Choosing a scripting language

Designer supports scripting with both FormCalc and JavaScript. Each scripting language presents its advantages that you should be aware of before you write any scripts on your form.

FormCalc is a calculation language that includes a wide range of built-in functions to simplify the most common form functionality. For example, you can use FormCalc financial functions to evaluate the size of a loan payment based on the principle amount, interest rate, and number of payment periods.

JavaScript is a more powerful and diverse scripting language, intended to give you more flexibility and leverage your existing scripting knowledge. For example, you can reuse your existing JavaScript functions in Designer to reduce the amount of new scripting you need to create.

Note: Designer supports JavaScript version 1.6 or earlier.

You can choose the scripting language that is used for new forms in the Workspace panel in the Options dialog box, and for the current form on the Defaults tab in the Form Properties dialog box.

The scripting language that is displayed in the Language list in the Script Editor matches the scripting language option you select as the default for new forms. However, if you change the scripting language setting for the current form, the scripting language that is displayed in the Language list changes similarly for new scripts on new events. Changing the scripting language option in the Form Properties dialog box does not change the scripting language that was used for existing scripts. If an event already contains some script and that script is deleted, the Script Editor continues to use that scripting language for the duration of your Designer working session.

Note: Effective March 10, 2012, Adobe is deprecating the Guides capabilities of Adobe® LiveCycle® ES. The Guides functionality is available for upgrade purposes only and will be removed from the product after two major releases.

The following table highlights some of the key differences between FormCalc and JavaScript.



Native Adobe calculation language valid in Designer and Forms

Standard scripting language used in many popular software applications

Shorter scripts (typically one line only)

Supports script looping

Potential for longer scripts, if necessary, with the ability to use looping

Not supported by form Guides (deprecated)

Supported by form Guides (deprecated)

Contains a variety of useful built-in functions to reduce the amount of scripting required to accomplish common form design tasks

Provides access to the Acrobat Object Model and the JavaScript capabilities of Acrobat

Support for international dates, times, currencies, and number formats

Debugging possible by using the JavaScript debugger in Acrobat

Built-in URL functions for Post , Put , and Get allow web-based interactions

Create custom functions for your own specific needs

Compatible on all Designer and Forms supported platforms

Compatible on all Designer and Forms supported platforms

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