New Features

Please see the FDFMerge Options for the full documentation of the new features.

FDFMerge 7.2

-Support for comb fields

NOTE:  This feature is not currently supported on rotated pages

stampnewvalues – partially flatten form fields passed in using FDF and XFDF files. When this feature is present on the command line, all unfilled fields will remain active.

FDFMerge 7.0

-mergeflags Merge F and Ff flags along with the field Values in the FDF. For example, having the following in an FDF file will set the form field to ReadOnly when merging (will not work when stamping form fields, –s on command line)

/T(name) /V(John Smith) /Ff 1

-listfonts – Display a list of the fonts available to FDFMerge

-nowarning – Do not issue warnings about unused fields that are in the FDF/XFDF files but not present in the PDF form.

AutoSize fields are now supported

Font Support (Additional fonts now supported)

OpenType, TrueType, Type1 and Unicode fonts are now all supported in FDFMerge. In previous versions, FDFMerge used the FontFile parameter in the Form Info file when specifying a Type 1 font. In FDFMerge 7.0, you should only specify the FontName parameter in the Form Info file when using an OpenType, TrueType, Type 1, Unicode font.

Some of the classic Base14 fonts are no longer included with the application resources. In particular Times and Helvetica. Both of these fonts are automatically substituted; but, may not appear identical to the classic fonts. If the new font appearance are not accept-able; simply use the versions of Times and Helvetica available on your system. This can be done by setting the Font Directories; please see below. You can run the command
$ fdfmerge –listfonts
to see a list of all font names available for stamping. The font name should be entered into the Form Info file exactly as it is shown in the font list.

Font Directories

There are two font directories.

The default font directory is found under the AppligentHome directory in APDFLX.X.X/Resource/Font. On Windows, the AppligentHome directory is in the AllUsers Application data directory.

Windows : C:\Documents and Settings\All Users\Application Data\Appligent
Windows 7 and later: C:\ProgramData\Appligent

You can also specify an additional font directory, the AP font directory. The path to the AP font directory is saved in an environment variable called AP_FONT_DIR. You will be prompted to enter a font directory during installation.

On Windows: Environment variables can be set on Windows under the System Properties. To display the System Properties, right click on “My Computer” and select properties. On the bottom of the Advanced tab, click the button labeled “Environment Variables”. Under system variables, you will see an entry for AP_FONT_DIR. Select this entry, and click edit. You can then change the variable’s value to the path of the current font directory.

 On Unix: As the other environment variables for FDFMerge, AP_FONT_DIR is set in the fdfmerge script. The directory set in an environment variable in the script, or be set for the shell.

FontFile (deprecated)

The FontFile parameter has been deprecated. To use a non-base14 font with FDFMerge, add the font to one of the font directories and specify the FontName in the Form Info File. The FontFile parameter entries will be ignored. Previous versions of FDFMerge would allow the specified font file to override the FontName; currently the FontName has priority.

Support for Arabic in form fields

FDFMerge now supports Arabic in form fields.  In order for the information to appear correctly, the form field must be set “Right To Left”, alignment set to “Right” and contain a font that supports Arabic characters.

Known Issues with Version 7.0

1) Auto size is not supported for button fields and radio buttons.  Auto size not supported in rotated fields
2) At times, text in form fields may automatically crop to the field borders. To disable this  behavior, set CropToField (No) in the Form Info file.
3) FontXScale and FontYScale are currently not working in this release

FDFMerge 6.0

Document optimization (-optimize)

For document optimization, use -optimize. This flag will do the following:

  1. encode any non-encoded streams using Flate compression
  2. remove ASCII85 filters from all streams
  3. replace LZW encoded streams with Flate encoding
  4. merge identical XObjects and images
  5. optimize common sequences in page content
  6. merge identical font descriptors and encodings

This option will usually result in a smaller file size.

ISO 32000 compliance (-iso32000)

To create a document that is ISO 32000 compliant, use -iso32000. This flag will do the following: Set the file for ISO 32000 compliance, resulting in a document that is PDF version 1.7.

Command collections (-cmds)

To process multiple commands quickly and efficiently, use the -cmds <filename> option. The file specified by -cmds, the commands file, should contain one or more single line commands. Each command is just like an ordinary FDF Merge command-line without the executable name. The commands file does not support wildcards in filenames.

When you use the -cmds option, many of the FDFMerge options should be set in the -cmds file instead of on the command line. The following options are supported on the command line when using the -cmds option: -r, -l, -n, -p

If the same option is set on the command line and in the a record of the -cmds file, the option value from the -cmds file record will be used.

For more information on the -cmds option, see Command Collections.

Known Limitations and Issues

Unicode issues

Higher order ASCII characters not supported in xFDF file. If you use higher order ASCII characters, you must use an FDF file, not an xFDF file.

Adobe® Acrobat® problem with newline characters. Due to a problem with the way Acrobat handles newline characters in form fields, use either the -s option or -norebuild option when merging double-byte characters.

First character in a CJK form field must be a CJK character.

/octal values no longer supported in xFDF. Use hexadecimal codes for CJK characters or FDF files for higher order ASCII characters.

Unicode on rotated pages. Unicode characters do not appear correctly on rotated pages.

Do not mix UTF-16 hexadecimal codes with UTF-8 characters or ASCII. If you use UTF-16 hexadecimal codes in a value field, use all UTF-16 characters for that value. Do not mix UTF-16 characters with UTF-8 characters or ASCII text. Make sure the font for the Field in question is set to one of the supported CJK fonts.

Display problems in Acrobat

Acrobat sometimes displays crosses in check boxes in a plain font. This is an issue with Acrobat and not FDFMerge. They should display correctly if you do not use the -norebuild option.

No support for Signatures

Although the Adobe Acrobat forms tool may be used to add a Signature field, it will be ignored by FDFMerge. If you flatten the file, the signature field will be removed as well.

No support for FDF Templates

The Form Data Format (FDF) supports a construct known as “Templates” where, within the Acrobat environment, the FDF file will cause additional pages to be added to the PDF file as they are needed. FDFMerge does not support FDF Templates and will not add additional pages to a PDF file. Templates also allow use of non-exact names for form fields. FDFMerge will not work unless the field name in the FDF file exactly matches the name of the form field in the PDF file.

Encrypted files may not be used

FDFMerge cannot open encrypted files. Users must have Edit permission for any files used by FDFMerge.

Autosize is not supported

When using text fields in PDF forms, be sure to specify a point size for the text since the Autosize feature is not supported by FDFMerge.

The sort and multiple select options for list boxes are not supported

If your form has one item selected, FDFMerge’s stamped output will show the selection in red (i.e., the list is displayed in full with the selected choice printed in red). If more than one selected list item is entered into the FDF file, FDFMerge will fail. If multiple selection or sort is checked in the form field properties for the list box, it will not display properly (the entire list will not be displayed, and the selected entry will print in black). If your list box is set to be sorted, FDFMerge will not sort the data in the PDF form—any list will be printed as it is listed in the PDF form. This behavior is true for both stamped and merged documents.

Button stamping and merging behavior with regard to formatting

In Acrobat, when you put in a button field, you can specify the button to be Text, Icon, or Icon and Text. Buttons containing text (Text or Icon and Text) will be maintained after a merge, but will not be stamped on the form. When stamping a mixed button of Icon and Text, only the icon will stamp.

When you set a border around a PDF icon, specify the PDF from within the Acrobat form (so the PDF form displays the button and the border when you view it in Acrobat), and use FDFMerge on the form with the -s option, with no reference to the button in the FormInfo file or the FDF file (i.e., not changing the button in any way using FDFMerge), the button will display with the border. If you use FDFMerge to put the PDF icon into the button, there will not be a border. In other words, if only Acrobat touches the field, the border will come through. If FDFMerge touches the field, the border will not appear.

FDF files must be in PDDocEncoding

Files exported directly from Acrobat will work correctly. Files created by hand must use the PDDocEncoding scheme for high ASCII characters. See PDF Reference Appendix D on Adobe’s website.

Stamping landscaped pages into a button

This issue concerns using a page of a PDF document to stamp into a button. When using a page for a button that has been rotated to be in a landscape format and it is stamped or merged into a PDF, the image in the output document will be rotated. The current workaround is to set the rotation of the button in the form field to be 90 or 270 degrees. To change the rotation of a form field go to the Field Properties, Common Properties tab, Orientation.

To Get Help

Documentation for FDFMerge can be found at /fdfmerge/.

Contact technical support by:

emailing, or calling 610-284-4006

Please provide the following:

Product name and version number
Operating system
Your name, company name, email address, and phone number
Description of your question or problem

Responses are typically emailed within one business day.