Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Acrobat/Reader -- Convert Wingdings To Fields

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When creating their forms in Word, many people like to use the Wingdings characters for their form fields, such as radio-buttons and check-boxes. They are easier to move around and control, compared to graphic elements, because they are simply textual symbols.
The problem begins when you convert your file to PDF and want to convert them to PDF form fields. Acrobat does not always identify these symbols as form fields, and when it does, it doesn't always assign them the correct form type: Check-boxes can become text fields and radio-buttons can become check-boxes... Which means you then have to make a lot of manual adjustments to get them working correctly.

This issue can now be easily solved using this new tool I've developed which will identify Wingdings characters and convert them into the correct form fields in your PDF file.
The tool can identify 8 different kinds of check-boxes and 7 different kinds of radio-buttons, as can be seen in this list:

Types of recognized Wingdings (click to enlarge)

So let's say we have a simple form with Wingdings boxes that we want to convert to check-boxes:
The original file
After installing the script we can run it easily via the Tools panel, like so:

Accessing the script in Acrobat
The symbols are recognized and the fields generated. When done, the script reports how many fields were added to the file:

We can now see the generated fields in the file:

And interact with them, just like any other fields:

This tool can even be used in the free Adobe Reader (version XI or higher)!

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

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