Defining Adobe Acrobat (PDF) files

When you define an ACL table from an Adobe Acrobat (PDF) file, the Data Definition Wizard attempts to identify the fields in the file automatically based on recurring patterns in the file. Depending on the complexity of the file you are defining, ACL may only be able to identify some of the required fields, may identify some fields incorrectly, or the application may not be able to identify a pattern in the data. In most cases, you will need to manually identify some of the records and fields in the file you are defining.

To create a table from a PDF file:

  1. Select File > New > Table.

    The first page displayed in the Data Definition Wizard depends on your configuration. If integration with ACL Server is enabled the Select Platform for Data Source page is displayed, otherwise the Select Local Data Source page is displayed.

  2. Complete one of the following steps to select the location of the file:
    • If the Select Platform for Data Source page is displayed and you want to use ACL to define the file, select Local and click Next. In the Select Local Data Source page select Disk and click Next.

    • If the Select Platform for Data Source page is displayed and you want to use an ACL Server to define the file, select ACL Server and select the server profile from the drop-down list, and then click Next. In the Select ACL Server Data Source page select Flat Files and click Next.

    • If the Select Local Data Source page is displayed select Disk and click Next.

  3. In the Select File to Define dialog box, locate and select the file you want to create the ACL table from and click Open. Adobe Acrobat files have a .pdf file extension.
  4. In the File Format page, verify that the PDF Adobe Acrobat file option has been selected and click Next.
  5. If the file is password protected, you are prompted to enter it in the PDF File Definition page. Enter the required password in the Enter Password text box and click Next.
  6. By default, all pages in the PDF file are imported by the Data Definition Wizard. If you want to limit the import to a specific subset of pages, you can select the Pages option, and then specify the pages to import. You can specify individual pages separated by commas (1,3,5), page ranges (2-7), or a combination (1, 3, 5-7, 11). Specify the appropriate settings in the Page Range panel and click Next.
  7. The PDF File Definition page contains the file definition area for identifying the Detail, Header, and Footer records that contain the data you want to include in your ACL table, and the fields in each record. Depending on the complexity of your report file this step may be mostly automated by ACL or may require that you manually define the PDF file. You need to complete one or both of the following tasks:

    For more information on defining records and fields, see File definition examples.

  8. Click Next.
  9. In the Save Data File As dialog box, modify the file name and location for the ACL data file, if necessary, and click Save.
  10. In the Edit Field Properties page, you can modify the name and properties for each field by selecting the appropriate column heading in the preview table, in the bottom half of the page, and updating any of the following properties:
    • Ignore this field – If you do not want the field to be included in the ACL table layout, select this checkbox.

    • Name – Keep the name assigned by ACL for the field in the table layout, or enter a different name.

    • Column Title – Enter the column title to display in the default ACL view. If a column title is not specified the Name value is used.

    • Type – Select the appropriate data type from the drop-down list. For information about the supported data types in ACL, see ACL data types.

      The Decimal and Input Format text boxes appear automatically when you select the corresponding data type.

    • Value – A read-only property that displays the first value in the field. The value is updated based on any edits you make.

    • Decimal (numeric fields only) – Specify the appropriate number of decimal places.

    • Input Format (datetime fields only) – Specify the format that matches the data. For more information about date and time formats, see Formats of date and time source data.

  11. Click Next after you have finished editing the field properties you want to change.
  12. In the Final page, verify the settings for the new ACL table and click Finish.
  13. Enter a name for the ACL table you are adding to the project, or keep the default name, and click OK.


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