Request For Auto Form Generation
Posted: 11 November 2008 12:23 PM   [ Ignore ]
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I look forward to making a pdf file that needs a working Table Of Contents. The 3 .mov files explaining it are terrific.

I need the same level of detail on “create and edit interactive PDF forms”, the product description’s line item (plus the rave reviews of the product and the support) which sold me on buying 2 licenses for PDFClerk Pro yesterday. I unfortunately only got two choices this life, and I chose Live well, and Live happy…I had to leave behind, “Able to glean wisdom from manuals that don’t spell it out for me.” I can’t figure out the “form creation” and “widget creation” actions.

I want to create forms. I have wanted to create forms for a long time. Of course, I want the computer to do all the work.

I want to layout a form in Word or Pages, import the form in those formats or as a pdf into PDFClerk Pro. (I did get that far. My .pdf import nicely.)

PDFClerk Pro should then look at all the possible check boxes and blank lines and 1) convert the checkbox or radio button or blank line to the proper PDFClerk widget or form box on the screen for modifying input there, eliminating wrong guesses and adding new check widgets or blanks to fill in, and simultaneously, 2) create a Form Inspection List of potential form items and their suggested titles.

The Form Inspector List would be easy to modify and of course add lines or subtract lines and change the tab order.

When the Form Inspector List is finished, it is in the format that can be imported to create the data points of a MySQL file that the form relates to. Eventually a widget could be designed to properly create or modify such a form in the manner that a web design tool uploads their output to a host provider.

Perhaps this is already done, and I just can’t glean how to do it from the manual. I can get the pdf of my form into PDFClerk Pro, but am stuck on the next steps. I don’t see the Form Inspector List under the Editors and Inspectors at all. I don see

As long as I am dreaming up the wish list for what I think of as a Form Creation feature, I would like to have;

An output mode that optimizes for different screen sizes. Thus, one version of the form will be appropriate for an iPhone screen, and another for the typical portable computer screen. This way, someone walking around doing an inspection using the form will have the appropriate requests in front of them.

Some items on the form should auto fill with the likely or most recent data.
Pull down menus of available choices (one as the standard) as well as ‘Other’ which brings up a blank to be filled in.

Auto Dates and time fields…the logical choices.               
Self numbering pages.
Pop up boxes that explain a choice, or refers someone to a manual page. Or if the have the manual in the device, it will bring up a lot more data. Or if the device is attached to the web, it will bring up a lot more data.
Boxes which auto-tab to the next box when x number of numbers or letters are put in.
Flashing red lines of error data that come back to the person who doesn’t fill in a piece of data, or fills in the data in the wrong format (e.g., using numbers where letters only are allowed, not putting in Y amount of letters and/or numbers when Y amount is demanded. (These type of things would follow MySQL standards).

I believe I saw some of these things when I looked over the shoulder of someone who dropped my file onto Acrobat 8. We had less than a minute to poke around during that try, so I don’t know what the potential and limits of that tool are.

Obviously, you can see where I am heading…the ridiculous request that the data put into these forms generated by PDFClerk Pro will be able to auto-form into a pdf file in a reverse manner. But that’s another matter for another post.

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DCinemaMonthly© Checklist_84.pdf  (File Size: 247KB - Downloads: 2602)
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Posted: 12 November 2008 10:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Creating form fields automatically by analysing a page is probably possible up to some point, but it is sure to be a rather major undertaking. Currently PDFClerk Pro has no such abilities. You can create the forms manually and have some tools at your disposal to help with alignment of fields.

I have uploaded a screencast I quickly created that shows the process of creating a form. It has no sound, you just see the steps I performed, but it should help to get you going.

http://sintraworks.com/index.php/sintraworks/tutorials/

Look under the Miscellaneous heading, second entry.

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António Nunes
SintraWorks

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Posted: 12 November 2008 11:32 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Cool, thanks for the help at getting started. I look forward to spending some time with this.

Keep thinking about a cool and simple way to make my forms easier to become useful, and manipulatable as an SQL front-end. I look forward to helping with the beta testing.

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