How To Insert a Date Field in Adobe Acrobat

Having a working date section in your Professional form built from Adobe Acrobat 8 will add that extra usefulness in your document. The steps below will show you how you can do this yourself with just a little bit of JavaScript and some formatting effort.

  • Starting with a new PDF. You can start this project by opening a new blank document or if you already have an existing one in your file that you wish to have a date field inserted into.
  • Choosing the “Text Field Tool.” You can find the “Text Field Tool” in the Forms toolbar. You can see this as the 6th button if you are counting from the left most part of the entire toolbar. It is displayed as a box where you can see a “T” on it.
  • Clicking and dragging. Select the area you want to insert your date field into by clicking and dragging on your PDF. You will now see the dialog box for the “Text Field Properties” be displayed via the popup menu.
  • Selecting the “Read only” option. You can see the “General” tab from here, at the upper portion of the “Text Field Properties” dialog box. This section is for the general settings where you can select the “Read Only” option after you key in “Today” which is inside the “Name” text field. The “Read Only” selection can be done by ticking off the check box.
  • Selecting your date format to be used. You can select the format of the display of the date from the “Format” section of the same dialog box. Select “Date” which can be found in the “Select Format” drop-down menu. After doing so, the “Date Options” dialog will be displayed and from here you can select what type of format you want your date to be displayed on your document.
  • JavaScript editing. Do not be intimidated by the term JavaScript. From your “Actions” tab, which is still within the “Text Field Properties” window, select the “Page Open” option as your “Select Trigger” option. You can then choose the “Run a JavaScript” for “Select Action.” By selecting the “Add” button, this will open your “JavaScript Editor” dialog box.
  • Finishing the editing. From this portion of the screen, you can key in “var f = this.getField(“Today”); f.valie = util.printd(“mmm/d/yyyy”, new Date());” taking care not to key in the outside quotes within the textbox. You will notice that the format of the date that you want is in this sequence. After keying this in, you can now select “OK” and “close” which will now close the two remaining open dialog windows. You can now test if it does the desired effect, which is the date updating to the current date whenever the page is opened.

Knowing a date can be both a simple and yet very useful information to know so having these date fields in your documents can be extremely beneficial to the reader. Go ahead and share this information with your friends so that whenever you shell out your own documentation, you will know how to activate this feature.


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