4 Replies Latest reply on Aug 29, 2016 11:47 AM by xavierc25266443

    Can I merge data files to *existing* spreadsheet?




      The "Merge Data Files into Spreadsheet" feature of Acrobat Pro is great, but there is one huge issue I want to ask about. Right now, when it puts the fillable form field data into an excel .csv file, the headings look something like "topmostSubform[0].Page1[0].f1_01_0_[0]" (cell B1), "topmostSubform[0].Page1[0].f1_02_0_[0]" (cell C1), and so on. The data from each field is in the column below its corresponding heading. Obviously, these headings are not very descriptive or intuitive. Is there a way to specify the headings of each column beforehand to something more descriptive (e.g. B1 = "Name", C1 = "Age", etc.)?


      Another solution, which would be even better and seemingly more plausible, is to merge the data into an existing .csv file rather than create a new one for each report. This way the form field data could simply be exported to an existing Excel spreadsheet (specifically, appended to the bottom, starting at the first blank row) with headings already defined by the user, one per column. This is the single biggest improvement I would suggest/feature I want to know about if it already exists. Right now the workaround is copying and pasting the .csv data into another spreadsheet (to the bottom, in the first available row) which does have those headings already set by me, though as you can imagine this is less than ideal.



        • 1. Re: Can I merge data files to *existing* spreadsheet?
          Karl Heinz Kremer Adobe Community Professional

          This functionality is not built into Acrobat. Whenever I need something like this, I use a VBA program in Excel to extract data and merge it with an existing document. If you want to go that route, you need to know how to program in VBA, and need an understanding of the Acrobat IAC (inter application communication) interface in the Acrobat SDK.

          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Can I merge data files to *existing* spreadsheet?
            xavierc25266443 Level 1

            I see. Time to learn how to program in VBA, I suppose. After I do, any rough idea how long/complex such a program would take to create/be? Would it be free (besides the cost of Acrobat Pro), and can I find quality tutorials/information on VBA programming online?

            • 3. Re: Can I merge data files to *existing* spreadsheet?
              Karl Heinz Kremer Adobe Community Professional

              All you need is Adobe Acrobat - both Pro and Standard will work. Take look here for some basic information about how to get data from a PDF form: Reading PDF Form Fields with VBA - KHKonsulting LLC


              To learn how to add data to a spreadsheet, you would have to look at the Excel VBA interface.


              What you need to do is to create an Excel VBA program, then open the PDF file you want to process (or use the currently open PDF file). Then, get the data from the form fields you are interested in and either create a new spreadsheet if none is open, or append the data to the currently open spreadsheet. When appending, make sure you know for sure that the format is correct (to prevent adding data to a document that has nothing to do with your PDF form).


              How long it will take to create such a program depends on the experience of the one implementing the application. For a basic application, somebody with experience can probably write something that works in a few hours, for somebody just starting out, it will of course take a lot longer. You can of course ask more questions here (actually, in the Acrobat SDK forum) when you get stuck. 


              If you decide that this is a bit too complex for you to tackle, there are a number of people here on the forums who you could hire (and yes, I would we one of them).

              1 person found this helpful
              • 4. Re: Can I merge data files to *existing* spreadsheet?
                xavierc25266443 Level 1

                Thanks for the information. I will give it a go and get back to you if it becomes too much to handle.