Getting started with Guides

Guides are an alternative method for collecting data from users, based on Adobe® Flash® technology, that steps users through the data entry experience. Each Guide is a collection of layouts, sections, panels, and controls that together provide an interface for users to view and fill. For example, the following image shows a Guide that can be used to collect information for an accident claim.

Along with the Guide, you can choose to provide a read-only or interactive PDF document rendition of the Guide. The read-only document often provides the contract or document of record of the transaction, which is useful for saving locally, printing, and archiving.

Guides provide various ways to customize and present information to Guide fillers. For example, Guides can be structured to group required data into logical clusters called sections. You select a Guide layout that defines the presentation of sections and dictates how Guide fillers navigate between sections. Each section includes one or more panels. Panels contain fields and navigation controls, such as Previous or Next buttons. The Guide then steps Guide fillers through data entry by section. In each section, the Guide can display Help text or video to assist Guide fillers with filling the fields in that section. You can also set conditions and rules to control the display of optional sections based on user-entered data. When the Guide is completed, Guide fillers submit the data either electronically or by printing a paper copy, according to the submission method defined by the Guide.

Guide requirements

* New for 9.5 *

Guides are rendered by a LiveCycle server and have specific server-side dependencies. To render a Guide, the following modules are required:

  • All Guides require Adobe® LiveCycle® Foundation.

  • Guides based on an application model (FML) require either Adobe® LiveCycle® Forms 9 or Adobe® LiveCycle® Process Management 9.

  • Guides based on an XDP or PDF form require Adobe® LiveCycle® Forms 9.

  • Guides that include a read-only document of record require Adobe® LiveCycle® Output 9.

Guide concepts

At runtime, a Guide consists of a Guide layout, panels, and navigation controls:

Guide layout:
The Guide container that specifies the navigation method and the position of each part within the container. It contains the navigation, data entry, and Guide Help panels, and the navigation controls. In Workbench, specify the Guide layout in the Guide Properties view.

navigation panel:
Contains the Guide hierarchy that lists the sections and data entry panels in the Guide. Use the hierarchy to organize the Guide content into logical, related groups of fields and text. The Guide layout determines the location of the navigation panel within the Guide container. In Workbench, add and organize the sections and panels in the Guide Tree view.

data entry panel:
Displays the model items, Guide controls, text, and Help for the selected panel. The Guide layout determines the location of the data entry panels within the Guide container. A Guide includes one or more data entry panels, but only one data entry panel is visible at a time. You can select an appropriate layout for each panel. The data entry panel is the only type of panel that you can select a layout for. In Workbench, design the panels in the editor.

Guide Help panel:
Displays the Help for the Guide, if Help is available. The Guide layout determines the location of the Guide Help panel within the Guide container. In Workbench, specify the Guide Help in the Guide Properties view for the Guide.

Navigation controls:
Can include navigation buttons. Navigation controls are automatically generated for each Guide layout at runtime.

The following example shows the parts of a Guide in a Guide layout.

Guide Design perspective

The Guide Design perspective consists of an editor and several views. Open the Guide Design perspective to create or edit Guides. The editor is a visual component that is used to edit or browse a Guide. The views support the editor. Use the views to interact with the model, structure your Guide, and navigate the information in Workbench.

Use one of these ways to open the Guide Design perspective:

  • Click the Guide Design Perspective icon in the toolbar.

  • Select Window > Open Perspective > Guide Design.

  • Select Window > Open Perspective > Other > and then select Guide Design, and click OK.

By default, perspectives always open in the same window. To open perspectives in a new window, edit the preferences.

Switch between perspectives

In Workbench, you can edit the preferences to automatically switch between the Data Model perspective and the Guide Design perspective.

  1. Select Window > Preferences.

  2. On the Preferences dialog box, select Adobe LiveCycle ES > Preferences.

  3. Select the Automatically Open Associated Perspectives When Editing Assets option.

Guide Design perspective views

The Guide Design perspective, by default, displays all views that are relevant to a user who is creating a Guide. You can modify which views are displayed, and the arrangement of views in the workspace, to suit your needs.

The Guide Design perspective uses the following views:

  • Editor

  • Guide Tree

  • Data Model

  • Guide Properties

  • Problems

Open a view

 Select Window > Show View > view, where view is the name of the specific view you want to display.

After you open a view, it becomes part of the current perspective until you close the view.


The editor allows you to navigate through the Guide tree by selecting individual sections and panels. You can also drag objects from the Data Model view directly onto specific panels in the editor.

The editor acts as both an interactive canvas for creating your Guide and a design-time preview of individual panels within your Guide. The editor includes a Preview button, so that you can preview your Guide in a browser while you work.

Guide Tree

The Guide Tree is a structured representation of the Guide, which displays the organization of sections, panels, and objects.

The Guide Tree also displays all errors and warnings for the items in the Guide.

An icon appears on each node and parent node that contains a problem. When you hover on a node, a message lists all the problems for the node. When you hover on a parent node, the message indicates that one or more child nodes has a problem.

Data Model

The Data Model view is a structured representation of the data model that the Guide is based on.

The data model can be created using the Adobe application modeling language (FML) in the Data Model perspective in Workbench. The data model can also be an XDP or PDF form created in Designer.

The Data Model view displays the entities and properties contained within a data model. It also displays additional items that you add for use in the current Guide.

Changes made in the Data Model view apply only to the current Guide, and are not saved in the original model. To change the model, edit the model source file. For example, edit the FML file in the Data Model perspective, or edit the XDP file in Designer.

The Data Model view also displays all errors and warnings for the items in the model. An icon appears on each node and parent node that contains a problem. When you hover on a node, a message lists all the problems for the node. When you hover on a parent node, the message indicates that one or more child nodes has a problem.

To create your Guide, drag items from the Data Model view into the editor and the Guide Tree view.

Guide Properties

The Guide Properties view includes options for configuring the panels and items within a Guide, and for configuring the Guide as a whole.


The Problems view displays all the errors and warnings for a Guide, including mobile compatibility issues.