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Getting Acrobat SDK plugin samples working in Visual Studio 2019

Advocate ,
Jun 01, 2021 Jun 01, 2021

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I am running Windows 10 Pro 64 bit and Visual Studio 2019 and downloaded Acrobat SDK 2021, which claims to be 64-bit - but all kinds of sample subdirectories are still called 'win32'. I would have expected the sample files to  build without errors but I am getting all kinds of errors about incorrect references or unavailable Windows SDK versions.

I need to retrieve table borders (visibility and positions) from a PDF and want to create a plug-in for this as JavaScript does not allow me access to those properties in a PDF. Existing commercial plug-ins focus on OCR - which is not what I need. If there are better ways of getting this layout info from a PDF file I would love to hear about it. If I do have to create a plug-in then how do I get the Acrobat SDK to work with Visual Studio without throwing all those critical errors?

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LEGEND ,
Jun 01, 2021 Jun 01, 2021

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I shouldn't worry about the directory names. Focus on the specific errors. Expect it to take a week or two to resolve all of them and get your first sample built ok. It's no good saying, "I get errors", we all get hundreds when we start. Read each one very carefully, focussing on the very first one. If you can't resolve it, please post that one message. No use looking at subsequent errors until you've fixed the first.

 

Anyway, do you actually have 64-bit Acrobat Pro installed?

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Advocate ,
Jun 01, 2021 Jun 01, 2021

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Thanks for the advice, but a week or two is all I have to get the initial proof of concept done. Needing a week or two to get standard samples compiled on the specified environment is not at all going to work. It looks like I will have to ditch the entire Adobe Acrobat SDK in that case and try other ways of getting the info out of a PDF.

FYI - I downloaded and installed the Adobe FrameMaker FDK and compiled samples. All I needed was retarget the existing samples to my 64-bit Windows and they worked fine with FM2020. I just don't understand why the Acrobat SDK team cannot do this. I have a fully standard Visual Studio 2019, nothing omitted or changed. Should this not be tested a little more thorougly before releasing an SDK ?

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LEGEND ,
Jun 01, 2021 Jun 01, 2021

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So, you aren't going to share the error messages you get? (A couple of weeks is just my guesstimate, an experienced Visual C++ programmer should be able to resolve the issues quickly and get past compiling (then stuck on deploying), but most questions here are not from experienced Visual C++ programmers.

 

But... table borders... do you have any idea how you would approach this? Do you know how it would be represented graphically, or are you execting to work with tagged PDFs with table structures? Are you already familiar with ISO 32000-1? I'd expect to budget a month for a proof of concept of this (or, quite possibily, a disproof of concept), for an experienced C++ programmer, but with time cut if ISO 32000-1 is part of your regular reading and the Acrobat API somewhat familiar.

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Advocate ,
Jun 01, 2021 Jun 01, 2021

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As I mentioned, I am doing a proof of concept, not (yet) true development. With Javascript plugins there seems to be no way to get to graphical objects and tables (that took a couple of days to find out), so I am looking into the plugin API. I expect to find at least some way of getting a handle to the objects that are represented on a PDF page, regardless of tagging. If that turns out to be not at all the case, I will turn my back on plug-in development for Adobe Acrobat and find alternatives that do give me what I need (like saving to MS Word and importing that into FM - for which I do know how to get to table objects and their formatting).

I seriously do not think it should be required to spend weeks of time getting all the details of a file format down before you can dig up one simple aspect of it. If it is really that hard, then I will gladly give up on trying to reverse engineer aspects of PDFs. There is so much more fun to be had in life. Programming in Visual Studio is not one of them.

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Community Expert ,
Jun 01, 2021 Jun 01, 2021

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Advocate ,
Jun 01, 2021 Jun 01, 2021

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After a lot of searching I found the method to add the specific Windows SDK version that seemed to be missing. So now most of the samples do build. Except in the ShowPermissions project there is a reference to an afxres.h include file that does not exist. Oh well, at least I have something working, so I know my Visual Studio is set up as required. Thanks for the pointers.

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