I wonder if somebody could please help me with an answer about the
forms facilities of Acrobat. I'm considering upgrading from Acrobat 5
to 7 (professional), mainly for the forms support. But as usual, the
information on their site is not very clear, and I haven't been able to
find anything on the Web, including Google.
In the new Acrobat and Reader (v7.0) they seem to have added some
support for custom XML, as can be seen in the FAQ at
"The Windows=AE version of Acrobat 7.0 Professional includes Adobe
LiveCycle Designer, a point-and-click tool that allows organizations to
create intelligent, XML-based Adobe PDF forms. Adobe LiveCycle Designer
lets you drag and drop XML schemas onto form fields to help facilitate
the exchange of form data with back-end computer systems."
Sounds good, but doesn't seem to be full support for custom XML schemas
in forms, like in InfoPath for instance. On the other hand, in the
(a link that is referenced in the above-mentioned FAQ), we can read a
detailed and very promising description of the Adobe XML architecture,
which seems to be exactly custom schema support in forms. But - it's
not here yet:
"A new Adobe form designer that is in development will enable
enterprises to more easily take advantage of a wide range of
capabilities that are included in the Acrobat 6.0 product family and
Adobe Reader 6.0. In addition to providing a graphical interface for
designing highly structured form templates that include the ability to
align each form element precisely, the new tool will also enable form
authors to import XML schemas and graphically map them to form fields.
Advanced palette tools, widget inspectors, and interactive wizards will
greatly simplify adding logic, such as setting valid data ranges,
restricting access to certain fields, or setting up Web services
"With current Adobe Form Designer, you can import Adobe PDF forms that
have been scanned or converted from other file formats or design them
from scratch using a graphical interface that provides precision layout
capabilities. Form authors can then add intelligence, digital signature
capabilities, data binding, and more to the template. The form can be
deployed in multiple formats, as shown in Figure 4.
When the new form designer is available, you can easily migrate
existing forms to enable the support of arbitrary XML and the ability
to save forms as either PDF or XDP."
"Acrobat and Adobe Reader 6.0 software will support PDF forms that
include arbitrary XML (often called user-defined XML) data."
"Over the coming months, Adobe will deliver a new tool for designing
XML and PDF templates and forms that will enable form designers and
developers to include user-defined XML."
But then, the documents at
are pretty old, from 2003, so "the coming months" may have already
passed. But then, it's not very likely, since these same documents are
on the site currently; I guess they would have updated them if they had
finished the design tools.
Bottom line, does anybody know:
- Are the Adobe LiveCycle Designer tool and the 2003-announced "new
tool for designing XML and PDF templates and forms" the same thing ?
- Does Acrobat currently offer full support for custom XML schema in
- If not, are there plans for it to do it in the near future, at a
price more or less like that of Acrobat 7.0 Pro ?
Any help will be much appreciated.