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PDF Form Fill and Form Data Extraction in Swift

Sample Swift code for using PDFTron SDK to programmatically merge forms data with the PDF in order to fill forms, or to extract form field data from the PDF. PDFTron SDK has full support for Forms Data Format (FDF). Learn more about our PDF Form Filler SDK.

Step 1: Get your free trial license key, or sign in

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Step 2: Add the code:

//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
// Copyright (c) 2001-2017 by PDFTron Systems Inc. All Rights Reserved.
// Consult legal.txt regarding legal and license information.
//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

import PDFNet
import Foundation

//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
// PDFNet includes a full support for FDF (Forms Data Format) and capability to merge/extract
// forms data (FDF) with/from PDF. This sample illustrates basic FDF merge/extract functionality
// available in PDFNet.
//---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
func runFDFTest() -> Int {
    return autoreleasepool{
        var ret: Int = 0
        
        
        // Example 1)
        // Iterate over all form fields in the document. Display all field names
        do {
            try PTPDFNet.catchException {
                let doc: PTPDFDoc = PTPDFDoc(filepath: Bundle.main.path(forResource: "form1", ofType: "pdf"))
                doc.initSecurityHandler()
                
                let itr: PTFieldIterator = doc.getFieldIterator()
                while (itr.hasNext()) {
                    print("Field name: \(itr.current().getName()!)")
                    print("Field partial name: \(itr.current().getPartialName()!)")
                    
                    print("Field type: ")
                    let type: PTFieldType = itr.current().getType()
                    switch type {
                    case e_ptbutton:
                        print("Button")
                    case e_pttext:
                        print("Text")
                    case e_ptchoice:
                        print("Choice")
                    case e_ptsignature:
                        print("Signature")
                    default:
                        break
                    }
                    
                    print("------------------------------")
                    itr.next()
                }
                
                print("Done")
            }
        } catch let e as NSError {
            print("\(e)")
            ret = 1
        }
        
        // Example 2)
        // Import XFDF into FDF, then merge data from FDF into PDF
        do {
            try PTPDFNet.catchException {
                // XFDF to FDF
                // form fields
                print("Import form field data from XFDF to FDF.")
                
                let fdf_doc1: PTFDFDoc = PTFDFDoc.create(fromXFDF: Bundle.main.path(forResource: "form1_data", ofType: "xfdf"))
                fdf_doc1.save(toFile: URL(fileURLWithPath: NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains(.documentDirectory, .userDomainMask, true)[0]).appendingPathComponent("form1_data.fdf").path)
                
                // annotations
                print("Import annotations from XFDF to FDF.")
                
                let fdf_doc2: PTFDFDoc = PTFDFDoc.create(fromXFDF: Bundle.main.path(forResource: "form1_annots", ofType: "xfdf"))
                fdf_doc2.save(toFile: URL(fileURLWithPath: NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains(.documentDirectory, .userDomainMask, true)[0]).appendingPathComponent("form1_annots.fdf").path)
                
                // FDF to PDF
                // form fields
                print("Merge form field data from FDF.")
                
                let doc: PTPDFDoc = PTPDFDoc(filepath: Bundle.main.path(forResource: "form1", ofType: "pdf"))
                doc.initSecurityHandler()
                doc.fdfMerge(fdf_doc1)
                
                // To use PDFNet form field appearance generation instead of relying on
                // Acrobat, uncomment the following two lines:
                //doc.refreshFieldAppearances()
                //doc.getAcroForm().putBool("NeedAppearances", value: false)
                
                doc.save(toFile: URL(fileURLWithPath: NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains(.documentDirectory, .userDomainMask, true)[0]).appendingPathComponent("form1_filled.pdf").path, flags: e_ptlinearized.rawValue)
                
                print("Merge annotations from FDF.")
                
                doc.fdfMerge(fdf_doc2)
                doc.save(toFile: URL(fileURLWithPath: NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains(.documentDirectory, .userDomainMask, true)[0]).appendingPathComponent("form1_filled_with_annots.pdf").path, flags: e_ptlinearized.rawValue)
                print("Done.")
            }
        } catch let e as NSError {
            print("\(e)")
            ret = 1
        }
        
        // Example 3) Extract data from PDF to FDF, then export FDF as XFDF
        do {
            try PTPDFNet.catchException {
                // PDF to FDF
                let in_doc: PTPDFDoc = PTPDFDoc(filepath: URL(fileURLWithPath: NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains(.documentDirectory, .userDomainMask, true)[0]).appendingPathComponent("form1_filled_with_annots.pdf").path)
                in_doc.initSecurityHandler()
                
                // form fields only
                print("Extract form fields data to FDF.")
                
                let doc_fields: PTFDFDoc = in_doc.fdfExtract(e_ptforms_only)
                doc_fields.setPDFFileName("../form1_filled_with_annots.pdf")
                doc_fields.save(toFile: URL(fileURLWithPath: NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains(.documentDirectory, .userDomainMask, true)[0]).appendingPathComponent("form1_filled_data.fdf").path)
                
                // annotations only
                print("Extract annotations to FDF.")
                
                let doc_annots: PTFDFDoc = in_doc.fdfExtract(e_ptannots_only)
                doc_annots.setPDFFileName("../form1_filled_with_annots.pdf")
                doc_annots.save(toFile: URL(fileURLWithPath: NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains(.documentDirectory, .userDomainMask, true)[0]).appendingPathComponent("form1_filled_annot.fdf").path)
                
                // both form fields and annotations
                print("Extract both form fields and annotations to FDF.")
                
                let doc_both: PTFDFDoc = in_doc.fdfExtract(e_ptboth)
                doc_both.setPDFFileName("../form1_filled_with_annots.pdf")
                doc_both.save(toFile: URL(fileURLWithPath: NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains(.documentDirectory, .userDomainMask, true)[0]).appendingPathComponent("form1_filled_both.fdf").path)
                
                // FDF to XFDF
                // form fields
                print("Export form field data from FDF to XFDF.")
                
                doc_fields.save(asXFDF: URL(fileURLWithPath: NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains(.documentDirectory, .userDomainMask, true)[0]).appendingPathComponent("form1_filled_data.xfdf").path)
                
                // annotations
                print("Export annotations from FDF to XFDF.")
                
                doc_annots.save(asXFDF: URL(fileURLWithPath: NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains(.documentDirectory, .userDomainMask, true)[0]).appendingPathComponent("form1_filled_annot.xfdf").path)
                
                // both form fields and annotations
                print("Export both form fields and annotations from FDF to XFDF.")
                
                doc_both.save(asXFDF: URL(fileURLWithPath: NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains(.documentDirectory, .userDomainMask, true)[0]).appendingPathComponent("form1_filled_both.xfdf").path)
                
                print("Done.")
            }
        } catch let e as NSError {
            print("\(e)")
            ret = 1
        }
        
        // Example 4) Merge/Extract XFDF into/from PDF
        do {
            try PTPDFNet.catchException {
                // Merge XFDF from string
                let in_doc: PTPDFDoc = PTPDFDoc(filepath: Bundle.main.path(forResource: "numbered", ofType: "pdf"))
                in_doc.initSecurityHandler()
                
                print("Merge XFDF string into PDF.")
                let str = "<?xml version=\"1.0\" encoding=\"UTF-8\" ?><xfdf xmlns=\"http://ns.adobe.com/xfdf\" xml:space=\"preserve\"><square subject=\"Rectangle\" page=\"0\" name=\"cf4d2e58-e9c5-2a58-5b4d-9b4b1a330e45\" title=\"user\" creationdate=\"D:20120827112326-07'00'\" date=\"D:20120827112326-07'00'\" rect=\"227.7814207650273,597.6174863387978,437.07103825136608,705.0491803278688\" color=\"#000000\" interior-color=\"#FFFF00\" flags=\"print\" width=\"1\"><popup flags=\"print,nozoom,norotate\" open=\"no\" page=\"0\" rect=\"0,792,0,792\" /></square></xfdf>"
                
                let fdoc = PTFDFDoc.create(fromXFDF: str)
                in_doc.fdfMerge(fdoc)
                in_doc.save(toFile: URL(fileURLWithPath: NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains(.documentDirectory, .userDomainMask, true)[0]).appendingPathComponent("numbered_modified.pdf").path, flags: e_ptlinearized.rawValue)
                
                print("Merge complete.")
                
                // Extract XFDF as string
                print("Extract XFDF as a string.")
                let fdoc_new: PTFDFDoc = in_doc.fdfExtract(e_ptboth)
                let XFDF_str: String = fdoc_new.saveAsXFDFToString()
                print("Extracted XFDF: ")
                print("\(XFDF_str)")
                print("Extract complete.")
            }
        } catch let e as NSError {
            print("\(e)")
            ret = 1
        }
        
        // Example 5) Read FDF files directly
        do {
            try PTPDFNet.catchException {
                let doc: PTFDFDoc = PTFDFDoc(filepath: URL(fileURLWithPath: NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains(.documentDirectory, .userDomainMask, true)[0]).appendingPathComponent("form1_filled_data.fdf").path)
                
                let itr: PTFDFFieldIterator = doc.getFieldIterator()
                while itr.hasNext() {
                    print("Field name: \(itr.current().getName()!)")
                    print("Field partial name: \(itr.current().getPartialName()!)")
                    
                    print("------------------------------")
                    itr.next()
                }
                
                print("Done.")
            }
        } catch let e as NSError {
            print("\(e)")
            ret = 1
        }
        
        // Example 6) Direct generation of FDF.
        do {
            try PTPDFNet.catchException {
                let doc: PTFDFDoc = PTFDFDoc()
                // Create new fields (i.e. key/value pairs).
                doc.fieldCreate(with: "Company", type: e_pttext, field_value: "PDFTron Systems")
                doc.fieldCreate(with: "First Name", type: e_pttext, field_value: "John")
                doc.fieldCreate(with: "Last Name", type: e_pttext, field_value: "Doe")
                // ...
                
                //doc.setPDFFileName("mydoc.pdf")
                
                doc.save(toFile: URL(fileURLWithPath: NSSearchPathForDirectoriesInDomains(.documentDirectory, .userDomainMask, true)[0]).appendingPathComponent("sample_output.fdf").path)
                print("Done.")
            }
        } catch let e as NSError {
            print("\(e)")
            ret = 1
        }
        
        return ret
    }
}