PDF Forms Designer Technical Overview


The Forms Designer is an application, written in 100% Java, that allows the user to graphicaly add, through a drag and drop mechanism, form fields to new, and existing PDF documents. The tool also caters for the possibility for the user to add free text and images. It is anticipated that in the near future the ability to add shapes and annotations (such as notes, and Hyperlinks) will also be added.

PDF Forms Designer Functionality

Form fields which may be added, include Text Fields, Check Boxes, Radio Buttons, Drop-down Lists, List boxes and Buttons. Fields are completely customizable, for example, text colour, style and size are editable.

Pre-existing PDF documents which contain form fields may also be loaded into the PDF Forms Designer. Such files will be parsed by the software, and the user will be able to completely edit these components.

One of the most exciting features of the PDF, is the ability to embed Javascript. This provides document authors, developers and system integrators with the ability to automate and maintain their PDF documents. The PDF Forms Designer provides a mechanism through which Javascript may be embedded.

Completing the PDF

Once the user has finished designing the PDF, it can be written out to file. iText is an open-source library (available under the MPL) which allows low level access to new and existing PDF documents. This library is used to write out the completed PDF.


In essence, the PDF Forms Designer is a client-based point-and-click graphical form design tool for the creation, and manipulation of PDF documents. It sits on top of the iText library, which it uses to write out the PDF file, and existing PDF documents are displayed using JPedal.