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.


Cosmic Rocket said...

Is this windows or OSX?

Gilad D. (try67) said...

@Cosmic Rocket
All of my tools run on both Windows and Mac computers, unless mentioned otherwise.

Darshan said...


Wanted to know if the $5 and $10 variants retain the original formatting for the fields after renaming them? for example date1 which has a date formatting..continues to remain so after it is renamed to date2?

Gilad D. (try67) said...

Yes, it does keep all the formatting options.

John Byrley said...

Can I use any of these versions to change "Text1" to "Text1.Subform1.SubSubForm2.." etc.? I want to change form with "flat" field names to hierarchical field names.

Gilad D. (try67) said...

You can rename the fields in that way, but it will not create a hierarchy, ie you could not then access "Text1" and change the properties of all of them.

BackHouseStudios said...

Can you rename with regex?

Gilad D. (try67) said...

Not currently, but I can probably add it.
Contact me privately to discuss it further.

Unknown said...

For anyone just seeing this page - my company purchased the $10 version of this tool and it works perfectly. Well done to the author.