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PDF Forms Functionality requires creation of a PDF Form with PDF Form Creation software.
This article is intended for PSIsafe Administrators.
This guide walks a PSIsafe Administrator through the process of setting up an Adobe PDF Form with links to PSIsafe Folder indexes, so that when creating a new document with this template, the PDF Form will have a variety of fields pre-filled to ease the import process. In order to use this feature, PDF Forms must be pre-configured to have fillable fields, which are then linked to PSIsafe Folder Indexes. In this article, we will describe how to create a fillable PDF Form, where in the template creation process it is added, and how to link your PSIsafe Folder indexes to the field to automatically populate the index data.
PDF Form Creation and Setup
In order to create and edit forms, the PSIsafe Administrator must have the appropriate form-editing software. The following are some popular options that have been tested to work with PSIsafe. Keep in mind that most robust PDF form editing software will require a purchase. For the rest of this article, PSIsafe Administrator will be guided through using the recommended software for form editing, in this case Adobe Acrobat Pro DC.
Creating a Form in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC
In order to begin, open your form file in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC. Acrobat supports a variety of image formats, and can even automatically create many of your form fields. Once loaded, we'll go through the following steps:
Steps to Create an Adobe Form (Simplified):
When your form is open in Adobe Acrobat Pro DC, you should see a screen similar to this:
From here, select the "More Tools" button towards the bottom-right:
Once Tools page is open, left-click on "Prepare Form" to open the Form Editing interface:
Once the Form Editing Interface is open, you will notice that the form fields themselves appear highlighted with boxes around them, and display the name of the field in the center of the box. If your form was already created, the form fields should remain editable. If they had not been created, Adobe Acrobat Pro DC will attempt to automatically create form fields based on the relative shapes of rectangles in proportion to text alongside them. In most cases, this automatic form generation will work without issue, but may need to be edited or tweaked to suit your business needs. On the right-hand side, a list of your fields is displayed, and each field can be edited individually.
To edit a field, simply right-click on the field in the field list, select "Properties", and a Properties dialog box should appear:
This properties dialog controls the majority of the appearance and formatting options available to that field. General, Appearance, and Formatting options are typically edited to suit the field.
The toolbar at the top allows Administrators to create a variety of fields:
This includes Text Boxes, Checkboxes, Radio Buttons, and much more.
To learn more about creating PDF Forms, and for a detailed series of Walkthroughs, FAQs, and How-Tos from Adobe, see:
Associating your PDF Form with your PSIsafe Management Template
Once your PDF form is created and configured to meet your business needs, it's important to note a couple of key points before continuing:
- Make sure you've named your PDF Form Fields in their properties to recognizable names that correlate to Folder Index fields that you'd like to link to your PSIsafe Installation. For example, if a field requires a Last Name, First Name, make sure it's named "Last Name, First Name" or "LN, FN" to ensure that when you continue on the next steps to linking the fields, you are aware of which fields are being linked.
- Make sure that your text size choices within your PDF Form Fields are consistent, and that the appearance of the text in the filled form field matches the rest of the document. If the text size is too large, or the pulled-in Folder Index field is too long to fit in the box, the information may be cut-off or not display properly.
- Folder indexes can only fill out Text fields, so checkboxes, radio buttons, or similar Boolean fields will not be synced to the form upon creation, and cannot be linked.
Edit a Template and Proceed to Step 2 (Managers/Extensions)
IMPORTANT: Make sure the select the "PDF Forms" Manager, or any Manager that has been configured as an Electronic Form with the PDF Extension. Selecting the "Adobe" Manager will not allow you to then link the form fields.
After selecting the PDF Forms Manager, and associating the PDF Extension via "Add", associate your newly-created form via the "Pick" button, which brings up a Windows Explorer dialog to browse to the form file in question.
Once the form is picked, you should see the "File Exists?" column change to "Yes". Then, click the "Edit" button to open the PDF Form Linking Dialog.
Linking Folder Indexes to PDF Form Fields
Database Connect - This tab simply connects the PDF Form to a SQL table in the PSIsafe SQL Database. The table name in the above example is CNGformtemplate30, but this can be changed to any Table Name appropriate for your business needs. Once linked, every time the PDF form is filled out in PSIsafe, a record will be added to this table in the SQL DB.
Form template table - Specify the form template table in the SQL DB to which the record of forms created will be synced.
The Constants tab allows the PSIsafe Administrator to link a type of Constant field to a PDF Form field. For example, if the Date on the PDF Form that a user would create should always be the Date on which they created the PDF Form, linking the Constant "Date" would then input today's date when creating the PDF Form. Once your Constants are linked, you can move on to Folder Index Links.
Folder Index Links Tab
By default, the Folder Index Links tab will be blank when first creating a series of Folder Index Links. Select the "Add" button, and the "PDF Form Folder Index Links Edit" Dialog will appear, allowing the PSIsafe Administrator to link each index field accordingly. First, make sure you have the correct Repository and Cabinet selected for which you'd like to associate your Folder Indexes, since Folder Indexes are based on the Cabinet configuration.
Next, simply left-click to select an Index from the "Indices" column on the left, which corresponds to your Folder Indexes, then, left-click on a Field in the "Field" column on the right-hand side, which is a field within your PDF Form. Once you've confirmed that the two fields match, select "Add" (highlighted) to link the fields. If the process is done correctly, you should see the newly-linked Index appear in the "Index" column on the right-hand side. Only Linked Indexes will be displayed in this column.
Once this process is complete, click the "OK" button to complete the linking process, and click the subsequent "Finish" button to finish linking indexes to your PDF Form. To edit the form fields at a later time, simply return to the Templates Section of PSIsafe Management, go to Step 2 of the templates creation process, and select the "Edit" button next to the "File Exists?" column, just as we did initially to create the Folder Index Links. Now, under the "Folder Index Links" tab, the following linked Index Fields will be displayed for you to review, and can be expanded via left-clicking on the "Triangle" expansion button to the left of the Repository name.
From this screen, users can either Add a new series of Folder Index Links, Edit an existing series of links, or Delete an existing series of links. Click Finish when complete, and then Finish once more on the Template Creation process to complete the overall Folder Index Linking process for PDF Forms.
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