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Automatic Check Box Recognition

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GobyDavid View Drop Down
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Joined: 14 Jan 2016
Location: Chicago
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Post Options Post Options   Quote GobyDavid Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Automatic Check Box Recognition
    Posted: 14 Jan 2016 at 10:20pm
Hello!

My company fills out and submits applications for the Energy Star award for our client's buildings, and we usually do several hundred per year.  The application is a PDF document that is generated by the Energy Star website that does not contain any electronic form fields.

Most of the application is made up of questions about the building, each followed by two check boxes: one for "Yes" and one for "No." Every application is different depending on the building and so there can be 5 to 30 pages of these questions with 1 to 7 or 8 questions per page.  

Here's the thing: in order for the application to be accepted, every "Yes" box must be checked and every "No" box must not be checked, so we never turn in an application that has any "No's."  Up until now, we've been checking all the "Yes" boxes by using the checkmark from the "Fill & Sign" menu manually. This is extremely tedious and, especially after hundreds of applications have been filled out, a waste of our engineers' time.

Lately I've been experimenting with Form Field Recognition in Acrobat.  Acrobat easily recognizes the check boxes.  However, the default seems to be to set them to exclusive, meaning that only one "Yes" box on each page can be checked.  I have been able to fix this issue by giving each check box a unique name.  But this process is even more tedious than what we've been doing before.

I'm wondering if there's a way I can set it so that every checkbox is non-exclusive upon selecting Form Field Recognition, and further, I would like to see if I can also automatically check all the "Yes" boxes at once. Any help or guidance is appreciated!

   
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gkaiseril View Drop Down
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Joined: 15 Jul 2011
Location: USA
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Post Options Post Options   Quote gkaiseril Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 14 Jan 2016 at 11:55pm
I prefer not to use the Forms Wizard because it creates almost as much work as it is supposed to relieve. I just add the form fields manually.

Or if I am creating the forms in a Word like document, I use OpenOffice.org Writer and add the form fiels there filling in the optional values for drop down and list fields. I them Export to PDF and I have all the form fields.
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try67 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote try67 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 16 Jan 2016 at 11:55am
The form field detection wizard is tricky. Sometimes it works great, other times not at all, and it's difficult to predict when it will work and when it won't. It's also impossible to tweak how it works.

That's why I've developed a script that will consistently convert Wingdings characters to either check-boxes or radio-buttons, depending on their shape, and it can be customized to your specific needs. You can find it here: http://try67.blogspot.com/2015/09/acrobatreader-convert-wingdings-to.html
- Acrobat Expert - Contact me personally at try6767@gmail.com
Check out my custom-made scripts website: http://try67.blogspot.com
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