Scripting for (deprecated) Guides and HTML

This document outlines the XML Form Object Model scripting events, objects, properties, and methods that are available for forms rendered in HTML and as Guides.

This content is relevant for form developers interested in either creating scripts for forms that will be rendered into HTML or as Guides, or in maintaining existing scripting capabilities across several form output types. Knowledge of JavaScript™, the XML Form Object Model, as well as data binding using Adobe® LiveCycle® Designer 10 is expected.

When you create forms using Designer, you have the option of rendering those forms in either PDF or HTML format. Using the Guide Design perspective in Workbench, you can also create Guides based on Adobe Flash® technology. End users view each of the formats (PDF, HTML, and Guides) by using an associated client application. The following table provides an overview of the client applications required to view PDF forms, HTML forms, and Guides.


Client application


Adobe Acrobat® Professional, Acrobat Standard, Adobe Reader®


Microsoft® Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Netscape Navigator, Apple® Safari


Adobe Flash Player

Note: While end users may view the PDF form, HTML form, or Guide in an application such as Adobe LiveCycle Workspace 10, it is important to remember that it is the underlying client technology that is responsible for displaying the form or Guide and its data.

Not all form features available in Designer are available across all output formats. Forms rendered in PDF format, by default, have access to the full XML Form Object Model, including all scripting events, objects, properties, and methods. Forms rendered in HTML format or as Guides have access to only a portion, or subset, of the XML Form Object Model. The following diagram illustrates the relationship between the full XML Form Object Model and the subsets available for HTML forms and Guides. Note that the support for Guides is a subset of the full XML Form Object Model, and that the support for HTML forms is a subset of what is supported for Guides.

The reduced scope of the XML Form Object Model for HTML forms and Guides means that if you are creating form designs that may be rendered in either of those formats, you will need to consider how to structure your form scripting. To prevenet unexpected results, avoid referencing objects, properties, or methods that are not available.

Note: Guides support version 2.8 of the XML Form Object Model (XFA).

For information about the availability of other features, see Target Version Referenceand Transformation Reference.

Objects that support scripting

Designer uses two separate definitions of objects with respect to scripting:

  • Objects that you add to your form design from the Object Library palette

  • Objects exposed from the underlying XML architecture of a form design

Architecturally, objects that exist within the Object Library palette are more meaningful representations of objects exposed in the underlying XML. In fact, all objects available in the Object Library palette are derived from only four XML objects: contentArea, draw, field, and subform.

The Designer scripting model allows you to reference objects directly using the name of the object. For example, if you have a text field on your form, and you want to set its value, you could use the following JavaScript:

TextField1.rawValue = "Hello World";

From an architectural perspective, this is logically equivalent to the following:

field.rawValue = "Hello World";

The following table outlines how the Object Library objects map to their underlying XML equivalents.

Object on the Standard tab of the Object Library

Derived from

Content Area


Circle, Image, Line, Rectangle, Text


Barcodes (all), Button, Check Box, Date/Time Field, Decimal Field, Drop-Down List, Email Submit Button, HTTP Submit Button, Image Field, List Box, Numeric Field, Paper Forms Barcode, Password Field, Print Button, Radio Button, Reset Button, Signature Field, Text Field


Subform, Table (each body row, header row, and footer row is a distinct subform object)



Note: You cannot script against Designer objects derived from contentArea or draw objects. To find what properties and methods are available for your Object Library objects, consult either the field or subform sections of Object-Level Scripting Support.

In addition to objects available from the Object Library in Designer , objects that are only available through scripting are supported by HTML forms and Guides. The table below outlines how you reference the supported scripting model objects using script:

Supported scripting model objects











For more information on the entire Adobe XML Form Object Model, see Adobe LiveCycle Designer 10 Scripting Reference.

// Ethnio survey code removed