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Forms

An interactive form (sometimes referred to as an AcroForm) is a collection of fields (such as text boxes, checkboxes, radio buttons, drop-down lists, and pushbuttons) for gathering information interactively from the user. A PDF document may contain any number of Fields appearing on any combination of pages. All these fields make up a single, global interactive form spanning the entire document. While PDF forms are similar to HTML forms, there are some important differences:

  • Unlike HTML pages, a PDF document has a single, global interactive form spanning the entire document.
  • In PDF documents, the field and value appearance can be completely customized. Although field appearances give incredible customization power to PDF forms, developers need to learn to work with forms where field's value and appearance are two different entities.
  • The PDF format supports combo boxes with text editing.
  • In the PDF format, it's possible to associate fields with different kinds of Actions (or Action chains).

PDFTron SDK fully supports reading, writing, and editing PDF forms and provides utility methods to make working with forms simple and efficient. Using the PDFTron SDK forms API, arbitrary subsets of form fields can be imported or exported from the document, new forms can be created from scratch, and the appearance of existing forms can be modified.

Forms Data Format (FDF) and XML Forms Data Format (XFDF) contain a list of Form Fields with their associated values. These formats can be used to import and export form data to and from PDF Form Fields.

PDFTron SDK benefits include:

  • Fill PDF Forms
  • Read PDF form field values
  • PDF form field flattening
  • Support for all form field properties and appearances
  • Support for encrypted PDF forms
  • Support for FDF (Forms Data Format)
  • Import FDF to PDF
  • Export FDF from PDF
  • Forms templating
  • Form field name management
  • Create new form fields
  • Support for JavaScript calculation in forms

linkGet started

Import form data into a PDF
To import XFDF into FDF, then merge data from FDF into PDF.

Export form data from a PDF
To extract data from PDF to FDF, then export FDF as XFDF.

Create new form fields and widget annotations
To create new form fields and widget annotations within a new document.

Fill form fields
To modify values for existing form fields.

Form flattening
To flatten form fields in a PDF document.

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