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Automate the process of making interactive PDFs


Level 1


We have quite a large number static PDF forms and would like to convert them into interactive form (with text box, radio, form fields, etc...) so our users can fill in the forms. However some of our forms are big e.g. 16 pages with repetitive fields. At the moment we're using Lifecycle designer ES 8.2 to manually put the form fields in, a simple form could take us 1 hour to do.

I was just wondering if there's a way to somehow automate this process so it's less manual, otherwise our wish to become interactive will nearly be impossible.

If not possible with lifecyle, is there another product that could help?

Thanks in advance.

0 Replies


Level 10


Because it sounds like you are placing fields over an existing form layout, it is unlikely that you need 'dynamic' behaviour like fields becoming hidden/visible or creating more instances of objects.

If this is the case then you could use Acrobat Standard or Acrobat Pro to add fields to the layout.

When you open your existing form layout in Acrobat, go to the Forms menu and click "Start forms wizard". This will examine the layout and make a first stab at placing fields on the layout. So for example, if it comes across a square shape it will place a checkbox. If it sees a series of circles it will places a radio button exclusion group.

You may need to work on the objects, but it would be a good start.

This would be an AcroForm (eg developed solely in Acrobat) and would not involve LC Designer at all. You can script objects for calculations and other behaviour.

LC Designer does not have the same ability to automatically place objects over a layout.

Hope that helps,



Level 1

Thanks Niall, I've tried Adobe Pro too but that also seems to have problems of not recognizing the right fields, etc... also with pro you still have to do PDFs one by one. Seriously someone from Adobe should start thinking about a batch process for this kinda thing