

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

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Acrobat -- Mass Edit Fields Actions

Direct purchase using PayPal ($60 only per license)!

Special Offer: Both Mass Edit Fields tools for only $90 (instead of $120)!

Update (01/11/2015): You can now apply the Calculate, Format, Keystroke and Validate events to not-text fields as well.

Similar to my other tool to set the various properties of multiple fields in a file (Acrobat -- Mass Edit Fields Properties), this tool allows you to set a JavaScript action that is associated with a specific trigger with multiple fields in a single process.

You select the relevant fields and then one of the following triggers and assign a JS action to them quickly and easily:
  • Mouse Down
  • Mouse Enter
  • Mouse Exit
  • Mouse Up
  • On Blur
  • On Focus
  • Calculate
  • Format
  • Keystroke
  • Validate
 Here's how it's used. We have a file with various fields in it that we want to edit. We click one of the buttons of the script in the Tools panel on the right:

(click to enlarge)
 In this first instances we select the All Fields option and are presented with this list of the field-names in the file:

After having selected the fields we want to edit we clicked on Continue and are then presented with this dialog window, where we select the trigger and enter the action code we want to use. In this case we want an error message to appear whenever the user exits the field, if it's empty:

The script has processed the fields successfully and presents us with this dialog when it's done:

Now we want to run it again, but this time edit only text fields. So we click on the other button in the Tools menu and are presented with a list of just those fields. We select the ones we want to process, just like before, and click on Continue:

This time there are more options in the actions drop-down menu. We select the "Calculate" action and enter a code that will make sure the fields show the current date:

The fields have been successfully edited and we're done!

If you have any questions about this tool, you can contact me directly.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Acrobat -- Add Line Numbers

Direct purchase using PayPal ($60 only)!

If you want to add line-numbers to your PDF file, this is the tool for you.
It will attempt to identify each line in the file and will then add a page number to it. You can select whether to place the line number on the left edge of the page, the right edge, or the left edge on odd pages (1, 3, 5, etc.) and on the right on even pages (2, 4, 6, etc.)

You can test out this tool by downloading this free demo version.
The demo version works exactly like the full tool, but it will only add up to 10 line numbers and up to two selected zones at the same time.

UPDATE (16/10/2014):  In addition to being able to specify the location of the line numbers and once in how many lines to add a number, you can now also specify from which line number to begin, in case you're processing a page in multiple times.
So when you run the script you're first prompted with this dialog:

The original file:

With the line numbers, placed on the left edge of the page:

New Feature: In case you have a file with two or more columns, the script can be used to add line number just for a specific part of the file. The way to do it is to use the Square tool to mark the area in question, then select one or more such areas and run the script.

For example, in this page I've added three areas, one on the left column, and two on the right, to which I will add line numbers. I select the box on the left:

And after I run the script, the line numbers for that box are added. I then select the two boxes on the right:

Running the script again adds the line numbers on the right-hand side of the page:

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

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Acrobat -- Reverse Page Order (FREE)

A common request is for a way to reverse the order of the pages in a PDF, so I've developed a small tool that allows you to do it with a single click and I'm offering it for FREE. You can download it from here.

As always, if you have any questions about this tool, or any other tool I've developed, you can contact me directly, and if you find this tool useful and would like to donate, it's always appreciated!

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Batch Encrypt PDF Files

Direct purchase using PayPal ($25 only per license)!

Using this standalone tool you can apply the same kind of security policies that can be applied using Adobe Acrobat to your PDF files, for a fraction of the price of the full application.
Plus, you can process multiple files in a single process!
Just select your input file or folder, where you want the files to be saved, then enter the File Open and/or File Edit passwords, select which actions you want to permit or forbid, and the encryption key length, and you're done!

This tool costs only $25, and you can test it out FOR FREE before purchasing it using this demo version, which will process up to 3 files at a time. The full version has no limitation on the number of files that can be processed, of course.

The application's dialog window (click to enlarge)

If you have any questions about this tool, you can contact me directly.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Acrobat -- Mass Edit Fields Properties

Direct purchase using PayPal ($60 only per license)!
Special Offer: Both Mass Edit Fields tools for only $90 (instead of $120)!
Special Offer (11/08/2014): You can now buy this tool along with my other Mass Edit Fields tools (Acrobat -- Mass Edit Fields Actions) for just $90 for both!

New Feature (25/07/2014): Now it is also possible to select the fields directly from a list, so you can pinpoint exactly which fields you want to edit, and not have to edit all fields of a certain type or on a certain page (although that is still possible to do).
Another update is a small utility script that prints out the internal font name of a selected field.
This makes editing the text font property of multiple fields much easier as this value can be easily found out and then copied to the main tool.

One of the most frequent tasks of form editing in Acrobat is to change the properties of a lot of fields all at the same time. Who hasn't created a form and then wanted to change the font associated with all of the text fields once it was done? Or set them as required? Or change the border color of your combo-boxes, for example? The only way to do it is by finding and selecting all of these fields manually, which can be very difficult if you have a large file with many fields.

Well, no more!

Using this new script you can easily and quickly set the properties for entire groups of fields with ease and without needing to select them manually!

You can select which fields to edit by:
  • Type (multiple selection is possible)
  • Page number
  • From a list of all the fields in the entire document, or just on the current page
Then you select which properties you want to edit (up to 10 different properties), enter their new values, click Apply, and that's it! The script does the work for you in a fraction of a second.
Almost any property can be edited, with the major exception of Name, Page, Value, Rect, and some other read-only properties.

Here's how it looks like in real life:

Here's our file with our form fields before we process it. Let's say we're not happy with our design choices and want to change the font color, border style and color, and some other properties of the text fields and combo-boxes on page 1.

(click to enlarge)

If we select the second option in the pop-up menu we get a list of the fields and we select those we want to edit:

(click to enlarge)

If we select the first option we get this window:
(click to enlarge)
We now select the field types we're interested in (Combo box and Text, in this case) and press the Show Relevant Properties button:

(click to enlarge)
Each Select Property drop-down now lists all of the fields that apply to any of our selected field types:

(click to enlarge)
 When a specific property is selected a description of it becomes visible as well as a drop-down menu with pre-defined settings or a text field where you can enter your own value. So here I've selected a new text color from the list, I entered a new text size (0, meaning "Auto"), as well as some other properties. I've also selected to apply these changes to the first page only:

(click to enlarge)
I click Apply! and the results are immediate:

The same file after being processed by the script:

(click to enlarge)

A handy utility that comes with the tool allows you to find out the internal name of the font used by a specific text field, so you could use it in the main tool. To do so click the "Find Field Font Name" button that appears in the Tools menu (it is not shown in the screenshots above):

(click to enlarge)
 Then select the field from the list in the window that opens:

And you'll be presented with the internal name of the font used by that field. You can easily copy this value and use it directly in the main script:

If you have any questions about this tool, you can contact me directly.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Acrobat -- Create an Intelligent Mail Barcode Field

Direct purchase using PayPal ($50 only per license)!

The United States Postal Service (USPS) developed a type of barcode it uses to easily identify addresses in the US, called Intelligent Mail Barcode (or IMB). This barcode symbology is composed out of 65 vertical bars, based on a set of 31 (or possibly less) digits, which represent the Barcode identifier, Service type identifier, Mailer ID, Sequence number and finally the Delivery point ZIP code.

This barcode format is very useful when printing shipping labels for addresses in the US and using it can help make sure your letters arrive to their correct destination on time.

So how can we integrate this technology into our PDF files? The USPS provides a free font that can be installed on your computer and subsequently used as the font of a text field in a PDF, and using this tool I've developed it's never been easier to set it up!

Let's say we have a field that contains the IMB value, and another field where we want the barcode to appear:

The original file with the two fields, and the menu item added by the script on the right (click to enlarge)
After the script is installed on the computer it adds a new menu button under the Tools panel, which allows us to set up our IMB field (the lower one in this case). Pressing the button pops-up this dialog:

The script's settings dialog window

In this dialog we select the Value and the Barcode field names, as well as the type of value we use.
In this case we have an non-encoded numeric value, so we select the first option. If we have an encoded value with A/D/F/T letters (for example: "FADDFAFTFTADAFDTFDDAAFDFAFADFTTDTFDDTDTTDDTTFFATFDFAATFAFAFTDFFDD"), we would select the second option.
Next we select whether the Mailer ID has 6 or 9 digits, and finally whether to hide the value field (in this case we keep it visible).
We click OK to proceed and get this message:

Clicking on Yes is recommended as it's required that the Barcode field use this font for the IMB barcode to appear.

And the result is this:
The original value and the corresponding barcode (click to enlarge)

If we change the text in the Value field to a different (valid) number, the Barcode field will update immediately as well:

Value field edited: Last digit changed to "3" (click to enlarge)
All the required code is now embedded in the PDF file and there's no need to use any external resources, as the font is fully embedded as well.

The fonts can be downloaded from here:
(for a Windows computer I recommend looking for the latest version of the USPS non-AFP Fonts and then installing the TrueType font called "USPSIMBStandard.ttf" inside the zip file).

To verify the barcodes generated by the script one can use this online encoder tool by the USPS:

If you have any questions regarding this tool, contact me directly.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Acrobat -- Edit Links Properties

Direct purchase using PayPal ($60 only per license)!

Using this tool you can easily and quickly edit the various properties of the links in your PDF document. The tool allows you to select on which pages to edit the links, and in what way.
The properties that can be edited are: Border Color, Border Width (which can also be used to set the links as having an invisible rectangle) and Highlight Mode.

When the script is installed into Acrobat and run, it looks like this:

(click to enlarge)
 When the script is done you see a message like this:

And this is the edited version of the file:

(click to enlarge)

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

Monday, June 9, 2014

Easily Rename PDF Fields

One of the most annoying tasks when creating PDF forms is to rename many form fields in a single go. Acrobat doesn't offer the means of doing it automatically and doing it with a script can be a pain because it requires removing the old field and then creating a new one in its place with the new field name. Because of this I've decided to develop a standalone application that can do it quickly and easily.

I've created three versions of this tool, all for very reasonable prices.
The $5 version will rename any number of fields that you specify to it directly, by running it like this:
java -jar RenamePdfFields.jar "Input File Path" "Output File Path" "Current Field Name 1" "New Field Name 1" "Current Field Name 2" "New Field Name 2" ...
This means that the file will be opened, "Current Field Name 1" will be renamed as "New Field Name 1"and that "Current Field Name 2" will be renamed as "New Field Name 1", and then the file will be saved under the new file path.

The $10 version of this tool is a bit more advanced, in that you can specify the names of the current and new fields in an input file and don't have to write them out in the command. You can specify a single text file that contains two tab-delimited, with the current names in the first column and the new ones in the second column, or two text files, one with the current names and one with the old names.

The command for the first variant looks like this:
java -jar BatchRenamePdfFields.jar "Input File Path" "Output File Path" "List Path"
And the second variant looks like this:
java -jar BatchRenamePdfFields.jar "Input File Path" "Output File Path" "Current Names List Path" "New Names List Path"

However, it should be mentioned that these tools are not suitable for renaming duplicate fields (ie, multiple "widgets" with the same name).

It's important to stress out that both of these versions DO NOT REQUIRE ACROBAT and that they will both work on either a Windows or a Mac computer, as long as Java is installed.

The third version, which costs $20, is a script that runs within Acrobat. It accepts a tab-delimited text file with the names of the current fields in the first column and the new names in the second column, and will then process the fields in the file.
This version is very easy to use, but has one IMPORTANT caveat: renaming a field using this script will cause it to lose any actions associated with it, as well as settings such as format/validation/calculation.

For more information about these tools you can contact me directly.

Acrobat - Print or Extract Selected Pages

Direct purchase using PayPal ($50 only per license)!

Update (09/06/2014): Now this tool can also be used to extract the selected pages (only in Acrobat, of course). You select the pages just like before (using the added check-boxes) and then click a menu item that tool adds under Tools - Add-On Tools, and the selected pages are extracted to a new file.

Also improved is the mechanism that prints out the pages. If Acrobat or Reader XI are used all of the pages will be printed out in a SINGLE print command, not one by one. And if an older version is used the tool will attempt to print out the pages in as few print commands as possible by grouping the selected pages into ranges.

Sometimes you want to allow the reader of your file to easily select which pages they want to print out of it.
With this script you can automatically add a check-box to each page of your file, as well as a Print Selected Pages button.
The user can then simply tick the pages they want to print and then print them all with a single click.

The document with the check-boxes and the print button:

The print confirmation dialog:

After printing the user can reset the check-boxes, if they wish:

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