Monday, September 25, 2017

Get PDF Form Field Names

Some of you may be familiar with my Fillable PDF Demos, which allow the user to fill a PDF form with data from an Access database. The demos use two different approaches for accomplishing this. One solution uses an XML approach, which works even if users only has a PDF reader installed on their machines. The other solution requires users to have a full version of Adobe Acrobat because it uses the Acrobat API to fill the form and also save it using a different name.

The hardest part of using these demos is determining the names of the fields to fill out in the PDF document, especially if the PDF form was created by someone else. To help with this, the demo page includes a link to a website where one can upload a fillable PDF file, and a list of all form fields used in the PDF file is presented in return.

Although having a website to help determine PDF form field names is convenient, some readers have asked me if there is a way to duplicate this functionality using VBA. As a result, I have updated the demo page and added a third demo file to demonstrate exactly how to get the names of PDF form fields using VBA. However, this solution uses Acrobat API and JavaScript object, so a full version of Adobe Acrobat is required to use this demo.

To try out this demo, click on the image below to reach my demo page and select the third download link on the left navigation bar.

I hope you find this demo useful and please let me know if you have any questions or run into any issues using it.