Pdf Fill Form Fields

Category: Modules
Subcategory: Import/Export


This module contains Java Actions to read, fill in or update fields in a pdf file. 

These form fields can be of type text or checkbox (choices in pdf forms are checkboxes as well). 
Also when a field is set in Adobe as a readonly field, this Mendix module can still update the field value.

New feature to flatten the form fields, meaning they are converted to normal pdf content, has been added.

Use cases examples: 

  • Generating pdf documents from your pre-defined pdf templates by filling the template fields with the actual data. For example business proposals, invoices, delivery notes, licenses, bills, tickets, diploma's, etc.
    As long as the document to be generated has a pre-defined fixed format and size (you cannot generate content).
    You can also convert the document plain pdf, so end users with outdated pdf software can read it (see the field content) as well;
  • Automatically (pre) filling pdf form documents with data from Mendix; 
  • Automatically validating and processing contract and client data in Mendix by reading the data out of your pdf forms that your clients have completed (and uploaded or send to you by email). Tip: use (hidden) readonly field with a random nr generated and saved in the Mendix app to validate if this form was send to, and thus is valid for, that specific user. 


Demo urlhttps://tspdfeditormaintenanceproject-sandbox.mxapps.io/


This module contains Java Actions to read, fill in or update a pdf file containing form fields. 
These form fields can be of type text or checkbox. (choices in pdf forms are checkboxes as well). 
The Java Action to fill in the fields is JA_UpdateFields.

There is also the Java Action JA_GetFields to retrieve the name of all the fields as well as the current values. The field name is needed when you want to implement filling in (updating) a field in the Mendix microflow.

A new feature has been added, “JA_FlattenForm. This can be used to convert the form fields to normal ‘plain old’ pdf content, so the form fields themselves are gone. After doing this, there are no form fields, so the values can not be updated or read by this module.
This can be of usage for end users with outdated pdf software that doesn't render (display) the content (value) of form fields. 

The java action JA_UpdateFields had been updated with an extra param (flattenForm) so they can be combined (first update fields, then flatten form).

Pdf form fields can be created with the official Adobe Pdf editor.
Tip: When you do not want your end users to be able to update/change certain (or all) fields, you can set these fields as read only fields in the Adobe Pdf editor.  This will not affect this module to be able to change/update these fields.


Domain Model

The domain model contains several supporting entities.
Only two of them are persistent, so they can be stored when necessary: Field and PossibleValue.
The entity Field contains the field definition, which is the output of JA_GetField and JA_GetFields. 
Storing this information enables you to associate a field definition with an entity of your own domain model.
This is not needed, so only do this when it is required for your specific functionality.
Tip: you can extend this Field entity when you want to store more information (e.g. page number where the field is located).


IDE Integration

The module integrates with the Mendix Studio Pro IDE, so these Java Actions appear in the Toolbox menu under the new group "Pdf Form Editor". They can be dragged and dropped in a Microflow and are graphical represented by their own pdf icon.



Be aware that when there is logic inside the pdf (javascript), this logic can interfere with the fields you want to fill in, especially when this javascript disables or enables fields, changes field values or empties fields.

The solution is to strip off this logic, the javascript, from the pdf. You can easily do this with the licensed version of the Adobe Pdf Editor.



These Java Actions in Mendix use custom java which is located in a java archive, a jar file:

  • pdfeditor version 1.1.0

This jar needs other jar files (dependencies) which are included in the module:

  • commons-logging version 1.2
  • pdfbox version 2.0.26
  • fontbox version 2.0.26


Upgrading from previous version

When upgrading from the previous version, do not forget to remove the dependencies (jar files) of the previous version from the userlib folder.


Screenshot Descriptions

Descriptions of the screenshots below this section:

  1. The domain model in Mendix Studio Pro
  2. Example of usage in a microflow in Mendix Studio Pro
  3. Pdf Form Editor integration in the Toolbox of Mendix Studio Pro
  4. Example of usage: pdf of the Dutch tax authorities with form fields which are filled by Mendix


Version: 1.1.0
Framework Version: 8.12.3
Release Notes: Release Notes New version of the PdfFormEditor with the addition feature 'Flatten Form' . This module has been uploaded to the Store as "Pdf Fill Form Fields" because that name better describes its functionality. This version depends on the following jars (all included in the module): pdfeditor-1.1.0.jar commons-logging-1.2.jar fontbox-2.0.26.jar pdfbox-2.0.26.jar Developers: Rik Bos, Emiel Paasschens
Version: 1.0.1
Framework Version: 8.12.3
Release Notes: Bugfix version of first release of the PdfFormEditor module by TimeSeries. This module has been uploaded to the Store as "Pdf Fill Form Fields" because that name better describes its functionality. This version is dependent on the following jars (all included in the module): pdfeditor-1.0.1.jar commons-logging-1.2.jar fontbox-2.0.22.jar pdfbox-2.0.22.jar Developers: Rik Bos, Emiel Paasschens