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PDF Interactive Forms (AcroForms) in Ruby

Sample Ruby code for using PDFTron SDK with interactive forms (also known as AcroForms). Capabilities include programatically creating new fields and widget annotations, form filling, modifying existing field values, form templating, and flattening form fields. Learn more about our PDF Form Filler SDK.

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Step 2: Add the code:

#---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
# Copyright (c) 2001-2019 by PDFTron Systems Inc. All Rights Reserved.
# Consult LICENSE.txt regarding license information.
#---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

require '../../../PDFNetC/Lib/PDFNetRuby'
include PDFNetRuby

$stdout.sync = true

# Relative path to the folder containing the test files.
input_path = "../../TestFiles/"
output_path = "../../TestFiles/Output/"

#---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
# This sample illustrates basic PDFNet capabilities related to interactive 
# forms (also known as AcroForms). 
#---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

def RenameAllFields(doc, name)
	itr = doc.GetFieldIterator(name)
	counter = 0
	while itr.HasNext do
		f = itr.Current
		f.Rename(name + counter.to_s)
		itr = doc.GetFieldIterator(name)
		counter = counter + 1
	end
end

# Note: The visual appearance of check-marks and radio-buttons in PDF documents is 
# not limited to CheckStyle-s. It is possible to create a visual appearance using 
# arbitrary glyph, text, raster image, or path object. Although most PDF producers 
# limit the options to the above 'standard' styles, using PDFNet you can generate 
# arbitrary appearances.
def CreateCheckmarkAppearance(doc)
	# Create a checkmark appearance stream ------------------------------------
	build = ElementBuilder.new
	writer = ElementWriter.new
	writer.Begin(doc.GetSDFDoc)
	writer.WriteElement(build.CreateTextBegin)
	
	symbol = "4"
	# other options are circle ("l"), diamond ("H"), cross ("\x35")
	# See section D.4 "ZapfDingbats Set and Encoding" in PDF Reference Manual for 
	# the complete graphical map for ZapfDingbats font.
	checkmark = build.CreateTextRun(symbol, Font.Create(doc.GetSDFDoc, Font::E_zapf_dingbats), 1)
	writer.WriteElement(checkmark)
	writer.WriteElement(build.CreateTextEnd)
	
	stm = writer.End
	
	# Set the bounding box
	stm.PutRect("BBox", -0.2, -0.2, 1, 1)
	stm.PutName("Subtype","Form")
	return stm
end

def CreateButtonAppearance(doc, button_down)
	# Create a button appearance stream ------------------------------------
	build = ElementBuilder.new
	writer = ElementWriter.new
	writer.Begin(doc.GetSDFDoc)
	
	# Draw background
	element = build.CreateRect(0, 0, 101, 37)
	element.SetPathFill(true)
	element.SetPathStroke(false)
	element.GetGState.SetFillColorSpace(ColorSpace.CreateDeviceGray)
	element.GetGState.SetFillColor(ColorPt.new(0.75, 0, 0))
	writer.WriteElement(element)
	
	# Draw 'Submit' text
	writer.WriteElement(build.CreateTextBegin)
	text = "Submit"
	element = build.CreateTextRun(text, Font.Create(doc.GetSDFDoc, Font::E_helvetica_bold), 12)
	element.GetGState.SetFillColor(ColorPt.new(0, 0, 0))
	
	if button_down
		element.SetTextMatrix(1, 0, 0, 1, 33, 10)
	else
		element.SetTextMatrix(1, 0, 0, 1, 30, 13)
	end
	writer.WriteElement(element)
	
	writer.WritePlacedElement(build.CreateTextEnd)
	
	stm = writer.End
	
	# Set the bounding box
	stm.PutRect("BBox", 0, 0, 101, 37)
	stm.PutName("Subtype","Form")
	return stm
end

	PDFNet.Initialize	
	
	#----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
	# Example 1: Programatically create new Form Fields and Widget Annotations.
	#----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
	
	doc = PDFDoc.new
	blank_page = doc.PageCreate  # Create a blank new page and add some form fields.
	
	# Create new fields.
	emp_first_name = doc.FieldCreate("employee.name.first", Field::E_text, "John", "")
	emp_last_name = doc.FieldCreate("employee.name.last", Field::E_text, "Doe", "")
	emp_last_check1 = doc.FieldCreate("employee.name.check1", Field::E_check, "Yes", "")
	
	submit = doc.FieldCreate("submit", Field::E_button)
	
	# Create page annotations for the above fields.
	
	# Create text annotations
	annot1 = Widget.Create(doc.GetSDFDoc, Rect.new(50, 550, 350, 600), emp_first_name)
	annot2 = Widget.Create(doc.GetSDFDoc, Rect.new(50, 450, 350, 500), emp_last_name)
	
	# Create a check-box annotation
	annot3 = Widget.Create(doc.GetSDFDoc, Rect.new(64, 356, 120, 410), emp_last_check1)
	# Set the annotation appearance for the "yes" state...
	annot3.SetAppearance(CreateCheckmarkAppearance(doc), Annot::E_normal, "Yes")
	
	# Create button annotation
	annot4 = Widget.Create(doc.GetSDFDoc, Rect.new(64, 284, 163, 320), submit)
	
	# Set the annotation appearances for the down and up state...
	annot4.SetAppearance(CreateButtonAppearance(doc, false), Annot::E_normal)
	annot4.SetAppearance(CreateButtonAppearance(doc, true), Annot::E_down)
	
	# Create 'SubmitForm' action. The action will be linked to the button.
	url = FileSpec.CreateURL(doc.GetSDFDoc, "http://www.pdftron.com")
	button_action = Action.CreateSubmitForm(url)
	
	# Associate the above action with 'Down' event in annotations action dictionary.
	annot_action = annot4.GetSDFObj.PutDict("AA")
	annot_action.Put("D", button_action.GetSDFObj)
	
	blank_page.AnnotPushBack(annot1) # Add annotations to the page
	blank_page.AnnotPushBack(annot2)
	blank_page.AnnotPushBack(annot3)
	blank_page.AnnotPushBack(annot4)  
	
	doc.PagePushBack(blank_page)	# Add the page as the last page in the document.					
									 
	# If you are not satisfied with the look of default auto-generated appearance 
	# streams you can delete "AP" entry from the Widget annotation and set 
	# "NeedAppearances" flag in AcroForm dictionary:
	#	doc.GetAcroForm.PutBool("NeedAppearances", true);
	# This will force the viewer application to auto-generate new appearance streams 
	# every time the document is opened.
	#
	# Alternatively you can generate custom annotation appearance using ElementWriter 
	# and then set the "AP" entry in the widget dictionary to the new appearance
	# stream.
	#
	# Yet another option is to pre-populate field entries with dummy text. When 
	# you edit the field values using PDFNet the new field appearances will match 
	# the old ones.

	#doc.GetAcroForm.PutBool("NeedAppearances", true)
	doc.RefreshFieldAppearances
	
	doc.Save(output_path + "forms_test1.pdf", 0)
	doc.Close
	puts "Done."
	
	#----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
	# Example 2: 
	# Fill-in forms / Modify values of existing fields.
	# Traverse all form fields in the document (and print(out their names). 
	# Search for specific fields in the document.
	#----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
	
	doc = PDFDoc.new(output_path + "forms_test1.pdf")
	doc.InitSecurityHandler
	
	itr = doc.GetFieldIterator
	while itr.HasNext do
		puts "Field name:" + itr.Current.GetName
		puts "Field partial name: " + itr.Current.GetPartialName
		
		puts "Field type: "
		type = itr.Current.GetType
		str_val = itr.Current.GetValueAsString
		if type == Field::E_button
			puts "Button"
		elsif type == Field::E_radio
			puts " Radio button: Value = " + str_val
		elsif type == Field::E_check
			itr.Current.SetValue(true)
			puts "Check box: Value = " + str_val
		elsif type == Field::E_text
			puts "Text"
			# Edit all variable text in the document
			itr.Current.SetValue("This is a new value. The old one was: " + str_val)
		elsif type == Field::E_choice
			puts "Choice"
		elsif type == Field::E_signature
			puts "Signiture"
		end
		puts "------------------------------"
		itr.Next
	end

	# Search for a specific field
	f = doc.GetField("employee.name.first")
	if !f.nil?
		puts "Field search for " + f.GetName + " was successful"
	else
		puts "Field search failed"
	end
		
	# Regenerate field appearances.
	doc.RefreshFieldAppearances
	doc.Save(output_path + "forms_test_edit.pdf", 0)
	doc.Close
	puts "Done."
	
	#----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
	# Sample: Form templating
	# Replicate pages and form data within a document. Then rename field names to make 
	# them unique.
	#----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
	
	# Sample: Copying the page with forms within the same document
	doc = PDFDoc.new(output_path + "forms_test1.pdf")
	doc.InitSecurityHandler
	
	src_page = doc.GetPage(1)
	doc.PagePushBack(src_page) # Append several copies of the first page
	doc.PagePushBack(src_page) # Note that forms are successfully copied
	doc.PagePushBack(src_page)
	doc.PagePushBack(src_page)
	
	# Now we rename fields in order to make every field unique.
	# You can use this technique for dynamic template filling where you have a 'master'
	# form page that should be replicated, but with unique field names on every page. 
	RenameAllFields(doc, "employee.name.first")
	RenameAllFields(doc, "employee.name.last")
	RenameAllFields(doc, "employee.name.check1")
	RenameAllFields(doc, "submit")
	
	doc.Save(output_path + "forms_test1_cloned.pdf", 0)
	doc.Close
	puts "Done."
	
	#----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
	# Sample: 
	# Flatten all form fields in a document.
	# Note that this sample is intended to show that it is possible to flatten
	# individual fields. PDFNet provides a utility function PDFDoc.FlattenAnnotations
	# that will automatically flatten all fields.
	#----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
	doc = PDFDoc.new(output_path + "forms_test1.pdf")
	doc.InitSecurityHandler
	 
	# Traverse all pages
	if false
		doc.FlattenAnnotations
	else # Manual flattening
		pitr = doc.GetPageIterator
		while pitr.HasNext do
			page = pitr.Current
			annots = page.GetAnnots
			if !annots.nil?
				# Look for all widget annotations (in reverse order)
				i = annots.Size- 1
				while i >= 0 do
					if annots.GetAt(i).Get("Subtype").Value.GetName == "Widget"
						field = Field.new(annots.GetAt(i))
						field.Flatten(page)
						
						# Another way of making a read only field is by modifying 
						# field's e_read_only flag: 
						# field.SetFlag(Field::E_read_only, true)
					end
					i = i - 1
				end
			end
			pitr.Next
		end
	end

	doc.Save(output_path + "forms_test1_flattened.pdf", 0)
	doc.Close
	puts "Done."