Auto detect input fields in a flat PDF via the SDK. Is this possible?

New Here ,
Sep 19, 2018 Sep 19, 2018

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I have a flat PDF (no Acroform fields). Just a flat PDF. Is it possible, via the API, to get a list of possible input fields? (Text fields, check boxes, etc.) This is what I want, only delivered via an API call (see link->):  Automatic Field Detection in Authoring

If the Adobe SDK does not do this, does anyone know of any API that does something like this?

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Acrobat SDK and JavaScript

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Adobe Community Professional , Sep 19, 2018 Sep 19, 2018
I was laughing at Bernd's casual suggestion for writing a field detection plug-in. This is not a trivial task.  It's the kind of thing you build an AI for. However, what you are asking for is a PDF library or Tool for building an external application.  There are many PDF libraries and single function development tools. I am not aware of any that do auto-form field detection, although it wouldn't surprise me if there were some out there. For example I just did a google search on "Auto Detect PDF ...

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 19, 2018 Sep 19, 2018

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Depends.  If you mean the JavaScript API, then no, there is not really any way to access the Form field detection feature. This is a built in Adobe specific thing that they control. It's not part of the general PDF operation included in either the JS or plug-in SDK.

However, there are hooks into this functionality that provide some access. For example, this feature is a command on the "Action" editor. So it can be used in an Action, which is a type of automation.  Action commands can also be activated from a plug-in, but the plug-in doesn't have any control over how the field detection proceeds, it's just like running a menu item.  You can execute it, but then Acrobat does what it does, including any popup dialogs and messages that the user has to respond too.

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

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New Here ,
Sep 19, 2018 Sep 19, 2018

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Maybe I'm in the wrong area? I don't want a plugin or a menu item. I want to call a function from C++ (or C#) code. Acrobat will not be running.

I want to load a PDF and detect all possible input text fields on the page. Example:

  myApi->LoadPDF("pdfDocument.pdf")

  CString xmlString = GetAllPossibleInputFields();

Where an input field is NOT an acroform field, but rather a PROBABLE input field based on OCR intelligence.

Thanks.

Glad my question was a good for a laugh!

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 19, 2018 Sep 19, 2018

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I was laughing at Bernd's casual suggestion for writing a field detection plug-in. This is not a trivial task.  It's the kind of thing you build an AI for.

However, what you are asking for is a PDF library or Tool for building an external application.  There are many PDF libraries and single function development tools. I am not aware of any that do auto-form field detection, although it wouldn't surprise me if there were some out there. For example I just did a google search on "Auto Detect PDF Form Fields".  The first page is all articles/forum threads about using Acrobat to autodetect fields, but at the bottom was this online tool for doing it.

Form Field Detector - Accusoft

It looks like an online service you can connect to from your own HTML page using JS.

Also, I haven't checked but I maybe this capability is avaliable from the official PDF Library, distributed by DataLogics:

https://www.datalogics.com/products/pdf/pdflibrary/

And it is in C++.  You'll find many of the PDF tools and libraries are Java and .Net 

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

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New Here ,
Sep 19, 2018 Sep 19, 2018

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Thank you. I really appreciate your informative reply.  I am familiar with several PDF tools do form field detection, but I haven't found one yet that does this strictly from a function call without the use of another application overlay or cloud service (both of which will not work for my situation.)

Appreciate everyone's time.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 19, 2018 Sep 19, 2018

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You can create your own plugin for this.

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 19, 2018 Sep 19, 2018

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Ha Ha  

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

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