- Select the Action Wizard from the Tools panel
- Select Manage Custom Commands from the Action Wizard toolbar
- Click the Import button from the dialog
- Select the XML file you just downloaded.
The Custom Command adds a special field to your form that uses the properties of the fields to dynamically create a dialog box that will allow users to enter their data as the stamp is being placed. If you can create a form, you can create a dynamic stamp with a dialog. The script allows this…
…to magically become this…
How to create your stamp
As I mentioned above, after running the custom command, your stamp will be able to create its own data entry dialog as long as you follow a few simple rules.
- The stamp must be a single page PDF.
- Only text fields, radio buttons, and checkboxes are currently supported. (Note: I’ll be supporting dropdown lists in the dialog shortly).
- No hierarchical field names (names with a period in them).
In all cases, the tool tip of the text field will be used as the field label in the dialog. When authoring your form, you should be filling those out for accessibility reasons anyway.
If you want the text field to be required in the dialog, set it to be required in the field properties. The user won’t be able to dismiss the dialog without entering a value. Oops! This isn’t quite working yet.
Check Boxes: The export value is ignored, you don’t need to modify it, the default value of “Yes” is fine.
The script that creates the dialog will use the geometry of the fields to determine the dialog layout. The dialog elements will populate based on the upper-left coordinate of the field in order from top to bottom then left to right. So in the example form, The radio group is at the top followed by the check boxes and then the date field will appear above the name (the “by” field). Download the sample form using the icon to the left.
Plans for future versions:
There are a lot of things I’d like to do with this utility. He’s what you have to look forward to if there’s enough interest in this thing. Also, use the comment section to help me prioritize these features and provide other feedback.
- Dropdown lists in the dialog. Dropdown lists are a great way to limit user input to only valid values and take up a lot less space than a bunch of radio buttons. They make perfect sense on a form but they don’t make any sense on a stamp since they wouldn’t be interactive. However, they do make sense in a dialog. The trick is, if you make the dropdown read-only on the form, it looks just like regular text field with no arrow pointing down. But… the properties can still be used to create a dropdown in the dialog.
- Field validation. I think I have this figured out… I guess we’ll see.
- Hierarchical fields. The child fields will appear grouped in the dialog. The parent field name will be the group label.
- Date formatting and automatic population of the current date based on some options. I haven’t completely figured out how to specify this stuff though.
- Ignore calculated fields and/or provide a preview of the calculations in the dialog.
- Image support. This would mostly be for adding a signature graphic or initials to engineering stamps and that sort of thing.
You are free to:
Share — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format under the following terms:
- Attribution — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
- NonCommercial — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
- NoDerivatives — If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.