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Acrobat DC JavaScript external editor on Macs

Explorer ,
Sep 10, 2020

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I would love to get a response to this post from someone at Adobe. I have posted about this more than once, the last time probably more than two years ago. Q: Why doesn't Adobe fix the inability to connect an external editor to Acrobat DC (and I believe several prior versions of Acrobat).  When using any external editor in Acrobat, Acrobat freezes like a stone, requiring a forced quit.

 

Yes, I know that you can copy and paste script from the internal editor to the external editor, work on it and copy and paste it back to Acrobat, but that is not responsive to Adobe's failure to fix this. When you spend hours writing script, the cumulative effect of cutting and pasting repeatedly is a ridiculous annoyance. After years of Adobe not fixing this problem I reiterate what I said the last time: Adobe's failure to fix this is disrespectful of its customers. And for those who might say it is an Apple problem, not Adobe's, I say Adobe has an obligation to work with Apple to fix it, or explain why it cannot. It is disingenuous to blame it on Apple.

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Acrobat SDK and JavaScript, Crash or freeze, General troubleshooting

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Acrobat DC JavaScript external editor on Macs

Explorer ,
Sep 10, 2020

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I would love to get a response to this post from someone at Adobe. I have posted about this more than once, the last time probably more than two years ago. Q: Why doesn't Adobe fix the inability to connect an external editor to Acrobat DC (and I believe several prior versions of Acrobat).  When using any external editor in Acrobat, Acrobat freezes like a stone, requiring a forced quit.

 

Yes, I know that you can copy and paste script from the internal editor to the external editor, work on it and copy and paste it back to Acrobat, but that is not responsive to Adobe's failure to fix this. When you spend hours writing script, the cumulative effect of cutting and pasting repeatedly is a ridiculous annoyance. After years of Adobe not fixing this problem I reiterate what I said the last time: Adobe's failure to fix this is disrespectful of its customers. And for those who might say it is an Apple problem, not Adobe's, I say Adobe has an obligation to work with Apple to fix it, or explain why it cannot. It is disingenuous to blame it on Apple.

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Acrobat SDK and JavaScript, Crash or freeze, General troubleshooting

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Sep 10, 2020 1
Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 10, 2020

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Do you mean it freezes while the external editor is used to edit a script? Because that's the same with Windows, because it's a modal operation (meaning the application can't be used while the dialog, or external window, is open). Or does it crash or freeze after closing the editor window?

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Sep 10, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Sep 10, 2020

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No, that is not what I'm addressing. I mean that when you quit the external editor Acobat is locked up ("Not responsive" is Apple's terminology), i.e. spinny spinerton, the endless spinning color wheel, no matter how long you wait, and you must force quit Acrobat. Regardless of whether you "Save" the script while in the external editor or just close the external editor when done editing, Acrobat is frozen solid, and after you force quit, when you switch back to the internal editor and view the script you tried to edit, none of your script changs have been saved in Acrobat.

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Sep 10, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Sep 10, 2020

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No, I mean that when smiquit the external editor (a) it does not save the script to Acrobat and (b) Acrobat is locked up tight as a drum, spinny spinerton, i.e. the spinning wheel of eternity, no matter how long you wait, and you must then force quit Acrobat. The only responses that I have received to this over the years are (1) just copy and paste from the internal editor or (b) switch to Windows or (c) it's an Apple problem, not Acrobat. Those suggestions are not responsive to the problem.

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Sep 10, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 10, 2020

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I see. That is indeed a problem, but I can't help you with it, and I doubt you will get a reply from Adobe. One can hope, though...

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Sep 10, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 10, 2020

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The problem is neither with Adobe or Apple but with the external editor. Some editors will release a file when you save, others will keep a file handle open and you need to close the file before it is released and still others will need to quit the editor before it releases the file. Acrobat can't import the file until the editor releases it. I haven't found a single editor that works the way I need it to as an external editor.

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Sep 10, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 10, 2020

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I think this is on purpose. If the editor releases the file-handle and then another script edits that code (which is possible), then that editor will show the incorrect script the next time you open it. So either the file has be closed entirely, and then re-opened when you want to edit it again, or the application has to prevent you from interacting with it while the script is being edited.

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Sep 10, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Sep 10, 2020

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If that is the case, then why don't you encounter the same probem in Windows?

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Sep 10, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 10, 2020

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It's the same in Windows.

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Sep 10, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Sep 10, 2020

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Not in my experience. I haven't jused an external editor in Windows for awhile, but when I have, this has never been a problem in Windows. Perhaps you and I are not talking about the same problem, but when using external editors from within Acrobat for Windows (i.e., an external editor is set in Acbrobt for Windows preferences), it works as intended: you open the script from Acrobat, it opens in the editor, you edit and close the script, control returns to Acrobat, the edited script is saved to Acrobat, and you go on your merry way. 

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Sep 10, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 10, 2020

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Yes, that is indeed how it works on Windows. I understand from your other reply that's not the case on Mac computers, which is indeed a bug.

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Sep 10, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Sep 10, 2020

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I use BBEdit (Bare Bones Software) as my external editor. I emailed support@barebones.com to ask them about your opinion that the problem is neither with Adobe or Apple, but the external editor. In response, Rich Siegel of Bare Bones Software said this: "As to the specific forum comments, if Acrobat freezes *after* BBEdit quits (as opposed to after simply closing the file in BBEdit), then BBEdit is not involved in the process, via open files or any other mechanism." It seems logical that this response applies to all Mac external editors. I too have not found a single editor that works the way I need it to as an external editor. That seems to be evidence that the problem is not the external editors, it is with Acrobat, as Rich Siegel says with respect to BBEdit.

 

BBEdit support goes on to say: "I again would refer you to Adobe's technical support channels (something direct, rather than their discussion groups), and recommend that you avail yourself of whatever escalation paths they may provide." 

 

If any members of this forum have any direct contacts with Adobe's technical support channles that you will share with me, I would love to have that information. I've never gotten a response from Adobe to the many crash reports I have submitted about this problem, and I find no way through https://www.adobe.com/about-adobe/contact.html - which seems to be an endless circle of rabbit trails - to email or talk to a live person who knows anything about this issue. 

 

I regard this problem as a big deal. This isn't just my problem and it isn't a new problem: all of the Acrobat customers out there who deal with this are being ignored and disrespected. People just accept it and work around it, and Adobe continues to do nothing to fix it. 

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Sep 10, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 10, 2020

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Interesting detail. I've been able to get TextEdit on the Mac to work but I just can't use it as a code editor. 

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Sep 10, 2020 0
Explorer ,
Sep 10, 2020

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I've tried TextEdit.app many times and Acrobat always locks up with it, just like it does with others. Tried again when I saw your post. Did not work. And as you note, it's not built for editing script.

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Sep 10, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 10, 2020

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So... for what it's worth, I keep all of my JavaScript at the document level and name the file the same as my PDF but with a .js extension. Then I use a different script to add the functions to the actions for the fields and inject the document level script into the file. That way I just paste the second script into the console and my file gets updated automatically. I don't have to deal with the internal JS editor at all. It's far more efficient and I can keep my editor open and never have to close the file.

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