Acrobat 8 Pro: Number Generator?

Discussion in 'Design and Graphics' started by IgnatiusTheKing, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. IgnatiusTheKing macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Location:
    das Fort
    #1
    The accountant at my office just asked me if I could create a digital Purchase Order in the form of an interactive PDF. Simple enough, but she wants me to also include a number field that I will give an initial value and automatically increase by 1 each time it is opened.

    For example, the first time someone opens it, a box in the upper right-hand corner will read 1001. Said person will fill in their information and "Save As" to their desktop (or just print it out) and move along with their day. The next time they (or anyone else, as the doc will be stored in a shared server folder) open the file, the box in the upper right-hand corner will read 1002, and so on.

    Is this even possible? I'm thinking it's not, but I don't know anything about scripting, so I thought I would ask here before shooting her down. I have CS3 Design Premium.
     
  2. semicharmed macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #2
    I think this it possible — the ITs & POs for the university are done like this; and I'm 99% sure that they're generated in .pdf form, as they're completely consistent between computers/OSes/browsers.
    And they've been this way for a while, so I'd say it's probably an Acrobat capability.
     
  3. telecomm macrumors 65816

    telecomm

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2003
    Location:
    Rome
    #3
    Good question, but I think you might be out of luck (at least with tools easily available within Acrobat). The problem as far as I can see is getting the info "current doc number" stored somewhere so when it's printed or saved that number is increased by one. Ideally you'd want something like a "server level" variable that tracks this, but the closest thing you'll find is a global variable, that's "global" in the sense that it is information available across multiple documents, but only when they're opened on the same machine; not quite what you'd want.

    Using a document level variable (or some combination of document and global variables) would allow you to do something like this, but then the user would have to save the file before closing it each time they used it (so that when the next person uses it they don't get a duplicate number). Also, you'd probably run into trouble if more than one person has a copy of the document open at the same time.

    It might be possible in some other way (but getting the document to pull in info from an external database or something like that), but I think you'll probably just want to say "can't be done."

    Edit: more knowledgeable people can be found here.
     
  4. design-is macrumors 65816

    design-is

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2007
    Location:
    London / U.K.
    #4
    I also think you may be out of luck. But I am not an expert in PDF functionality.

    I pose these questions though:

    What if two people open at once?
    What if you open and accidentally close or decide to do it later instead?

    Would some sort of online system be more appropriate for tracking numbers, storing the data, then PDFing and emailing a copy?

    Is there any software designed to do this?



    -EDIT- I realise some of the questions are already put to the OP above, I apologise for not reading the entire post.

    Also, could it not be easier to just have the number as an editable field that the person bumps up whenever they use it?



    Good luck with it! Please let us know how you get on :eek:
     
  5. IgnatiusTheKing thread starter macrumors 68040

    IgnatiusTheKing

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2007
    Location:
    das Fort
    #5
    Thanks for the replies. That's pretty much what I figured, so I think I'm just going to tell her to stick with the regular, paper kind, or I'll design a PDF with a custom number field and have one person keep track/dole out PO numbers.
     
  6. semicharmed macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2005
    Location:
    New Orleans
    #6
    And just to confirm, I checked with my advisor, and even though the IT forms are generated via .pdf, they're accessed from a dedicated accounting web server that does all kind of tracking, etc, to make sure each time the document opens a new number is generated.
     

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