7 Replies Latest reply on Dec 17, 2017 10:10 PM by George_Johnson

    Auto-Complete Combo Boxes




      Currently, I have multiple combo boxes with over 50 different items in each and it would make my life a lot easier if I could I could figure out how to setup auto-complete and have the ability to type in a few letters and the item pops up.


      I ran across this thread for LiveCycle, http://adobelivecycledesignercookbookbybr001.blogspot.com/2013/05/drop-down-list-control-w ith-auto.html but I am not sure how to re-code it for Acrobat 11.


      Any help would be greatly appreciated.



        • 1. Re: Auto-Complete Combo Boxes
          Thom Parker Adobe Community Professional

          The version of Acrobat is not important. What matters is the type of form technology. Do you have a LiveCycle form? or an AcroForm?

          • 2. Re: Auto-Complete Combo Boxes
            Thom Parker Adobe Community Professional

            The technique described in the blog post for auto select can be done with an AcroForm. But its something you've have to play around with a bit to get right.

            • 3. Re: Auto-Complete Combo Boxes
              campbellc36855280 Level 1

              I have an AcroForm.


              I guess the question is can an Acroform auto-complete combo boxes?

              • 4. Re: Auto-Complete Combo Boxes
                Thom Parker Adobe Community Professional

                Actually, AcroForm comboboxes already have this feature built in.  Just set it to "allow user to enter custom value". If the user exposes the selections and starts typing, the list only shows matches.

                • 5. Re: Auto-Complete Combo Boxes
                  campbellc36855280 Level 1

                  Weird. I do have that enabled and auto-complete does not occur. I even have Auto-Complete (Advanced) enabled in the preferences. It works for text boxes but not any other fields.


                  This is why I was under the impression it might have to be coded.

                  • 6. Re: Auto-Complete Combo Boxes
                    Thom Parker Adobe Community Professional

                    Autocomplete is a feature of the viewer, not PDF.  So the one I described is a feature of the particular version of Acrobat that I have, Acrobat DC.  I don't know what they did in previous versions and it's ridiculous go around testing every version and viewer.


                    So given this viewer dependency it seems like a good idea to implement it on the PDF itself, to break the dependency.  But this is not such a great idea. Many viewers do not implement JavaScript at the level necessary to support the autocomplete implementation, and many don't implement JavaScript at all, such as both the google and apple PDF viewers, which are probably used more than Acrobat Reader. In these cases you need the real combobox.


                    There is a compromise solution, which is to provide both the combobox and the autocomplete setup. The autocomplete setup is hidden, and only made visible if the JavaScript environment is substantial enough to support it.


                    This is a lot of effort for a single feature.  Is your form worth it?

                    1 person found this helpful
                    • 7. Re: Auto-Complete Combo Boxes
                      George_Johnson MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                      I'm curious to know why it would make your life easier for a 50 item list? Please don't consider this question as a challenge to the validity of yours or as anything less than a sincere attempt to understand the problem. I tend to think of form design as an effort to make the user's life easier, in part at least.


                      In case you're not aware, if the user presses a letter when a combo box has the focus, the first item in the list that begins with that letter will be selected, and subsequent presses of that same letter will select the next item that begins with the letter, if any. This behavior is for the desktop versions (Windows/Mac) versions of Acrobat/Reader at least.