Adobe Acrobat





Adobe Acrobat is a family of application software and Web services developed by Adobe Systems to view, create, manipulate, print and manage files in Portable Document Format (PDF). The family comprises Acrobat Reader (formerly Adobe Reader), Acrobat (formerly Acrobat Exchange) and The commercial proprietary Acrobat, available for Microsoft Windows and OS X only, can also create, edit, convert, digitally sign, encrypt, export and publish PDF files.

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The Adobe PDF proprietary file format is recognized as secure and formulated. But these PDF files are also prone to corruption and any external threat like virus attacks, improper storage can hit PDF file integrity.This type of damages can make crucial PDF files inaccessible. Once the files are damaged, errors are thrown when users try to access such malfunctioned files. The section below will discuss about one of such errors, its causes and will let you know how to resolve PDF error “The file is damaged and could not be repaired”.

How is PDF File Corrupted?

Corruption cases can be different and such corruption can be caused due to distinct reasons depending upon the conditions. The level of corruption can vary from being minor to severe and the error messages are thrown accordingly. In order to resolve the issue, it is necessary to know the probable causes of PDF corruption. Some of the common reasons for the PDF corruption are;
  • System where PDF files are stored is affected by a virus or malware infection, which is causing internal issues in PDF files as well.
  • PDF files were stored on the network where it got infected. Or while downloading it got corrupted.
  • The file structure has been damaged and thus it is causing errors.
  • The PDF file was improperly handled like system was abruptly shut down while PDF was open.

How is This Error Generated?

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Helpful to verify reports of your own downtime, or to double check a downed website you are trying to access.

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*Adobe Acrobat 9 was used for this article.  Particular steps may vary depending on software versions.

Adobe Acrobat has many, many variables that my be utilized to customize your forms for clarity and ease of use. The Form Editing Tool will be your best friend.

Start by creating a framework of your form in Word and converting it to Adobe—see this article on getting started.  Once you have designed and named your form fields, right-clicking and selecting Properties will allow you to customize them further.

You can make a field required:
Pic1.pngThis will outline the field in red for the user to signify they must complete the field.
You can change the alignment of the text entered in a field:
You can enter a default value to populate the field with:
Pic7.pngThis information will automatically appear in the field:
Pic24.pngbut may be overwritten:
Selecting Multi-line allows you to hit Enter in the field to add more than one line of information:
Pic10.pngThe font will automatically shrink to accommodate this.
Pic26.pngSelecting Scroll Long Text will add a scroll bar to the far right of the field if you enter enough information:
Selecting Allow Rich Text Formatting will allow you to edit the font:
Pic14.pngWith this option activated, right-clicking in the field will bring up the formatting menu:
Pic28.pngSelecting Limit of X Characters will prevent the user from typing more than a specified amount in the field:
Inserting page numbers in Portable Document Files not only enhances manageability but also makes them look professional. With numbered pages, the file appears more organized and it becomes easier to search for a particular page. The size and the volume of the file can be easily detected as well as its sequence can be maintained.

Moreover, if it is required to print the whole document, it is easier to pile-up the pages and keep them in sequential order when page numbers are assigned on the file. There are many ways to insert numbers on the PDF pages and some of the best ways are mentioned herein.

Option 1: A-PDF Number- Online Tool available at
  1. A-PDF Number, a freeware tool can be downloaded by following the link
  2. After the tool is downloaded, install it to initiate the page number insertion task.
  3. Launch the tool and the initial window will appear as:
  4. Click on the ‘Browser’ button to locate and upload the PDF file to the tool panel and the selected file will be appeared in the box named ‘File Name’ as shown in this figure.
  5. Further, the numbering style can be selected from the given list of options. The tool offers three different types of numbering the document. This includes numbers and roman numerals that can be applied to the document by selecting the associated radio button.
  6. While applying Bates numbering
PDF files have been in the limelight due to its unmatched features.  Personal documents, emails, business reports and eBooks are all converted into PDF files owing to peerless features provided by it. Adding watermark to a PDF file is a method to secure the PDF pages from plagiarism and any unlawful usage.
Advantages of Adding Watermark to PDF Files
Some of the advantages of adding watermarks are:
  • Watermarks are versatile.
  • They can easily be customized.
  • They can be used to distinguish between private and professional information.
Scenarios Demanding To Add Watermark to A PDF File
Before knowing the process to add watermark in a PDF file, let’s first have a look on the situations that requires to add watermark in a PDF file.
  • Copyright protection of a page
  • Broadcast monitoring
  • Video authentication
  • Source tracking
Once you understand the need for adding a watermark to a PDF file, the next stage is to understand how to add, remove and update watermark to PDF files.
Add Watermark to PDF Files Using Adobe Acrobat
If you need to add watermark to a PDF file that is already opened on your local machine, you need to follow these steps:
  1. Open the PDF file using Adobe Acrobat.
  2. Click on Watermark from the Document menu.
  3. Click on Add in order to add files to apply watermark.
  4. Specify all the settings for the watermark print.
  If you need to specify text as the watermark type the text in the provided box.
This article focuses on how to remove password security from multiple PDF files by Adobe Acrobat program. Sometimes it is essential to access the stored data items and to print, edit as well as copy content from Portable Document Format files in absence of the person who actually added password security onto the PDFs. Moreover, erasing passwords from one file at a time is both tiresome and troublesome.
However, before discussing the method, it is necessary to know the types of password protection that can be applied to PDF documents. Then it is easy to devise ways to remove them. In the section below are discussed the types of passwords that are usually imposed as security on Adobe Acrobat portable files.
Kinds of Password Protection on PDF Files
The types of password that can be added in PDF files are:
  1. Document Open Password – Known as user-level protection password, it restricts unauthorized users from opening the PDF file and accessing the stored data items. With the Document Open password applied to the portable files, only users who know the user-password only can open the file.
  1. Permission Password – Permission password is also known as owner-level password. This kind of password actually restricts everyone except the owner of the document to print, edit or copy text, images or other content from the PDF file. The permission password, or Usage Restriction password also limits commenting on the Acrobat PDF files.
PaperPort is a popular document imaging/management product from Nuance Communications. It is in widespread use by both individuals and businesses.

The current version of PaperPort is 14. The previous version was 12 (yes, Nuance got superstitious and skipped 13). Both of these most recent versions come in two editions, Professional and Standard. All four products — PP12 Standard, PP12 Professional, PP14 Standard, PP14 Professional — have the ability to create a searchable PDF file without any other software needing to be installed. PP12 was the first release that could do this (and it was carried forward into PP14).

Prior PaperPort releases require Nuance's OmniPage (a separately priced OCR product) to be installed in order to create a searchable PDF file that PaperPort calls a PDF Searchable Image file (because it contains both the raster image and the text created by OCR). The reason that PP12 and PP14 can create a PDF Searchable Image file is that it contains the OmniPage OCR engine under the covers — via the OmniPage Capture Software Development Kit (CSDK).
Sidebar on PaperPort Version: If you are running PP12.0, I recommend that you upgrade (free!) to PP12.1. This EE article explains how to do it:
PaperPort 12 - Free Upgrade to Version 12.1
If you are running PP14.0, PP14.1, or PP14.2, I recommend that you upgrade (free!) to PP14.5 (there was not a public release for either 14.3 or 14.4). This EE article explains how to do it:

Expert Comment

by:Serg __
Comment Utility
Any ideas how to make the fonts vectorized in the searchable .pdf? I am asking this question because I would not like to install a pirated Adobe Acrobat to convert one pdf book into a pdf book with vectorized fonts. What I got from PaperPort did not meet my expectations. the fonts got blurry. I expected them to get clean and vectorized, to be able to zoom in without those annoying pixels.
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Author Comment

by:Joe Winograd - EE Fellow & MVE
Comment Utility
Hi Serg,
Thank you for joining Experts Exchange this week and reading my article.

> Any ideas how to make the fonts vectorized in the searchable .pdf?

I do not have great expertise in font technology and am not aware of any way to control the font settings when PaperPort creates PDF Searchable Image files via the methods discussed in this article.

> I am asking this question because I would not like to install a pirated Adobe Acrobat to convert one pdf book into a pdf book with vectorized fonts.

I find that a strange comment — why would you even consider installing pirated software? We do not condone that here at Experts Exchange and, in fact, the Experts Exchange Terms of Use strictly prohibit any posting related to such activities (under Section 6, Code of Conduct). If you know that Adobe Acrobat will solve your font issue, and it is for only one PDF book, then I recommend purchasing just one month of Adobe Acrobat DC. For around 25 bucks, you'll avoid pirating software ($22.99 for one month of Acrobat Standard DC or $24.99 for one month of Acrobat Pro DC).

> What I got from PaperPort did not meet my expectations. the fonts got blurry.

It's likely that the fonts are blurry only when viewing the image layer. If you view just the text layer, the fonts should be fine. For example, I printed the first page of this article with the PaperPort Image Printer in B&W at 300 DPI to a PDF Image (not PDF Searchable Image). The whole page is attached as a PDF, but here's what it looks like:

font in image
The fonts, indeed, are blurry, because that's a view of the image (in Adobe Acrobat). I then used Nuance's Power PDF to convert to a searchable PDF, but told it not to keep the images. The whole page for that is also attached as a PDF, but here's the same small sample as shown above:

font in non-image
The fonts look great, because that's a view of the text (in Adobe Acrobat), since there is no image layer in the PDF.

> I expected them to get clean and vectorized, to be able to zoom in without those annoying pixels.

The fonts are fine in the text, as shown above. They get pixelated only when viewing the image layer. Another way to observe this is to Copy the text from the PDF Searchable Image file (created by PaperPort via one of the methods explained in this article) and then Paste it into a text-capable product, such as Notepad or Word — the fonts will, of course, appear fine. Regards, Joe
In a previous article published here at Experts Exchange, Signature Image with Transparent Background, I explained how to create a graphic image of your scanned signature with a transparent background. As discussed in that article, having the transparent background is crucial so that the signature may be placed on a document without overlaying the surrounding text.

In that article, I mentioned putting the signature on PDF documents via the Stamp feature in Adobe Acrobat. I recently received a message from an EE member who thanked me for that article, but asked me to explain exactly how to create such a Stamp in Acrobat. This article shows how to do it.

I don't know how far back the Stamp feature goes in the history of Adobe Acrobat releases, but I do know that it exists in Acrobat X and Acrobat XI, both Standard and Professional. The screenshots in this article are from Acrobat XI Pro on a W7 Pro 64-bit system.

In Acrobat, open the PDF file that you want to sign with the transparent signature image which you created after reading my previous article. The right side of the Toolbar in Acrobat will look like this (may vary somewhat depending on your Acrobat version):

Click the Comment tab and you will see the Annotations section, including the Stamp tool:

Click the drop-down on the Stamp tool, then Custom Stamps, then Create Custom Stamp:


You will get this browse-for-file dialog:

Click the Browse
I. Introduction

In a previous article (now deprecated), I discussed how to upgrade — at no cost for licensed users — Nuance's PaperPort Version 11 (hereafter, PP11) and PaperPort Version 12 (PP12) to the latest "point" releases, namely, 11.2 and 12.1. At the time of that article's publication, PP11 and PP12 were the two latest versions. Now the latest version is PP14 (yes, Nuance was superstitious and skipped 13), and its latest "point" release is 14.5.

I decided that adding PP14 to the previous article would result in a long, unwieldy article. In addition, a user of one version is not going to be concerned about the other two versions, so I decided to create three separate articles for PP11, PP12, and PP14 users. This is the PP14 one.

The earlier point releases of PP14 — 14.0, 14.1, 14.2 (there was not a public release for either 14.3 or 14.4) — are known to have bugs that were fixed in 14.5. This article provides links to 14.5, as well as other useful information on upgrading.

II. Comparison of Standard and Professional Editions

For PP14, there are two consumer editions – Standard and Professional. The feature comparison matrix is available in the Files section of this PaperPort wiki:

Here is a direct link to the PDF:
Comparison Matrix of PP14 Standard and PP14 Professional

III. Links to Downloads

The links are to a direct download

Expert Comment

Comment Utility
solved the slow launching issue.  PP does not like custom scaling.  Just set it to 125 percent and PP opens quickly.  Found suggestion on Google.
My PDF issue was solved by changing the file type on my scanner which is in my HP all in one 8600.

down to slow launching of Fax from HP when I drag a doc to the send to bar.

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Author Comment

by:Joe Winograd - EE Fellow & MVE
Comment Utility
> solved the slow launching issue

Good to know that solved it in your case, and it may certainly work for some other folks, but keep in mind that there are many reasons for it, and a solution in one case may not work in another case (the classic "YMMV" principle).

> PP does not like custom scaling. Just set it to 125 percent and PP opens quickly.

Do you mean the scaling in Windows, i.e., Control Panel>Display, where the choices are Smaller (100%), Medium (125%), Larger (150%)? Or do you mean the Custom Resolution feature in PP's Options>PDF Rendering Resolution? Or do you mean something else?

> My PDF issue was solved by changing the file type on my scanner which is in my HP all in one 8600.

I take that to mean you use the native TWAIN scanner dialog of the 8600, i.e., you ticked the "Display scanner dialog box" in PP's Scan or Get Photo pane. That brings up the scanner's TWAIN dialog where you can set the output file type (e.g., PDF) along with other options. I'm glad that works for you, but I much prefer to set all of the scanning options in PP's scanning profiles so that I get one-click scanning. I have the "Display scanner dialog box" un-ticked, so I don't have to change the file type (or any other options) in the scanner's native dialog. A single click on the Scan button in PP results in scanning with all of the presets in the profile, such as file type (e.g., PDF Searchable Image), resolution (e.g., 300), mode (e.g., B&W), source (e.g., duplex ADF), etc.

> slow launching of Fax from HP when I drag a doc to the send to bar

Probably an HP Fax issue, as the PP14 Send to Bar launches apps quickly (at least, that's been my experience, for both standard apps and custom apps). Regards, Joe
Have you ever come up with a need of emailing only few pages of PDF file to one of yourfriend or colleague, instead of whole Adobe file? If yes, then surely you have face problems in doing that! Read this section as I have suggested multiple solutions to split one Adobe PDF document into multiple PDF files.

PDF files have lot of importance in this IT world as there are unbeatable benefits of using them. Business reports, eBooks, invoices, emails and personal documents of users are these days converted into PDF format. These files are small in size, portable and secure way of communication as well as displaying information over internet. A user can store large amount of data in these files which is one of the biggest advantages of PDF files, but sometimes this also becomes a headache for users when they need to access only few pages of Adobe PDF files from large sized PDF file.
Scenarios Demanding For Split PDF Files Procedure
Before jumping on the solution to split PDF file in multiple parts, it is important to know about the situations that may call for split PDF files process.
  • One reason could be your master PDF file contains data insections and now you want to save these sections in separate PDF files in your system so that you can easily manage data with other details. In this situation a user needs to split PDF file according to sections specified within it.
  • Sometimes, a user has to share only few

Expert Comment

by:vinay d
Comment Utility

lets say 400 PAGES PDF FILE
VISUALLY SELECTING PAGES RANGES and renaming as user defined in batch
1-5 - (5 pages) - file output name as ---> pdffile10001_number
6-10 - (5 pages) -file output name as --- pdffile10002_number
11-35 - (25 pages) - file output name as ---pdffile10003_number
36-47 - (12 pages) -file output name as --- pdffile10004_number
378 -400 (3 pages -file output name as --- pdffile10300_number

should be batch process in saving pdf files separtates based on user defined pages and renaming name.

Expert Comment

by:marry smith
Comment Utility
To split PDF file into multiple parts, you can try few easy manual tricks which doesn't require any third party software or any other cost. You can use some built-in features and functions of one PDF file into multiple new PDF files. Read more:-
*Adobe Acrobat 9 was used for this article. Particular steps may vary depending on software versions.

1. Create a framework of your form in Word, leaving space where you’d ultimately like the Adobe fields to appear.  (Note: I use the blank lines as space holders in Word, intending for the Adobe fields to line up with them.)
2. Once the form is formatted to allow for the fields, print the document to PDF:
3. Open the PDF.  Click Forms > Start Form Wizard:

Select “An existing electronic document” and click Next:

Select “Use the current document” and click Next:
4. The Wizard is very smart and may very well predict all the fields you need.  If this is the case, and you are satisfied, skip ahead to step 11.  If the Wizard misinterpreted your form, or there are tweaks you’d like to make, continue on with step 5.
5. Naming fields.  The Wizard predicted correctly where I wanted all my fields, but it based the names on what it is used to seeing in forms. I.E. the Signature and Date fields were labeled below the lines and it drew those names in. For the other fields, it pulled in the wording after the commas, so I’d like to change that. Right click on the field you’d like to edit and click Properties:
Image7.png(You can also click Rename Field, which brings up that option alone, but I usually opt to bring up Properties so I can adjust many factors at once.) Change the Name and Tooltip fields to your desired names:

6. Formatting fields
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Check which ports are open to the outside world. Helps make sure that your firewall rules are working as intended.

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Power PDF Advanced
This article explains how to perform batch conversion of PDF, TIFF, and other image file formats into PDF, PDF Searchable, and TIFF files via a command line interface, using Nuance's latest document imaging software — Power PDF Advanced.

Expert Comment

by:Chris S
Comment Utility

i tried to use the command line but i always get the error message "File open error" although I have write to all directories stated in the command?! It always says "Converting H:\TEST.HTML TO H:\TEST.PDF" which I think means that the Syntax itself is correct but either the Input or Output file cannot be opened?
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Author Comment

by:Joe Winograd - EE Fellow & MVE
Comment Utility
Hi Chris,
First, thanks for joining Experts Exchange today and reading my article — I appreciate it!

The input file cannot be an HTML file type. The Help output, even in the latest version 2.1 of Power PDF Advanced, still says this:

-I input file full path. * can be used for filename (*.pdf, *.tif)

As I mentioned in the article, I discovered through experimentation that the input file type may also be GIF, JPG, JPEG, PNG, and TIFF. But I just tried HTML in both v2.0 and v2.1, and can confirm that the input file may not be HTML. As you saw yourself, it gives an error message that says "File open error." My advice is to open the HTML file in whatever web browser you prefer and then print it to whatever PDF print driver you prefer. Once you have the PDF file, run Power PDF again, this time using the PDF file as the input instead of the HTML file. Of course, you may not even need to do that if you're happy with the file from the PDF printer. Regards, Joe
Update 21-May-2015: I temporarily removed the source code to make major changes to the program. Regards, Joe


This article presents a solution to a question asked here at Experts Exchange. The situation is that there's a large number of subfolders (400 in the original question), each of which has a number of PDF files (two in the original question). The goal is to combine/merge the PDF files in each subfolder (in ascending date order) into a single PDF file, storing the combined file in each subfolder. The source PDF files in each subfolder may have any file names and the user should be able to specify the file name of the combined file.


The method presented in this article requires AutoHotkey, an excellent (free!) programming/scripting language. The quick explanation for installing AutoHotkey is to visit its website. A more comprehensive explanation is to read my EE article, AutoHotkey - Getting Started. After installation, AutoHotkey will own the AHK file type, supporting the solution discussed in the remainder of this article.

The program utilizes another excellent (free!) piece of software — PDF Toolkit (PDFtk). It comes in both command line and GUI versions. The command line version is called PDFtk Server

Expert Comment

by:Centex Aps
Comment Utility

Will the "Combine-Merge-PDF-files-20140826.ahk"  file not be attached again?
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Author Comment

by:Joe Winograd - EE Fellow & MVE
Comment Utility
Hi Centex,
I've decided not to post the full program. I'll be rewriting the article as a "design roadmap" with some crucial code snippets, such as how to call PDFtk Server, but will not be posting the complete source code. Regards, Joe
Update 21-May-2015: I temporarily removed the source code to make major changes to the program. Regards, Joe

In a previous Experts Exchange article, How To Rename-Move a Batch of PDF Files Based on Contents of the Files, I presented a program that solved a question asked here at EE. In that article and program, the situation was that a large number of PDF files in a folder had to be renamed automatically (en masse) with a suffix contained somewhere in each of the PDF files.

For example, a file might be named:


And inside that file at a fixed location (specific page, specific line, specific column) might be:

John Smith

In this example, the requirement is to rename the file as:

D123456 John Smith.pdf

A more recent question here at EE has a similar requirement, except that the suffix is contained in a specific cell of a corresponding Excel spreadsheet. In this newer question, there's an automated process that creates hundreds of PDF documents from Excel spreadsheets. The problem is that the PDF documents need to be renamed after they are created. The renaming should add a suffix to the current PDF file name, as in the previous question, but the suffix is in a fixed cell location of the Excel spreadsheet from which the PDF was created.

For example, a file might be named:

Order Number 12345.xls

In which case, the automated PDF creation process would create:

Order Number 12345.pdf
This article is in response to a question here at Experts Exchange. The Original Poster has a scanned signature and wants to make the background transparent so that the signature may be placed on documents without obliterating the surrounding text. Here's an example of the problem, showing how the surrounding document is overlaid when the non-transparent signature is placed on a PDF (in this case, via the Custom Stamp feature in Adobe Acrobat):

Signing PDF in Acrobat with non-transparent stamp
The solution described in this article requires a product called IrfanView, excellent (and free!) imaging software:

At the URL above, click the Download link on the left to download IrfanView and click the PlugIns link on the left to download the PlugIns, which are needed to give you PDF capability. Installing the PlugIns is optional – required only if you want PDF support (and the other features that come with the PlugIns). Install IrfanView first, then install the PlugIns. Although I recommend adding the PlugIns to get PDF support, that's for general, future usage. For this situation, you don't need them, unless your scanned signature is in a PDF file, in which case you do need them.

Here are the steps for making your signature background transparent after installing IrfanView:

(1) Run IrfanView and open the file that has your scanned signature.

(2) I recommend cropping the signature by dragging the mouse from the upper left to the lower right and selecting the Edit menu, then

Expert Comment

Comment Utility
Joe, two questions:

1) What site do you use to download software like IrfanView? The link you provided led to a page with about a dozen download links. The first of those ( resulted in a pop-up notice saying "iview440_setup.exe is malicious, and Chrome has blocked it". I found one of the sites which did not trigger that notice but still wanted me to accept a bunch of extra stuff. I unchecked all those boxes but it makes me wonder what is downloaded and installed without my knowledge. Is there a site where you can count on getting only what you are after and nothing more?

2) After installing and using the IrfanView app, I closed it. But then when I went back to open it again, it was nowhere to be found in my Start > All Programs list of apps and folders. I was only able to find it by Start > Search but that led to the .exe file and I had to go through the install process all over again. Is there something I could be doing wrong or is that just what's required each time you want to use the software?
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Author Comment

by:Joe Winograd - EE Fellow & MVE
Comment Utility
> What site do you use to download software like IrfanView?

Yes, the download page provides many links, but I recommend the TUCOWS link to download IrfanView:

This will download a single install file called <iviewNNN.exe> or <iviewNNN_setup.exe> with no adware and no junk!

And the TUCOWS link for the PlugIns, which are required for PDF support:

This will download a single install file called <irfanview_plugins_NNN_setup.exe> with no adware and no junk!

In both cases, NNN is the version number (currently 440, meaning Version 4.40).

Install IrfanView first, then install the PlugIns.

There's also a new 64-bit version (started with the 4.40 release), available here:

The download links for the 64-bit core product and the 64-bit plugins are at the bottom of the page. I have both the 32-bit and 64-bit versions installed on the same W7/64-bit system (in different folders) — no problem.

> Is there something I could be doing wrong or is that just what's required each time you want to use the software?

Perhaps you're not telling it to create shortcuts. Here's what I select in the installer:

IrfanView install shortcuts
That gives me an IrfanView program group with shortcuts, as well as a shortcut on the desktop. I keep an ultra-clean desktop, so I move the shortcut into a folder of shortcuts where I have my most frequently used programs. Regards, Joe
Update 21-May-2015: I temporarily removed the source code and the code snippets to make major changes to the program. Regards, Joe


This Article is a follow-up to the Article entitled How To Rename-Move a Batch of PDF Files Based on Contents of the Files, recently published here at Experts Exchange.

I considered adding the new feature (splitting a single document into multiple documents) to that Article and program, but concluded that it is a significant enough enhancement to warrant a new Article and program.


To understand this Article, it will be helpful to read the previous Article, but to get things going here right away, here's a summary of the previous problem and solution.

There is a large batch of PDF files, all with cryptic names, such as [D123456.PDF]. Inside each file on the first line of the first page (always starting at a fixed column and running to the end of the line) is a human-friendly identifier for the file, such as [John Smith]. The requirement is to loop through all of the files in a specified folder in an automated fashion, changing the file names from, for example,



D123456 John Smith.PDF

That is, add the identifier from the first line of the first page to the file name.


Following publication of the previous Article and the program that implements the solution, the Original Poster (OP) of the question that prompted the Article

Expert Comment

Comment Utility
how do I obtain a copy of the autohotkey script?
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Author Comment

by:Joe Winograd - EE Fellow & MVE
Comment Utility
Hi New Member,

When I removed the source code last year from six articles that I published here at EE, my intention was that the removal be temporary. I began a project to rewrite all of the programs in my portfolio in order to generalize them for a broader audience and to have a standard user interface, including both a GUI (graphical user interface) and, where it makes sense, a CLI (command line interface). It wound up being a much larger effort than I anticipated, and I'm still not ready to post or distribute the source code for this program (or any of the other five published at EE — and I don't know when or even if that will be, for a variety of reasons).

I have created customized versions of these various programs for EE members who became clients of mine. I provided licenses for the run-time programs (the executables, i.e., the compiled EXE files) for an agreed-upon fee, but I did not provide the source code. I did this previously when EE had the "Hire Me" button, but that no longer exists. The mechanism now at EE for such work is the new Gigs feature, if that interests you.

Regards, Joe
Update 21-May-2015: I temporarily removed the source code and the code snippets to make major changes to the program. Regards, Joe

A recent question here at Experts Exchange piqued my interest, so I decided to provide a thorough solution and publish this Article about it. The Original Poster (OP) of the question has approximately one thousand PDF files containing 7-character sequential alphanumeric file names (and, of course, all of the file extensions are PDF). Although the OP did not state this, it is likely that the sequential alphanumerics represent unique identifiers for his customers, perhaps customer numbers. The alphanumeric file name is cryptic, in no way identifiable with the customer, so the OP would like the file name to contain the customer name in addition to the number. For example, a file might be named:


The OP would like this file to be renamed:

D123456 John Smith.PDF

The customer name always begins in column 16 on the first line of the first page in the PDF file (and runs to the end of the line). The OP wants an automated way to rename the thousand PDF files, based on the customer name in the contents of each file – in essence, a batch/mass rename. The program documented in this Article (and provided in source code) performs this function.

Two excellent freeware products are needed for this solution – the AutoHotkey scripting language (the program is written in this) and the Xpdf package to convert the PDF …

Expert Comment

Comment Utility
Thanks for your response.
I appreciate your comments & issues.
I would greatly appreciate it if you could see your way clear to send me your original AutoHotKey script.
I'm trying to learn more about AutoHotKey scripts and especially how it interfaces with Xpdf's pdftotext.exe
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by:Joe Winograd - EE Fellow & MVE
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Hi Member_2_7970298 (???),

I received your email at my personal email address, which I'll respond to in a moment. I already responded to your post at the AHK forum, which led you to this article, and then to my Split-Rename-Move article. Instead of three different communication venues (EE, AHK, email), let's continue this discussion via just email.

That said, a quick message about your comments is that the Tutorials forum and the Scripts and Functions forum at the AHK boards are the way to go "to learn more about AutoHotKey scripts" (as well as the Tutorial at the AHK docs site).

There's not much to learn about "how it interfaces with Xpdf's pdftotext.exe" — the RunWait command is it. Here's an actual call from one of my programs:

RunWait,%pdftotextEXE% -f 1 -l 1 -raw "%FullFileNameCurrent%" "%DestinationFolder%%FileNameCurrentTXT%"

Open in new window

I'm sure from the names of the variables you can figure out what that line does. Also, I gave you links at the AHK forum to my two 5-minute EE video Micro Tutorials that should help you with learning about how to use the pdftotext.exe tool:
Xpdf - Command Line Utility for PDF Files
Xpdf - Convert PDF Files to Plain Text Files

If you haven't viewed them yet, I think you'll find them to be a worthwhile expenditure of 10 minutes. Regards, Joe
One of the questions I get asked again and again is how to validate a field value in an AcroForm with a custom validation script. Adobe provided a lot of infrastructure to do that with just a simple script.

Let’s take a look at how to do that with a text field that is only supposed to have a value of either ‘AAAA’ or ‘BBBB’ (yes, I know that this does not make much sense in a real PDF form). So, if the user enters ’01234' we should see an error message that would instruct the user about what type of data is valid for this field.

This tutorial assumes that you are using Adobe Acrobat XI Pro, but with just minor adjustments, you can use this with Acrobat X, and even older versions.

To start, we create a text field and bring up the properties dialog for the field. Then we select the “Validate” tab to see the validation options:

Screenshot of Acrobat's Edit Script dialog
The default is to not validate the field. For numeric fields, there is a convenient way to validate a value range, but we want to select to run a custom validation script. After the “Edit” button is clicked, a new window will open that allows us to edit the new script:

Screenshot of JavaScript Edit dialog
To make things easier to copy&paste, here is the script again:

event.rc = true;
if (event.value != “AAAA” && event.value != “BBBB”)
    app.alert(“The entered value needs to be either ‘AAAA’ or ‘BBBB’!”);
    event.rc = false;

Open in new window

As I mentioned before, information is passed to the validation function in the …
The ability to edit PDF documents can be useful, however it may not be a straight forward process. Many non-technical people don't realise that a PDF document is basically an image rather than a text file, even if it contains nothing but text.

If the PDF document was created via tools in MS Word or similar, then a simple copy and paste should get you the text and most formatting. However if the PDF was a scanned document or created from a bitmap image, that option is not available.

At times you may also receive a protected PDF that doesn't allow copying of text but does allow printing.

You may also have an old version of Adobe Reader that doesn't have the tool to copy text, and for various reasons you cannot perform the update.

In these cases to extract the text from a PDF document, you need to perform Optical Character Recognition (OCR). The level of success with doing this depends on the quality of the original document you are converting, and the quality of the OCR software.

Products such as Adobe Acrobat Professional do have quality OCR and the Export tool is specifically designed to convert PDF into a Word document or other format. This software doesn't come cheap, however there are some alternatives. Depending on the level of security on your network, you may not be able to install the free alternatives. Before seeking your IT department's assistance, you can utilise software they most likely have already provided you.

This article makes the assumption…

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Update 21-May-2015: I temporarily removed the source code and the code snippets to make major changes to the program. Regards, Joe


The inspiration for this Article was a fascinating question here at Experts Exchange on combining TIFF files. Since it is in an area of extreme interest to me (Document Imaging) and since the solution involves two of my all-time favorite freeware products – IrfanView for the TIFF image processing and AutoHotkey for the scripting – I decided to publish the solution as an Article, with a lot more detail put into it than a typical response to a question.


The original poster (OP) of the problem (KHMaddox) said he has no programming experience at all, so I made the solution suitable for such a user. All you have to be capable of doing is download and install the two freeware products, IrfanView and AutoHotkey, and then run the script attached to this Article, as follows:

(1) Install AutoHotkey – (also, see my EE article: AutoHotkey - Getting Started)

Click the Download button at the page above, save the install file, and run it.

(2) Install IrfanView –

Expert Comment

by:Nathan Emch
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Your script sounds like exactly what we need, but I do not see it available for download anywhere on this page.  Am I missing something, or did your "Combine-TIFF.ahk" script get pulled from this page?
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by:Joe Winograd - EE Fellow & MVE
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Hi Nathan,
Yes, I pulled the script from the article. My initial intention was to re-post the code, but I have decided not to do that. Instead, I am going to rewrite this article, and a similar article on merging PDF files, as "roadmap design" articles, with enough information to help folks write their own programs/scripts. However, I have enhanced the program over the years into what I now call MergeTIFF™. As you can see in the comments above from May of this year, Kit Maddox and Deacon Aspinwall had great results with MergeTIFF. But, as also mentioned above, I'm not yet ready to expose the program publicly on the Internet, so I'll write you a PM in the EE Message System to discuss this further, as I did with both Kit and Deacon. Regards, Joe
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Getting information about Fonts being used in a PDF file

A colleague of mine recently faced an issue related to the PDF file format.

The PDFs were containing mission critical client information, they were successfully mailed but there was a small problem.

The received PDF would open up correctly in the reader application, but rather than the original fonts, some un-intended fonts were substituted instead.

The issue was due to the fact that my friend was using the non-generic fonts available on his local system and not embedding them (without realizing this would cause any issues though!).

This created disparity in the originally intended and the viewed PDF documents and also lead to lots of confusion between the affected parties.

Now, he asked me for help in getting the information about the various fonts being used in the PDF, so that he would rather use a generic font which would not have the danger of being substituted and the PDF should appear as intended at the client’s location.

I thus decided to get a small article in place for anyone else who may be facing a similar problem.

In order to just find the fonts which are being used by the PDF, using the normal Adobe Reader, do the following steps: -
1.      Open the file in Adobe PDF Reader;
2.      Select File->Properties
3.      On the resulting Dialog, choose the Font tab.

Font Info Dialog in Adobe Reader
You will see a list of fonts. The ones that are embedded will be having this status in the brackets ‘( )’ …
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Good summary. I've voted YES above :)

Can Be Caused By Disabled Services

I have encountered a problem viewing PDF files using Adobe Acrobat Reader.  For the longest time, PDFs might launch or might not.  Sometimes they took about 15 minutes to appear after launching them.

After some Googling I was left without a concrete solution.  I do believe there are multiple possible causes for this error, that certainly seems to be the case according to the myriad bits of advice I've turned up from the search engines.  None of the prescribed solutions helped me out though.  I came upon my required solution somewhat by accident.

Recently I saw this error pop up on my screen:

    [Fatal Error:]  "Acrobat Failed to connect to a DDE server"

I'd not seen this particular error before, but it was the clue I needed.  For lack of a better place to showcase the solution I found, I'm writing this article:
Realizing that Acrobat was failing (or timing-out) due to a DDE request, (DDE is Dynamic Data Exchange) I considered why a DDE request might fail.  There could be many reasons for DDE failure, which accounts for lack of a good one-size-fits-all solution within the googlespace.

I checked my system to make sure that my DDE services were all running, and they were not.

Specifically, there are 2 relevant services.  I had disabled them in an earlier effort to optimize my PC performance.

Under Windows XP Pro SP3, these 2 services are:

Network DDE
Network DDE DSDM
The Network DDE service depends upon the …

Expert Comment

Comment Utility
This issue is most commonly related to file associations.
As the user to do the following:
Locate a PDF on the system via Search (any PDF will do)
Hold down the Shift key and right-click the PDF file > Select 'Open with..'
Select either Acrobat or Adobe Reader (depending on which application is actually installed)
Check the box at the bottom of the dialog box that says 'Always open with..'

 If the issue persists after trying this, repair Acrobat or Reader.  This can be done via the Help > Repair menu option.

Sanjay M Suman
Acrobat’s JavaScript is a great tool to extend the application, or to automate recurring tasks. There are several ways a JavaScript can be added to the application or a document (e.g. folder level scripts, validation scripts, event handling scripts, …), but regardless of how a script is written, chances are that the developer wants to test parts of the script in Acrobat’s Javascript console. This console window can be shown by either using the “Advanced>Document Processing>JavaScript Debugger…” menu item or Ctrl-J on Windows or Cmd-J on a Mac:
After the console or debugger window comes up, the user can then enter Javascript and execute it…
… that is, as long as a full keyboard with a numeric keypad is used. In Adobe’s documentation, we find the following instructions to execute Javascript typed into the console window:

The JavaScript console allows you to evaluate single or multiple lines of code. There are three ways to evaluate JavaScript code while using the interactive console:

To evaluate a portion of a line of code, highlight the portion and press either the Enter key on the numeric keypad or press Ctrl + Enter.
To evaluate a single line of code, make sure the cursor is positioned on that line and press either the Enter key on the numeric keypad or press Ctrl + Enter.
To evaluate multiple lines of code, highlight those lines and press either the Enter key on the numeric keypad or press Ctrl + Enter.
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by:Karl Heinz Kremer
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Here is a quick update: This is no longer necessary with Acrobat XI - Adobe finally added support for MacBook keyboards in the JavaScript console and script debugger.

The key combination Fn-Ctrl-Return will execute JavaScript in Acrobat XI.

Adobe Acrobat





Adobe Acrobat is a family of application software and Web services developed by Adobe Systems to view, create, manipulate, print and manage files in Portable Document Format (PDF). The family comprises Acrobat Reader (formerly Adobe Reader), Acrobat (formerly Acrobat Exchange) and The commercial proprietary Acrobat, available for Microsoft Windows and OS X only, can also create, edit, convert, digitally sign, encrypt, export and publish PDF files.