I write this blog because I am working on a “not-small” project where it is very helpful to share the parts of the forms and this way speed up the development. I would like to tell the SDN word few things about the custom components/ LiveCycle designer elements, which can help you build reusable form parts and get your Adobe forms development to the next level. Hope I didn´t miss a blog post by some other expert on the same topicJ
You have to know what the “standard” components are; you use them every day when developing the forms. They are the text fields, drop downs, buttons etc. Note you can build your own custom components = reusable blocks of your forms, like the form header, form footer etc. which you would like to share among all the company forms (you place a logo there, user information who generates the form, you need to have all the header texts using exactly same styles etc.). You can use it anytime by just dragging and dropping the component the same way you do with the text field. Miracle is here. This can speed up/ help you maintain the form styles considerably.
How to create your custom components:
In the Hierarchy tab mark the subform you would like to reuse/ you would like to save as a reusable part. In the form layout tab click right mouse on the subform (this is sometimes very difficult, the editor does not help you, it took me some time to create that few components I use). Here choose “Add to Library…”, write in the name, the description you will find useful and pick a Library group/ tab to save the new custom component to. Now somewhere on your hard drive (on your local PC!!) XFO file was created. You can find the location of the file (of the files in the group/tab) using “Group properties…” in the “right-arrow-menu-in-library-tab”. But I was not able to find this location on my hard drive. Maybe I did something wrong. That´s why I have to find a workaround to get the files, use the “how to export” part below.
How to share/ export your custom library components:
At the right side of the library tab in you LCD there is a small but important arrow. If you use it to open the menu, there is a menu item “Shared Library location…”. This you can use to build one central shared library for the components from different developers on the same project or to have your custom components available on every machine you may work on your forms.
How to export/ import your custom library components:
Using the same arrow, there is a menu item saying “Group properties”. As mentioned above I was unable to locate the file path on my hard drive. I managed to export the xfo files this way:
- 1) I created a new folder on my desktop
- 2) I created a new tab/ group in my LCD library and in the group properties I set the path to the folder I created on my desktop in step 1
- 3) I went to the tab/ group where my custom component was saved, right mouse click, choose “Move Object to” and choose the tab/ group from step 2
- 4) Check your (desktop) folder, you should find a xfo file you can send/ share etc.