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21

Identify form fields with the same name

Participant ,
Jan 03, 2024 Jan 03, 2024

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I am working on an appendix to a book that consists of multiple fillable forms. I need to add this appendix at the end of the of the PDF that contains the rest of the book. When I try to add the appendix, Acrobat gives me the message telling me that form fields with the same name will be merged. The appendix has 87 pages of forms. Is there a way to quickly identify any form fields that have the same name?

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Create PDFs , How to , PDF forms

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Community Expert ,
Jan 03, 2024 Jan 03, 2024

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Yes, you have some options, but they all involve scripting.  Unfortunately Adobe did not include a field reporting tool in Acrobat. 

 

You could write a script that examines all the separate PDFs and compares fields.

How may separate documents are there that contain form fields?  How many pages are the documents and about how many fields on each?

 

But there is another simpler solution. Do you really need interactive form fields in the index? Or were these fields just for developing the document?  If you don't need the fields, then the document can be flattened, so the text is there, but there are no form fields.  

You'll find a free flattening tool here:

https://www.pdfscripting.com/public/Free_Acrobat_Automation_Tools.cfm

 

 

 

 

 

Thom Parker - Software Developer at PDFScripting
Use the Acrobat JavaScript Reference early and often

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Participant ,
Jan 03, 2024 Jan 03, 2024

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Unfortunately, my bosses want fillable forms in the appendix, which is a real pain on many many levels.

There are 47 pages of actual form fields, many of which are Yes/No radio boxes. The majority of the remaining fields are text boxes. The number of fields on each page varies from 15 - 30.

I've never used scripts in Acrobat before, so consider me a newbie.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 03, 2024 Jan 03, 2024

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Excellent info!  But how many separate PDFs are there that need to be merged, that also have form fields on them?

 

Thom Parker - Software Developer at PDFScripting
Use the Acrobat JavaScript Reference early and often

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Participant ,
Jan 04, 2024 Jan 04, 2024

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All the forms are in one PDF, the Appendix. There is only one other PDF, the Book. The book doesnt have any form fields in it, but it Acrobat still gives me the message about merging form fields with the same name when I add the Appednix to the end fo the Book.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 04, 2024 Jan 04, 2024

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If a document with fields is inserted into a document without any fields, then there cannot be a problem merging form fields.  Acrobat should not report this issue.  So either Acrobat is wrong (entirely possible) or there are form fields on the book PDF and those fields have a match somewhere on the Appendix.  I'd suggest opening the Book PDF in Acrobat and selecting the "Prepare Form" tools.  There's a field listing on the right side of the screen where any fields will be listed. 

 

 

 

Thom Parker - Software Developer at PDFScripting
Use the Acrobat JavaScript Reference early and often

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Participant ,
Jan 04, 2024 Jan 04, 2024

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I have the Edit PDF Forms tool on my tool bar, so I opened the Book PDF and clicked on that tool button. When I did this, Acrobat gave me the message "Currently there are no form fields in this PDF. Do you want Acrobat to detect form fields for you?" There are hyperlinks to each chapter in the Table of Contents of the Book, but no form fields.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 04, 2024 Jan 04, 2024

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What version of Acrobat do you have?  

But regardless. If there are no form fields then you can add the appendix without anything changing. 

The message must just be a generic warning. 

 

 

Thom Parker - Software Developer at PDFScripting
Use the Acrobat JavaScript Reference early and often

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Participant ,
Jan 04, 2024 Jan 04, 2024

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I'm using Acrobat Pro Ver 2023.006.20380 with Windows 11. I will ignore the warning and carry on. Thanks for your help.

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Community Expert ,
Jan 04, 2024 Jan 04, 2024

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There could be fields you're not seeing. To find out for sure run this code from the JS Console:

 

console.clear();
console.println("Number of fields: " + this.numFields);
for (var i=0; i<this.numFields; i++) {
	var f = this.getField(this.getNthFieldName(i));
	if (f==null) continue;
	console.println(f.name);
}

 

It will print out the number of fields in the file, and then their names. If there are fields in the file copy that list to a column in Excel and then run it on another document, paste that list (without the first line) and then filter the lists by duplicate values.

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