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Ghost Fields

Community Beginner ,
Nov 16, 2020

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Greetings! I'm hoping someone can help with my situation. 

 

I have several documents setup as a "template" - not within Adobe, but a standalone PDF document - which need to be merged together in different scenarios to create document packets for my company. 

 

Recently I have found that when I merge some documents together, some form fields randomly disappear - there appears to be no rhyme or reason to it. Some fields are duplicates of each other, to have the duplicated information flow throughout the documents: I've tried creating the form field duplicates my (1) traditional way (CTRL + C to copy, and then CTRL + V to paste it on the desired page), and recently (2) by selecting the fields and choosing to "Duplicate Throughout Pages", and then selecting the desired pages to add the fields to. Both ways are giving me issues. 

 

I've tried flattening the documents to start from scratch, but this seems to come back every time. 

 

Other thing to note - earlier this year we had switched to Foxit PhantomPDF and these issues became noticed, so I convinced the company to switch me back to Adobe: but the issues continue. 

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Edit and convert PDFs, General troubleshooting, PDF forms

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Ghost Fields

Community Beginner ,
Nov 16, 2020

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Greetings! I'm hoping someone can help with my situation. 

 

I have several documents setup as a "template" - not within Adobe, but a standalone PDF document - which need to be merged together in different scenarios to create document packets for my company. 

 

Recently I have found that when I merge some documents together, some form fields randomly disappear - there appears to be no rhyme or reason to it. Some fields are duplicates of each other, to have the duplicated information flow throughout the documents: I've tried creating the form field duplicates my (1) traditional way (CTRL + C to copy, and then CTRL + V to paste it on the desired page), and recently (2) by selecting the fields and choosing to "Duplicate Throughout Pages", and then selecting the desired pages to add the fields to. Both ways are giving me issues. 

 

I've tried flattening the documents to start from scratch, but this seems to come back every time. 

 

Other thing to note - earlier this year we had switched to Foxit PhantomPDF and these issues became noticed, so I convinced the company to switch me back to Adobe: but the issues continue. 

TOPICS
Edit and convert PDFs, General troubleshooting, PDF forms

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Nov 16, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Nov 16, 2020

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Also, using Adobe DC Pro DC v 2020.013.20064

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Nov 16, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 16, 2020

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Unless you are using Acrobat Pro to do 100% of  the PDF merging, then this is not an Acrobat issue. Try the forums for Foxit 

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Nov 16, 2020 1
Community Beginner ,
Nov 16, 2020

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I am using Adobe for 100% of the merging now

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Nov 16, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 17, 2020

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Excellent!  Now, can you perform a repeatable merging process where the same fields always dissappear? 

If so, then we are in business. Please post necessary files to dropbox, google drive, or another file sharing service were we can try it out and verify the issue.

 

 

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Nov 17, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 17, 2020

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"Please post necessary files to dropbox, google drive, or another file sharing service"

Thom, you know that you admire you as a great master of PDF-JavaScript but for once I must not contradict you but make a suggestion to this answer.
With all due respect, Acrobat offers equally effective ways to share files on a forum, or elsewhere.

==> https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/using/sharing-pdfs.html

 

😉

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Nov 17, 2020 2
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 17, 2020

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Ha ha, of course.  Thank you JR for reminding me. Don't use it much so I didn't think of it right away. 

 

 

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Nov 17, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 17, 2020

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This issue drove me crazy a few month ago, and I can confirm that this behavior is the same in Acrobat and Foxit.

The truth is therefore elsewhere.

 

My understanding of the cause is this: spawning a page with fields named exactly like other fields already existing on regular (not spawned) pages is the source of the problem.
But that doesn't hold true every time…


With other forms less filled with JavaScripts things are going very well.
So I feel more like I have identified a consequence than a cause.

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Nov 17, 2020 1
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 17, 2020

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If this is correct, then there is an easy solution. Don't use field names that are the same on both template and none template pages. 

 

However, I do not believe the poster meant that the merged documents used "Page Templates" but rather, there is a set of individual files that act as templates for building the final document and the fields are lost though merging, instead of spawning. Could be a related phenomenon though. 

 

In either case the solution seems to be better managment of the process. 

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Nov 17, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Nov 17, 2020

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@Thom Parker you might be right on that - but as I posted to another user: 

 

Currently, the issue is merging some blank documents into a single document that has non-duplicating form fields - primarily text fields. I need the same information through the added pages, and so I would like to have the same field names across the document - there apparently is an option to do this (duplicate fields across pages), but it randomly gives me these issues. 

 

Note, I've used the method of duplicate field names since 2010, and has worked like a charm. It really helps the end users, in that they only need to fill out a data point once, instead of 10 times. 

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Nov 17, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 17, 2020

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Does you use form fields with the same name but different type?

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Nov 17, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Nov 17, 2020

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Currently, the issue is merging some blank documents into a single document that has non-duplicating form fields - primarily text fields. I need the same information through the added pages, and so I would like to have the same field names across the document - there apparently is an option to do this (duplicate fields across pages), but it randomly gives me these issues. 

 

Note, I've used the method of duplicate field names since 2010, and has worked like a charm. It really helps the end users, in that they only need to fill out a data point once, instead of 10 times. 

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Nov 17, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Nov 17, 2020

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What technique are you using to merge the PDFs? The Combine Files tool? The insert Pages Tool? or dragging and dropping into the page display?

 

Can you provide us with a set of sample PDFs that display this behavior?

 

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Nov 17, 2020 0
Community Beginner ,
Nov 18, 2020

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I'll try to pull some examples together. 

 

The trouble with this issue, is that it has been a fluid development...I can't pin down the scenarios, because there are different scenarios for different times. 

 

What currently is happening, is I merge 4 or 5 documents together, and start creating the form fields. Creating duplicate fields, yes, but using the Adobe functionality to do so. I'm able to create duplicates...but then at some point (usually after I've spent 20 minutes creating the document) a few fields will suddenly "ghost" on me. It's the strangest thing I've ever seen. 

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Nov 18, 2020 0