plugin creation

New Here ,
Aug 07, 2017

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Hi!

I am new to acrobat plugins.  I am having set of tools developed in acrobat java script like auto bookmarking.  I wanted to convert this into plugins using c++.  I dont know where to start and how to start.  Can any one help me on this?  How to create?  Which platform is required to create plugin?  How to create .api file?

Ariv

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Acrobat SDK and JavaScript

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Aug 08, 2017

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Plug-in creation needs things to be done very precisely, because the plug-in becomes part of Acrobat and has to be built in the same way. Here are some thoughts.

1. There may seem to be alternative ways to do some things, and experts might succeed. But getting plug-ins to work at all is so specific and demanding that for a beginner to make any changes to how things are done invites even more frustration. As it is, it may take weeks before a starting plug-in developer finally persuades their plug-in to load.

2. Plugins MUST be created using Visual Studio (Windows) or xcode (Mac). More than that, you need to use the specific version recommended in the documentation for the SDK you use.  These are complex tools with more learning curve than I'd like, even from version to version.

3. Write plug-ins for Acrobat NOT FOR READER.

4. Always use a starter project or sample to start with. Get one of these working properly before adding a line. Be sure you know what you expect them to do: for example a plug-in has an entry in ABOUT only if it puts one there; no other magic does this.

5. Plug-ins can run JavaScript; this may be a good way to build on the investment of time you have made. But to move beyond a certain point you may need to rewrite all using the plug-in SDK.

6. New to C/C++? These are treacherous language, full of ways for the beginner (and experienced programmer) to shoot themselves in the foot. Writing a user interface beyond menu items, tool buttons, OK alerts and yes/no questions requires knowledge of the platform programming methods of showing windows, dialogs etc. - a very large subject in itself.

7. There are thousands of API entry points. Read all the documentation you can, including all the introductory material. Get to know the "layers" of the API so you can focus on what you need.

8. An SDK is often forwards compatible, but never backwards. For example the Acrobat XI SDK on WIndows can make plug-ins for Acrobat XI which also work in Acrobat DC, but not in Acrobat X. But on Mac, the Acrobat XI SDK cannot make Acrobat DC plug-ins; these must be new projects. Adobe do not keep old SDKs available for long; this will block you developing for older Acrobats because people are not allowed to share an old SDK either.

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New Here ,
Aug 08, 2017

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Hi!

Thank you for your answer.

I have implemented my problem using javascript.  Now I wanted to create plugin(.api).  I have installed visual studio, Acrobat & SDK.

Now I need to start...

for example I wanted to write plugin for simple alert box...

what i need to first for this using visual studio?

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Aug 08, 2017

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Have you read all the introductory documentation? What version of Visual Studio does it say you need for your version of the SDK?

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New Here ,
Aug 09, 2017

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I am using Acrobat DC and SDK for that & Visual studio 2015.

I have opened vc++ IDE and what I need to do to generate a .api((plugin) file to display simple msg box?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 09, 2017

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Try the sample plugin BasicPlugin.

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New Here ,
Aug 09, 2017

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I have found below in SDK documentation

In Visual Studio 2005, create a new project by clicking on New Project or choosing the File > New > Project command. Select "Visual C++ Projects" in the Project Types pane. Choose Acro9PIWiz in the Templates pane. Enter a name and location for the project and click OK.

There Acro9PIWiz template is not there in my IDE.  How to bring this inside Visual studio?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 09, 2017

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Looks like a old documentation. What version of the Acrobat SDK do you use?

For the wizard of the Acrobat DC SDK you need Visual Studio 2013.

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New Here ,
Aug 09, 2017

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using 2015 Visual studio for acrobat DC.

After selecting Visual C++ Project, In Templates pane what we need to select to create plugins?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 09, 2017

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Start with the BasicPlugin.

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New Here ,
Aug 09, 2017

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Which project type I need to choose to run BasicPlugin?  Where to keep the BasicPlugin?

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 09, 2017

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In Visual Studio open the solution BasicPlugin.sln and build the plugin.

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New Here ,
Aug 09, 2017

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Thank you for the answers.  Will come back to you people after trying this....

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 03, 2019

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can you please share here your sample plugin developed in javascript??

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 03, 2019

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With Javascript you can't create plugins for Adobe Acrobat.

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 03, 2019

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ok. then with c/c++ i have generated the .api file. what to do next for adding this to adobe acrobat reader dc???

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Jul 04, 2019

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 04, 2019

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there are few fields in the application form that i am having time filling.

so, DMSIntegration plugin is one of the sample plugins that i have run to generate .api file.  This is written in c/c++ code. Basically, i am not able to understand what this plugin does.

And in the form, i have to fill it in. please help

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Aug 09, 2017

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See item 4.  The specific API to issue a message, to add to the event processor (probably a menu item) is AVAlertNote.

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New Here ,
Aug 09, 2017

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how to debug with VC++ IDE to generage .api file?

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New Here ,
Aug 09, 2017

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how to debug with VC++ IDE to generage .api file?

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Aug 09, 2017

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You debug a plug-in by setting Acrobat as the executable. But you are probably getting ahead of yourself. There is a lot of work to getting the first plug-in to build and install.

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New Here ,
Aug 09, 2017

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I have found below in SDK documentation

In Visual Studio 2005, create a new project by clicking on New Project or choosing the File > New > Project command. Select "Visual C++ Projects" in the Project Types pane. Choose Acro9PIWiz in the Templates pane. Enter a name and location for the project and click OK.

There Acro9PIWiz template is not there in my IDE.  How to bring this inside Visual studio?

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Aug 09, 2017

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Bemd has said that you need to use VIsual Studio 2013. You say you are using Visual Studio 2015. Are you using 2015 because the Acrobat SDK documentation says this exactly? If it does not say this, please refer to my initial reply 2.

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New Here ,
Aug 09, 2017

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Acrobat SDK documentation says VS2013.  I thought higher version of visual studio will support.  Is it possible to use visual studio 2015 for DC?

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