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.


Ryan Ghere said...

Does this work Adobe Acrobat Pro DC 2015?

Gilad D. (try67) said...

Yes, it does, like the rest of my scripts.