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Topic: Re: Common Template?
Conf: (P-PDF) Developers, Msg: 56677
From: prodok
Date: 5/29/2002 05:20 PM


there are several approaches which are possible.

If it is possible to prevent the user from locally saving the
documents, you could set up a start and selection document from which
you will link to the other forms. In this start and selection
document, you will also specify a bunch of global variables, among
them the dropdown listing for the regions, which then would be
availalbe for all subsequently used forms within that session. This
method has the advantage of a very easy updateabliltiy, but requires
the users to run Acrobat under a web browser, which ifnlicts a
serious performance penalty on Acrobat ... which gets more serious
the more complex and elaborate the forms are.

Another approach would be using persistent global variables. This
approach works in any case, but has some limitations, as there is a
32 kByte file size limit for this kind of variables, and every
variable takes at least about 80 bytes. These variables could be
updated by deploying a document which contains the new values and
have the users read it. The big advantage here is that this method
works always, even when the user is not running Acrobat under a web

A related approach would be deploying a custom startup Javascript
file in which you could define all those variables. This would even
allow a low-level security system, as you could restrict the
distribution of those files, but make certain functionalities in your
forms depend on the appropriate scripts.

The HTML "server-side include" concept does not exist for PDFs, as
the PDF document is self-containing.

Hope, this can help.

Max Wyss
PRODOK Engineering
Low Paper workflows, Smart documents, PDF forms
CH-8906 Bonstetten, Switzerland

Fax: +41 1 700 20 37

[ Building Bridges for Information ]


>Our comapany is planning on having many PDF forms on our intranet
>that may share an identical form field. Ex; a dropdown listing 29
>different regions to choose from. I can do this ok for each
>document, but what if a new region is added, then I would have to go
>into each form and update this drop down.
>Question; Is there a way to have these forms link to a commong
>template containing that field, so we only have to update one
>template, and NOT all of the forms?

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