Using image fields

Designer has two types of image objects.

  • Image objects let you add a read-only image that users cannot edit on the form. This object is useful for enhancing the look of the form. For more information about this type of image object, see Using images .

  • Image field objects let you add an image that can be changed in an interactive form.

Image fields can be bound to an external data source or they can be scripted. Image fields support the merging of external image data through binding. When the data source contains a value for an image field, the image is rendered in the form. With this capability, images can be selected and loaded dynamically. For example, a form can enable users to choose catalog items and, through scripting, a picture of each item could be displayed as a result. If the form contains an empty image field, the path to the image identifies which image to display in the form.

Note: Interactive images in image field objects can be updated when the form is opened in Acrobat and Adobe Reader 7.0.5 and later. Interactive images become read-only and cannot be updated when the form is opened in Acrobat 6.0.2 and Adobe Reader 6.0.2. However, through scripting in an interactive PDF or HTML form created by Forms, a user could request the same form again merged with a different image.

Image field objects support these file formats:

Windows Bitmap (BMP)
Designer supports BMP images.

Joint Photographic Experts Group variations (JPG)
Designer supports JPG images that include digital camera Exchangeable Image File (EXIF) data.

Graphics Interchange Format (GIF)
Although Designer supports GIF images, animated GIF files are not supported. Designer also supports transparency within GIF files to allow for overlaying images on forms.

Portable Network Graphics (PNG)
Designer supports one transparency color within PNG files to allow for overlaying images on forms.

Tagged Image File (TIF)
Designer supports Monochrome (1 color component 1-bit depth), Greyscale (1 color component 8-bit depth), RGB (3 color components 8-bit depth), and Palette (1 color component 1,2,4,8-bit depths) TIF images.

An initial (default) image to insert at run time can be specified by either a file name or a Uniform Resource Locator (URL). Initially, the image is linked, which means that it is stored separately from the form and displayed when the form is opened. Alternatively, the image data can be embedded in the form when the form is created.

Important: Linking to an image is not a secure way to protect sensitive business data. If the image data is considered sensitive, you should embed it in the form. Also, you can use a secure HTTPS connection in conjunction with a URL. However, HTTPS protects the transmission of the image data only while the data is being transmitted; it does not protect access to the image (that is, no authentication is performed).

After you add an image field to the form design, you can manipulate the object’s properties in the Object palette. You can choose to define these properties:

Keep in mind that if the image file or a link to the image file is in the data file, the image only appears when the form is rendered and is not visible when you are designing the form. Also, if you plan on using the form offline, select the Embed Image Data option in the Field tab in the Object palette so that all components of the form are available.

To specify an initial (default) image to link

  1. In the Object palette, click the Field tab

  2. Do one of the following actions:

    • If you know the location of the image file, in the URL box, type the URL to the image file and press Enter.

    • To browse for the location of the image file, click the Browse button  to the right of the URL box, navigate to the image file that you want to insert and click Open.

    Note: To use relative path names for retrieving linked images when the form is opened, the image files must be stored in a folder that is accessible to users. If Forms is available, the path must be relative to Forms.

To embed image data in the form when the form is created

In the Object palette, click the Field tab and select Embed Image Data.

When you embed the image in the form, a copy of the image information is stored in the form. If the image field will be used to load images dynamically when the form is rendered, do not select the Embed Image Data option. To know more about the differences between embedding versus linking images, see this article.

Note: If you are using the paper forms barcode object, you should not select the Embed Image Data option unless you have assigned a collection, that does not include image fields, to the barcode. The embedded image data is larger than the paper forms barcode object can hold.

To size an image

  1. In the Object palette, click the Field tab.

  2. In the Sizing list, select one of these options to determine what happens when the image is loaded:

    • To resize the image in the object, ensure that the aspect ratio of the image is preserved, and select Scale Image Proportionally.

    • To resize the image to match the dimensions of the object, select Scale Image to Fit Rectangle. The aspect ratio of the image is not preserved.

    • To preserve the actual size of the image, select Use Original Size. The image is not resized.

To define custom data-binding properties for an image field

You can use binding options to build a form that captures data for enterprise infrastructures and/or use an external data source to populate a form at run time.

  1. Select the image field.

  2. Enable the form to connect to the data source when the form is opened.

  3. Bind the field to its corresponding data node. For information about how to bind objects to a data source, see “ Binding fields to a data source .

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