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 30, 2014

Acrobat -- Create Bookmarks from Titles

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

Or you can buy this tool together with Create TOC from Bookmarks, for just $99 for the pair!

Another Update (30/10/2014): It's now also possible to specify the maximum font size to be used for detecting the titles in the file, as well as to remove the existing bookmarks when running the tool.

Update: The tool can now process up to 999 pages, instead of just 99... Also, a new feature has been added to it where you can select which pages to process (skipping ones that you don't want to bookmark, like the cover or index pages, for example), and also specifying the minimum font size to consider as a title. So if you know that the titles in your file are at least 10-points large, you can tell the script to ignore anything smaller than that.

This tool tries to bring order to messy PDF files by identifying the title (or heading) on each page and creating a bookmark to match it.

Many articles, manuals and books are created without a proper bookmarks structure, and sometimes even without a Table of Contents (TOC). This tool tries to fix that creating a bookmarks structure based on the most important title that appears on each page your file. If multiple pages contain the same title, only the first one will be considered, since it doesn't make sense to have identical bookmarks pointing to each page.

After the script identifies the candidate titles, it will display a set of dialogs with the text found for each page of the document. You can tick each page on or off, and even edit the text. At the end, the bookmarks you selected will be created, and will automatically point to their matching pages.

Let's look at an example: We have a file without any bookmarks in it. We run the script from the menu item it added under "Tools":

(click to enlarge)

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.

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Batch Edit File Links in PDF Files

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

SPECIAL OFFER (This tool + Batch Edit URL Links):
Direct purchase using PayPal ($100 only for both licenses)!

Update (25-06-2014): Yet another new feature! The tool now allows you to select which elements to process: Link objects, form fields, or even (and this is the new feature) bookmarks.

Update (22-06-2014): Another new feature in both the full version and the free demo version: A new button that allows you to write out all the file links in your files to a text file, so you can see what kind of links are used in your file, whether they're relative or absolute, and know how best to edit them.

Update (20-06-2014): Now available is a free demo version of this tool, which will process up to 3 links/form fields in the first 3 files in the selected folder.

This new stand-alone tool is very similar to my other tool, Batch Edit URL Links, only this one allows you to edit the file paths of either links or buttons.

Using this tool you can edit all the "Open a file" actions in all of the links or buttons in an entire folder of PDF files so that they point to a new location. For example, imagine you moved your linked files from one server ("File_Server") to a new one ("New_Server"). You run the tool, enter the following settings, and all of the PDF files in the selected folder are edited in seconds:

The application window (click to enlarge)

Another possible way of using this tool is to convert relative file links (which are created by default in Acrobat), to absolute links. So if you have a link pointing to "../../MyFile.pdf" and you want it to point to a fixed path, like "C:\Reference Files\MyFile.pdf", you can use this tool to do that as well.
Of course, the other way around is possible too.

And now this tool is offered as a special of a special offer: You can buy it together with the other batch tool for just $100, instead of the usual price of $150 (for both). Use the Buy Now button at the top of the page to enjoy this great deal!

If you have any questions regarding 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.