Your achievements

Level 1

0% to

Level 2

Tip /
Sign in

Sign in to Community

to gain points, level up, and earn exciting badges like the new
Bedrock Mission!

Learn more

View all

Sign in to view all badges

Drag and drop functionality of a LiveCycle designed form

BCangelosi
Level 3
Level 3

I have done a fair amount of searching on the forums to try and solve this problem but have been unable to find an answer.

We have for years and years been using Adobe Acrobat 8 and associated LiveCycle suite. We have a few forms designed in LiveCycle that, once reader enabled, were able to be filled out and then "drag and drop"'d into regular PDF files. An entire system has been created out of this function.

We recently, in the last few days, upgraded the entire Adobe software suite on our server to X level. Since the upgrade, we have been unable to "drag and drop" any of our Livecycle forms in to any PDF files. We are receiving this message:

"You cannot insert pages from an Adobe XML form into another PDF file. To include Adobe XML forms with other PDF files, please use the following menu option: Document > Attach a File"

The problem is, we don't want to attached the file as a separate document. We need it in a specific place within the PDF document, not as an outside document.

This has worked for multiple years prior to our adobe upgrade, so I know it is possible.

Adobe Guru's, what I am missing?

0 Replies
George_Johnson
Level 6
Level 6

That's odd, assuming the XFA PDFs were not converted to regular PDFs before inserting them. You're saying you did this in Acrobat, correct? You can't use Acrobat to two XFAs (static, dynamic, or any combination) in any version of Acrobat I've used, which doesn't include 8 but does include all the rest. Out of curiousity, did the forms continue to be interactive and behave normally after you inserted them into another PDF?

BCangelosi
Level 3
Level 3

Yes they did. This was an integral part of the operation.

If this was functionality that was removed, that is a shame. We will have to downgrade back to whatever we were using before (7 or 😎 to get it back. I have tried everything but unless I am missing something, Adobe just won't do this anymore.

I can even provide examples of documents where this method was used. An entire record system was created around this.

The forms we used were dynamic and created in LiveCycle Designer. They were then used as worksheets and placed in various records as needed. There were a handful of said worksheets. And tens of thousands of records. Employees would fill out the worksheets and when done, just drag and drop in to the record. No conversion needed, no attachment required.

George_Johnson
Level 6
Level 6

This is surprising to me and having a sample to look at might clear things up.

Does anyone reading this know how this could have been done in Acrobat?

Jono_Moore
Level 10
Level 10

It would have to be a file attachment. There's never been a way to mix XFA and Acrobat PDF as far as I know.

BCangelosi
Level 3
Level 3

it was not an attachment. It was a LiveCycle designed form that was able to be drag n drop'd into a regular PDF in Acrobat after livecycle rights were enabled.  I am aware of the supposed limitation, but I assure you it was possible under adobe 8 or 9 (or whatever we upgraded from).

The records are all confidental, so I will have to go through a bit of editing before I can send you an example George. Where would you like it to be sent to? I can give you both the livecycle worksheet/s and a record that the worksheets were dropped in to.

George_Johnson
Level 6
Level 6

That would be great and will help clear this up. You can send it to me at: acroscript at gmail dot com

Jono_Moore
Level 10
Level 10

So what was the final result after dragging the XFA file in? If it wasn't an attachment the pages were added to the existing pdf? Doesn't make sense.

BCangelosi
Level 3
Level 3

As soon as I can clean up the file of any actual information, I will send you some copies. Thank you George

BCangelosi
Level 3
Level 3

Jono, it was a simple drag and drop. The worksheet was filled out prior to the drag and drop, but retained full functionality (scripting and all) after imbedding in the host PDF. It was updated then on an as needed basis. Calculations still performed perfectly.


The one problem we had to overcome was placing two of the same worksheets within the same PDF. We found that this caused them to mirror each other. Any information you change on one worksheet (the same origin file) would duplicate onto the other.

The way we found around this was to create multiple worksheet (same actual worksheet) with different file names. This fixed the rare problem of having to have two of the same exact worksheet.

I know that everywhere you search on the great WWW, you will find that you cannot mix static pdf and xml, but I assure you we have used this process on a huge scale and to great success. Until now that is.

I have another day or so of troubleshooting and we will uninstall Acrobat X and revert back to our previous verson. I would very much like to solve this little connundrum so that we can stick with a more up to date product.

Jono_Moore
Level 10
Level 10

Well, my money is on it being an attachment with scripting to handle the drag and drop or something like that. You can't even drag and drop an xfa form on top of another xfa form but I think it might be possible with some scripting to handle the process. As a test I just tried dragging a regular pdf on top of another pdf and it doesn't work so there's go to be something fancy going on.

So I'm definitely interested to see how this worked!

In one of your old working pdfs if you open it up and click on the file attachment icon to open the file attachment window the xfa form is probably sitting in there, that's the only way to embed another file. Scripting and functionality will still work, etc. Access to the attached file can be handled via scripted buttons, etc.

It's even possible to share data between attached forms and the host pdf and I think also the other attached pdfs..

Example of data sharing here:

http://blogs.adobe.com/formfeed/2010/07/shared-data-in-packages-part-1.html

http://blogs.adobe.com/formfeed/2010/07/shared_data_in_packages_part_2.html

BCangelosi
Level 3
Level 3

George, I just forwarded you my samples. Please take a look and let me know what you think.

BCangelosi
Level 3
Level 3

Jono,

If you would like to see Jono, I can send you a copy. There are no attachments, there is no fancy scripting because I created both the livecycle forms and the process of record keeping and I have only an as needed knowledge of java (very amatuer). This was very straight forward. Drag, Drop, Work. Give me your email and you can see one of thousands of examples of this working.

Jono_Moore
Level 10
Level 10

Thanks, yeah send it to: jono dot moore at gov dot bc dot ca

BCangelosi
Level 3
Level 3

Sent, and thank you both for taking the time to look at this for me.

Jono_Moore
Level 10
Level 10

I couldn't test it in Acrobat 8 Pro but I did try it in Reader 8 after Reader Extending the pdf to allow file attachments but it wouldn't work (I've got an empty WinXP VM with Reader 8 for testing).

It wouldn't work in Acrobat 9 with a straight drag and drop but it did work if I opened the Pages palette and dragged the file onto the palette. Acrobat complains about XFA but allows the page addition, I'm guessing this works because it's a Static XFA form, I just tried a Dynamic form and it wouldn't work.

I don't have Acrobat 10 at work to try it, so try the Pages palette in Acrobat X and see if that works.

George_Johnson
Level 6
Level 6

That's what I'm getting too. It's probably a bug that Acrobat 9 allows the pages to be added this way. Since it is a static XFA form, it is able to get converted to an Acroform when added since that structure exists within the PDF. It does mean that any code wouldn't work, but since the XFA doesn't have any, this isn't an issue. In any case, I'd have to say this is a less than ideal workflow. Using an Acroform to begin with would be preferable, especially when moving forward.

BCangelosi
Level 3
Level 3

The drag and drop always took place in the pages section, yeah.

"using an Acroform to begin with would be preerable, especially when moving forward"

what does this mean for the work we have already done? How does an acroform differ from a livecycle created form?

Jono_Moore
Level 10
Level 10

An Acroform is a form created in Acrobat using the built-in form tools. It's an actual PDF as opposed to a LiveCycle XFA form.

George_Johnson
Level 6
Level 6

You can replicate your XFA form by creating it in Acrobat. Actually, since adding it to a normal PDF in Acrobat as you've already done converts it to an Acroform, most of the work is already done.

This won't be a problem unless you have to insert more than one form. If you do, the fields of each individual form that share the same field name won't work independently and will be forced to have the same value. If this will be a problem for you and the forms don't need to be interactive after they have been inserted, you can easily flatten the form before inserting the pages. This converts the field appearances to regular page contents and removes the interactive fields.

BCangelosi
Level 3
Level 3

So would I then be able to rip the form out of the acrobat record that the original form was placed in, save it as an "acroform" and then proceed to use that to drag and drop in to pdf files?