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Automating Adobe Fillable Forms

New Here ,
May 15, 2021 May 15, 2021

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I am very new to the power and flexibility of Adobe's fillable form creation, and for some my unfamiliarity and questions may be quite annoying. My apologies.

I wish to create a form (I know the basics of using form creator) that will be predominently used on an iPad. I have some fields that I wish simply to populate with a tap of the field with the current time. Save the form with that new data, but still have the form workable next time its open with that previous data in place (not editable). There are several individual fields that are similarly populated on that one form over the course of the shift (the data accumulates), and then I wish to have the results of the collected data emailed.

 

I suspect this will require scripts, if possible at all. I may be hoping for more than is easily achievable. I am a novice in VBA coding, but I haven't had time to get into JavaScript yet due to time.

 

Is this posible? Perhaps someone can suggest the key concepts that I should specifically research (Google) and useful tutorials or references that can get me started. I have no idea where to begin. I would certainly be appreciative of anyone that might like to take on a coaching role, or take suggestions of honest individuals who would accept a donation to provide this for me.

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How to, PDF forms

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LEGEND ,
May 15, 2021 May 15, 2021

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Taking a step back - have you yet tested the concept of working with forms on the iPad? There are many serious limitations, so it is as well to check this first. I suspect you may not have, since the idea of "opening" and "closing" a form is really rather different on iPad, and varies with the PDF viewer you use.


To put it another slightly different way, have you ever seen a PDF that worked the way you wanted on iPad?

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New Here ,
May 15, 2021 May 15, 2021

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Hi Test Screen Name, thanks for stepping in with your comment.

Answering your question ... not extensively. I did some very basic text based field entry in a very simple form and it seemed to work. But I'm getting the impression from your reply that it can be a pretty unreliable interface. Is it a hardware thing where maybe an Android tablet would be better? Would providing an Adobe form via a browser be a better option than just providing the form? Being new to Adobe, forgive me for my lack of full comprehension.

I just approached this thinking this might be cool option for getting rid of the reams of paper we use everyday.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
May 15, 2021 May 15, 2021

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Yes, this is possible, with a simple script, but there are likely going to be issues using it on an iPad. Your best chance of getting it to work is by using the PDF Expert app by Readdle, which currently offers the greatest support for scripts on that platform.

 

The code to do it is the following, which you can use as the On Focus event of the text field:

event.target.value = util.printd("HH:MM", new Date());

 

If you want to learn how to write JavaScript code for Acrobat, I recommend the following resources:

General JS tutorial (note that only the core syntax applies to Acrobat): http://www.w3schools.com/js/default.asp
Homepage for Acrobat JavaScript development, including a link to the full API: http://www.adobe.com/devnet/acrobat.html
Free tutorials about Acrobat in general, including many JS related ones: https://acrobatusers.com/tutorials/
A paid-for website with tutorials about Acrobat JavaScript (not related to me): http://www.pdfscripting.com/
My humble web-site with many tools for Acrobat and Reader (mostly paid-for, some free): http://www.try67.com

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