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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?

28 Replies
George_Johnson
Level 6
Level 6

Yes, just delete the pages that aren't part of the form and you'll be left with a working Acroform that you can insert into other documents with Acrobat.

BCangelosi
Level 3
Level 3

So how did this happen and how can I recreate this in the future? Was the functionality of converstion from livecycle to acroform taken out in adobe X?

I am unclear as to why this worked perfectly fine before an upgrade.

This form does have to be updated from time to time. How will I update/upgrade/change this form?

Jono_Moore
Level 10
Level 10

I think it's a bug as well. It never should have allowed it in the first place. You'd have to take it up with Adobe support.

As George suggests, I'd just keep it as an Acroform. If you need to update the layout or anything like that do it in Word or InDesign or the like and then copy and paste the fields from the old version to the new version in Acrobat.

If you place the file in a PDF right now and then go to Forms>Add or Edit Fields, you'll see all the fields, etc.

George_Johnson
Level 6
Level 6

It can probably be considered a bug that this worked before. An XFA-based PDF form is much different than a regular PDF form. A static XFA form can include the so called "Acroform mirror" which allowed it to work in your case, but a lot can be lost when converted this way, such as scripting. The simple fact is it is not a supported workflow, even though it worked acceptably well for you. For a bit more insight, see this discussion: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/301733

Leonard Rosenthol (a participant in that discussion) knows his stuff and is now an employee at Adobe and is an Acrobat product manager/architect.

I suggested recreating the form as an Acroform earlier as the best approach for moving forward. A typical workflow is to create the underlying form in an application such as InDesign, export to PDF, and add the form fields in Acrobat. If the source document needs changing, you'd generate a new PDF from InDesign and replace the old pages with the new, and adjust the existing fields as needed and add any new ones that are needed. You can of course use something other than InDesign, but the basic workflow is the same.

George_Johnson
Level 6
Level 6

Jono,

Just a clarification. When you need to update a form this way, it is usually best to simply replace the old pages with the new, as opposed to copying the fields from the old to the new. When you replace pages in Acrobat, any form fields, links, bookmarks, document-level code, comments/markups, etc. are retained.

Jono_Moore
Level 10
Level 10

Ah, cool, thanks George. I didn't realize that, I've always done it by copy/paste.

BCangelosi
Level 3
Level 3

So to sum things up:

The ability to drag and drop a livecycle created form was just a bug.

You also say that this isn't ideal because the transition into an "acroform" would lose all scripting, yet scripts still function (namely the calculation scripts from our form).

My question then is how can re recreate this bug so that our livecycle forms, dropped into a PDF, turn the form into an acroform? OR how do I create an acroform using the same tools I would a livecycle form? Livecycle versatility is what stole u away from the acrobat forms "document conversion autoform". Our data changes constantly, I need a form I can open up, make a quick change, save to the server and Not skip a beat.

George_Johnson
Level 6
Level 6

The sample PDF you sent me that got converted to an Acroform did not include any calculation scripts. I'd be interested in seeing a sample XFA that got converted to an Acroform that retains the calculations. The scripting object models are so different that I would be suprised if anything worked even if the scripts were retained, which I doubt. There certainly isn't an automatic conversion form FormCalc or XFA-based JavaScript to something compatible with Acrobat-based JavaScript. Note that when you import an Acroform with scripting into Designer that all scripts are commented out because they cannot work in the different environment.

I don't know of a way other than what you have already used. As mentioned in the other discussion I linked to, it may no longer be possible even with low-level tools (e.g., PDF CanOpener) that can manipulate the PDF content.

Livecycle versatility is what stole u away from the acrobat forms "document conversion autoform".

I'm not sure what you mean by this. I prefer to work in Acrobat to create PDF forms, but I realize a lot of people enjoy working with Designer. Many types of changes can be made quickly in Acrobat, but I'm not aware of a design environment that's more like Designer but for Acroforms. I'm not trying to change your mind about which is better, but if you ultimately require Acroforms (because XFA cannot be inserted into a normal PDF), then you need to look somewhere other than Designer.

The bug exists in Acrobat 9, but when I try it none of the scripting or actions are included. I haven't bothered to test with Acrobat 10 or 11 yet, but it looks like you already have. So one answer would be to use a version of Acrobat that allows this.