Sunday, January 28, 2018

Acrobat/Reader -- Comments Checkmark Tools

Direct purchase using PayPal ($75 per license)!

One of the the best ways to review comments in PDF Files is by using the Checkmark functionality (the little check-box that appears at the top right-hand corner of each comment in the Comments List panel):

A checkmarked comment

Using this feature we can maintain a summary of who approved each comment in the review process, as each "checkmark" is added to the previous ones, creating a review record.
However, the user interface of Adobe Acrobat (and Reader) makes it difficult to make the most of this feature.

For starters, a user can only view their own check-marks and has no direct way of knowing if a comment was approved by others, or to automatically and easily check (or uncheck) all the comments on a certain page, or in the entire file, or those made by a specific reviewer.

All of this can be done using this new tool I've developed, especially geared to facilitate working with the Checkmark feature of the comments in these applications.

The options this tool offers are:
  • Checking (or unchecking) all the comments in the file with a single click
  • Checking (or unchecking) all the currently selected comments with a single click
  • Checking (or unchecking) all the comments on the current page with a single click
  • Checking (or unchecking) all the comments in the file who were already checked (or unchecked) by anyone else
  • Checking (or unchecking) all the comments in the file who were created by a specific reviewer
  • Checking (or unchecking) all the comments in the file who were created by a specific author (notice that in Acrobat these terms are used incorrectly; The author of a comment is not necessarily a reviewer, and vice versa)
  • Show detailed Review History (including Marked/Unmarked state, reviewer name and latest modification date) for the selected comments/all the comments in the file/all the comments on the current page
A sample Review History output
All of these commands can be accessed either from the Tools panel or from the Edit menu, which allows using them with just the keyboard, for quick access.

The menu looks like this:

The tools panel buttons:

If you have any questions regarding this tool, you can contact me directly.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Acrobat -- Mail Merge and Email

Direct purchase using PayPal ($99 per license)!
Another new and powerful tool to make your PDF experience easier and more efficient.
This time, it's a PDF mail-merging tool. "Mail merging" is the production of multiple (and potentially large numbers of) documents from a single template form and a structured data source (Wikipedia). In this case the template is a PDF file with form fields and a plain-text or CSV file (which can be easily exported from an Excel spreadsheet).
The tool even offers the option to automatically email the merged files to the recipients (see below)!

Update (27/01/2018): Due to a bug in some versions of Acrobat that prevented merging more than 50 files at a time I have removed the Flattening Pages option from the tool and reverted it back to a previous version that was not affected by this issue.
Instead of the "Flatten Merged Files" option I added an Action that allows doing it after the files have been merged, so the functionality of the tool is the same.

Update (01/11/2017): Another new feature, based on popular demand.
It's now possible to encrypt the merged files, either using the same policy for all of them, or by specifying a policy for each individual file (this has to be done manually, though).
In addition, I've moved the option to flatten the merged files from the email dialog to the main one, which means that you can do it even if you don't wish to email them.
The new application dialog looks like this now:

The new features are highlighted in red

When the option to encrypt the files is selected, this dialog appears:

Here you can select your own security policy (like the last one in the screenshot) to apply the same policy to all files, or one of the built-in policies (the first two) and specify the specific settings you wish to use for each file.

Update (29/08/2017): Yet another new feature added to this tool. It's now possible to flatten the copies of the merged files before they are sent out, so the users will receive a non-editable copy.
The new Email Settings dialog now looks like this:

Update (28/01/2015): A new feature and a new look for this tool! The Price is the same...

The new feature is the ability to merge all the records as a single PDF file. This means you can then easily print them out and send out by regular mail, for example.

The new look of the tool is more concise and easy to use. There are still two buttons, but they are now called: "Mail Merge" and "Mail Merge (To Single File)".

The new buttons (click to enlarge)

After clicking on the first one, for example, you're presented with this dialog window, where various settings can be set:

Clicking the second button causes this smaller window to appear:

Then you're prompted to select the input file and if you selected the option to email the generated files then the email settings window (see below) appears as well.

The files are then generated and saved. In the "single file" a file called merged.pdf is generated and saved in the same folder as the original PDF file.

Update (04/12/2014): A new feature added to this tool. You can now include not just text but also IMAGES in your merged files. Simply create a button field in your PDF and set its layout to "Icon Only" and then specify the file-path to the image in the input spreadsheet, and voila! The image is automatically imported into your file along with the other data.

Update: Now available, a free DEMO version of this tool which will process up to 3 items in a list, but does not contain the auto-email feature. You can download and try it from here.

How the tool works?
You start by setting up your input file and the empty PDF form (notice the column headers match the field names in the PDF):

If you have any questions regarding this tool, you can contact me directly.
(Click on "Read More" to see the rest of the post)

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Acrobat/Reader -- Advanced Add Header/Footer Text

Direct purchase using PayPal ($75 only per license)!
Update (13/12/2017): Another new feature in this tool! It's now possible to use it as a part of an Action in Acrobat Pro to process multiple files using the same settings.

Update (31/01/2017): Yet another new feature added! It's now also possible to use the page number in the group of pages being processed. For example, if you select to add your header to just the odd pages then instead of using 1, 3, 5, etc. you can refer to them as 1, 2, 3.

Update (03/12/2016): Two new features added to this too: You can now specify just the total number of pages in the file as a parameter, and also specify the distance of the text from the edge of the page.

(The new script dialog)

Update (26/04/2016): It's now possible to add not just the page number, but also the page label.

Update (04/02/2015): Now available is a free demo version of this tool, which will allow you to test it before buying it. This demo version will only add the header/footer to the first page of the document.

Update (04/06/2014): New feature added to this script that allows you to insert various Metadata properties of the file into the header/footer text. They are:
  • Title
  • Author
  • Subject
  • Keywords
  • Creator
  • Producer

Update (27/02/2014): I've added a new feature that allows you to insert the file's creation date, in the format of your choosing, into the header/footer text as well.

This new tool is an improved version of the built-in Add Header & Footer command that you can find in Acrobat. The reason it's improved is because it can be used in the free Adobe Reader, and also it contains some additional features, not available in the original version.

Some of these features are:
- The ability to insert the file's name, with or without the .pdf extension text to the text
- The ability to insert the full file path to the text
- The ability to lock the added texts after adding them, so they can't be edited (by someone using Reader)
- The ability to set the added texts as printable or as non-printable.

In addition, you have all the usual features like selecting the text's location on the page (right/left/center and header/footer), setting its appearance (font, size, color, background color), selecting to which pages to add the texts, inserting the current date to the text in various formats, inserting the current pages number (on its own, or in addition to the total number of pages), etc.

So for example: We have a file that we want to add a header to. We just open it in Reader XI and click the button added by the script under the Extended panel on the right:

(click to enlarge)

The dialog window that pops open allows you to specify the settings for the Header or Footer that you want to add to the file. Notice that in the one below I've added the file's name, the current date in a specific format, and also a page number:

(click to enlarge)
The results of adding the Header can be seen on the top of the first and second pages in this screenshot:

(click to enlarge)

(New feature: inserting the page label into the header or footer)
The page label is located in the top-left corner of the pages

IMPORTANT NOTE: To use this script in Reader requires that you either use Reader XI, or if an earlier version of Reader is used the file must have the right to add comments applied to it.

For more information about this tool, you can contact me directly.

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Acrobat -- Apply Image Fields Toolkit

Direct purchase using PayPal ($30 only per license)!

Update (08/11/2017): Now available, a free sample file that demonstrates the image field toolkit.
The script in this file is limited to rotating the field to only 0 or 180 degrees, and the "Image Scaling: When" section is disabled, but the rest works just like in the full version.

With the introduction of the new Image field into Acrobat Reader DC (Continuous), I thought it was time to introduce some of the more advanced features of these fields and make them more accessible to the users.
Using this script you can apply my Image Field Toolkit to your fields. What this means is that they will be able to easily and quickly apply multiple commands to the fields, such as:
  • Select an image
  • Clear the image
  • Set the image's rotation (in intervals of 90 degrees)
  • Set the image's scaling options (how and when to scale)
And if the field is set to include not just an image, but also a caption text they'll be able to also:
  • Set the caption text
  • Clear the caption text
All you have to do is run the script on your file in Acrobat, and it will automatically apply the code to all Image fields (button field with the Icon option enabled).
Clicking the field will then cause a pop-up menu to appear with all of these options, which can be used in both Acrobat and in the latest version of the free Reader DC (Continuous)!

 Here's how it works. You open your file with the image fields in Acrobat and run the script from the menu item it adds to the Tools panel:

The original file with the image fields

It will identify those fields and prompt you to make sure you want to apply the Toolkit to them (this will overwrite any existing Mouse Up events associated with them!):

The script's confirmation dialog
After running the script on the file in Acrobat we can save it and then open it in Reader, where it looks pretty much the same:

The same file in Acrobat Reader DC
However, when we press one of the fields, the Image Field Toolkit menu appears:

The Toolkit for an image field
We can then select an image for this field:

And then change the way it looks. For example, we can rotate it:

The image rotation options

The rotated image

Or we can change the scaling options for it, so it fits better into the field:

The image scaling options

The scaled image
If we now click on the field that contains both an image and a caption we can do the same there, starting with selecting an image:

The menu for an image field with a caption

And then we can set a new caption text:

The image and the new caption in the same field
We can even clear the selected image, directly through the toolkit's menu:

So all in all, this toolkit adds a lot of options to the standard image fields that come with Acrobat and Reader, and allows you (and your users) to make the most of them!

For more information about this tool, you can contact me directly.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Acrobat -- Set Field As Transparent (FREE)

Since the release of the latest version of Mac OS, High Sierra (and possibly some earlier versions as well), many people have reported problems setting the fill or border colors of the fields in their PDF forms as Transparent using Acrobat DC.
It seems that a bug in the application (and/or the operating system) has caused the "Transparent" check-box to disappear from the color selection dialog.

What is should look like...

However, it can still be done using a script, which is why I've developed this simple utility that allows you to select a field and set its Fill Color and/or Border Color as Transparent, with just a few clicks.

When you run it you get this window:

The script is FREE to download and use.

However, this script will only allow you to edit one field at a time, but I have available a separate tool that allows you to do this property (and many others) for multiple fields at once.
See: Acrobat -- Mass Edit Fields Properties

As always, if you have any questions regarding this tool, contact me directly.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Acrobat -- Combine files to PDF from a list

Direct purchase using PayPal ($60 per license)!

Update (23/10/2017): It is now possible to use this tool to merge files of all kinds, not just PDFs. So you can include a .docx file or a .jpg file in the list and it will be included in the final PDF.

Update (30/04/2014): Now available, a free demo version of this tool that can combine up to 3 files.
The full version will combine an unlimited amount of files, of course.

If you want to combine multiple PDF files to a single file but want something a bit more handy than Acrobat's cumbersome functionality to do so, this script is the thing for you.
You simply run it with a single click, select the text (or CSV) file with the paths to the files, and within seconds you will have the combined PDF ready!

It's even possible to add individual bookmarks to the final file, pointing to the first page of each of the combined file.

Friday, September 15, 2017

Acrobat/Reader - Advanced Proximity Search

Direct purchase using PayPal ($40 only per license)!

Update (15/09/2017): Now available, a free demo version of this tool.
The demo version will highlight up to 3 matches in the current page only, but is identical to the full version otherwise.

Also, a brand new feature added to the tool: You can now search for partial word matches, as well as for whole words (like before). If you do not tick the "Whole Words Match" box the tool will match partial matches like "apples" if you search for "apple", for example.

The new interface looks like this:

And an example of the matches made using these settings (notice that "trademarks" were matched for "trademark", and "registered" for "register"):

This new tool is an improved version of the built-in Proximity Search feature in Acrobat and in Reader. It is easier to use and has more advanced features than the search feature in Acrobat, and produces nicer and easier to understand results.

Basically this tool allows you to search for two one-word terms in the vicinity of one another. You can decide how close you want them to be (in terms of how many words apart they should be to count as a match), which pages to search for, whether the search should be case-sensitive or not, and what to do with the results.

Let's say we have a file with this legal text that we want to search:

The original file with the tools' buttons on the right
We want to search the first pages of the file for the words "Copyright" and "USA" within 15 words of one another, so we click the "Adv. Proximity Search" button and get this dialog which we fill in:

The settings for the search

The script quickly scans the pages and reports how many matches were found:

Since we selected to highlight and connect the matches, the file now looks like this:

The highlighted results of the search command

Notice that the tool can find matches across pages, and that each pair of matching words are connecting by a line, as well as a single highlight comment.

One of the matches is selected, showing both words at the same time.

This tool even comes with an Action that allows you to run the same Proximity Search command on multiple files with ease. Of course, you'll need to have Acrobat Pro to use it.

The script also comes with an easy to use shortcut to remove all the highlights and connecting line from the file with a single click.

IMPORTANT NOTE: To use this script in Reader requires that you either use Reader XI, or if an earlier version of Reader is used the file must have the right to add comments applied to it.

For more information about this tool, you can contact me directly.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Acrobat -- Create TOC from Bookmarks

Direct purchase using PayPal ($75 only per license)!

A free demo version of this tool, which will process only the first 3 (sub-)bookmarks in the file and create a TOC from them, is now available. The full version has unlimited functionality, of course.

Special Offer: Since this tool is closely related to my other tool, Create Bookmarks from Titles, I'm now offering both scripts for a bargain price of just $99 (each one costs $75 on their own). Click here to purchase them both directly via PayPal.

Update: (22/08/2017):
I've improved the way the TOC is generated and included a brand new feature: It is now possible to maintain the style of the bookmarks in the TOC itself. This could be their text color or whether they are bold, italic, or both. The TOC will reflect these features, while still being clickable, just like before.
And this new feature is also available in the free demo version, if you want to test it out before purchasing the tool!

With this script you can generate a fully functional Table of Contents (TOC) for your PDF file, using just the bookmarks structure.
The script will analyze the bookmarks of your file and will add the newly created TOC where you specify, including working links to the pages the bookmarks link to.
It will even add an extra bookmark at the top of the list to itself.

Here's how it looks like in action:

The original file with the bookmarks tree on the left, and the tool's button on the right.
After we click the "Create Bookmarks from TOC" button, the TOC is generated.
We can then save it as a stand-alone file (without links), or embed it into the main file, with clickable links:

After we choose to insert the TOC into the file, it now looks like this (notice the "Contents" text is clickable, and also that the styling of the "Contents" and "Preface" bookmarks has been maintained in the TOC):

The same file, now with a clickable, stylized TOC

For more information about this tool you can contact me directly.