Migrating from Adobe Acrobat forms to XML forms
Support for form fields was first introduced in Adobe® PDF version 1.3 and Adobe Acrobat® 4.0 software. AcroForms is the name of the dictionary in the PDF specification that contains references to the fields in a PDF document.
The form field objects are displayed in a "top layer" in the PDF document, separate from the PDF content layer (containing the images, fonts, words, and so forth). With the introduction of the PDF 1.5 specification and Acrobat 6.0, a new forms dictionary is now available. In the PDF specification, this is referred to as the XFA dictionary, but the term XML forms is used here to differentiate between the older forms model and the new one. This new model can be accessed in Acrobat 6.0 and implemented with Adobe LiveCycle Designer software.
Take a look at some examples.
- Combo box
- List box
- Radio button
- Text field
- Digital signature field
Figure 1. Forms toolbar in Acrobat 6.0 Professional
Figure 2a. MouseUp action: Execute Menu Item to go to next page
When the PDF file is opened and converted in Adobe LiveCycle Designer, the following code appears in the Script Editor in the MouseUp action:
For Execute Menu Item (Figure 2a):
Named: Flags=0 Url=NextPage
For this example, the XDP looks like this:
When a simple search/replace is run on the file, you get:
And when saved as a PDF file, the button action matches the original Acrobat created form.Mapping examples
Here are some examples of mapping from AcroForms to the XML Forms model.
|Navigation to the Next Page||
|Reset Form Fields||
Stay tuned for a more complete list and additional information.Questions?
If you'd like to provide feedback on this tip or if you have questions, send e-mail to Lori.