WindJack Solutions, Inc.


AcroButtons 2.0

AcroButtons is a one of a kind solution for quickly and easily adding custom, scriptable, and portable buttons to the Adobe® Acrobat® toolbar.


Scriptable Toolbar buttons are a powerful user interface feature that give you and your users three very big advantages.

  1. A Toolbar Button is like a Lightweight plug-in:
    These buttons can be used for everything from making menu items easily accessible to performing complex document manipulations (the traditional domain of plug-ins). Improve efficiency by automating tasks and making advanced Acrobat functionality available to employees and customers without making them follow a list of complex instructions or become experts.
  2. A Toolbar Button is Portable:
    Toolbar buttons created with AcroButtons are built entirely with Acrobat JavaScript. Once built, they are independent of the AcroButtons tool. They can be used in every Acrobat product (6.0 or greater) that executes JavaScript This means Acrobat Professional, Standard, and Reader on both the Windows and Macintosh platforms. Build it once, use it everywhere, give it out to anyone.
  3. A Toolbar Button can be Embedded into a PDF Document!!
    The button travels with the PDF and is displayed on the toolbar only when the document is open. It's the only Acrobat user interface element for a document that is always visible and accessible to the user, no matter how the document is zoomed or scrolled. Place "Submit" and "Help" buttons and your company logo with a link to your web site on the toolbar where they are always visible. Perfect for specialized document tools like navigation and search.

What? My PDF Document can put a button on the Acrobat Toolbar? Yes It Can!
Easily embed Toolbar Buttons in PDF documents- embedding toolbar buttons into PDF documents adds a new dimension to the document's user interface. They become available when the document is opened and disappear when it is closed. This lets you do things like always have a visible Submit button on the toolbar for long forms, a Buy Button on brochures, etc. Users can click the button from anywhere in an open document, saving you from creating buttons for every page. Intrigued? Then keep reading to check out the major features of AcroButtons that make creating your own Acrobat toolbar buttons a quick and easy task!


Scriptable Toolbar buttons are a powerful user interface feature that give you and your users three very big advantages.

  • Choose Your Button Icon
    from other PDF documents, image files (PDF, BMP, JPEG, GIF, PNG...), or from over 250 ready to go images provided with AcroButtons, featuring designs from The Iconfactory. Make button images make sense to you, others in your organization, and readers of your PDF documents. Use your company logo, your face, your imagination.
  • AcroButton's Quick Select Feature
    makes creating button images easy. It will automatically create button sized images from anything you select from a PDF document. No editing necessary.
  • Choose Your Button's Action
    Create your own from scratch or select from a list of over 30 predefined JavaScript Actions provided with the program, all common and very useful actions. A few of the JavaScrippets included are Add File Name to Doc, Add Modified Date to Doc, Flatten Form, Delete All Fields, GoTo Web page, Mail Form Data, Mail PDF File, New Doc, New Page, Submit Form Data, and many more. Make use of powerful JavaScript capabilities in Acrobat without having to be a JavaScript expert.
  • Batch Processing:
    AcroButtons adds two commands to Acrobat's batch processing command list so you can manage toolbar buttons in large numbers of PDFs. One of these commands is specifically for adding and removing toolbar buttons to/from documents. The other command is for adding and removing entire JavaScript files to/from PDFs, giving you a powerful tool for general JavaScript management in PDFs, including control of the document actions (willSave, willPrint, willClose, etc.).
  • AcroButtons Toolbar Buttons are Pure Acrobat JavaScript
    making them very portable. Toolbar buttons created with AcroButtons are platform independent (Windows or Mac), work with Reader 6 or 7, and can be shared with everyone in your organization, your customers, correspondence lists, etc.
  • Button Management:
    AcroButtons give you a full range of options for creating, editing, deleting and embedding buttons. Toolbar Buttons can easily be moved from folder level to document, or from document to document. All buttons can be edited in place, wherever they are, and then put on the toolbar without having to restart Acrobat. As a document creator many odd situations will occur for you that an end user will rarely see, such as multiple buttons with the same name. AcroButtons provides management features to help you to handle these situations cleanly.
  • Advanced Mode:
    AcroButtons creates defaults and provides easy select options for the many features of a toolbar button. Advanced mode exposes all these features for low level custom manipulation.
  • JavaScript Compatibility:
    Big changes were made between Acrobat 6.0 and 7.0 in the JavaScript security model and the rules for creating toolbar buttons. AcroButtons handles these differences and creates toolbar buttons that work seamlessly in either version.
  • AcroButtons' Image Prep Tool
    helps you create the best button from images you select with cropping, masking, scaling, and automatic sizing features.
  • Easy JavaScript Debugging
    JavaScript programmers will appreciate being able to edit and test their Folder Level scripts within AcroButtons without having to restart Acrobat after every edit. The AcroButtons Properties Panel is a floating window so you can work with the button and the JavaScript debugger simultaneously.

AcroButtons Tutorials

Take a Quick tour of AcroButtons with our Quick Start Tutorials, covering the basic features and steps to create your own custom Acrobat toolbar buttons.

AcroButtons Quick Start (615 KB PDF)

Turn Any Acrobat Menu Item Into a One-Click Operation

AcroButtons Usage Example Video Part 1- Automating Acrobat (2.8 MB Flash Media- ~6 minutes)

AcroButtons Usage Example Video Part 2- Using Embedded toolbar buttons (4.8 MB Flash Media ~5 minutes)

Frequently Asked Questions

1. I tried downloading AcroButtons but never received the response email. How do I get a trial version to check out?

A: All Windjack Solutions Products are downloaded through a managed process. A download request is made, after which an email is sent with a one time link to a download file. You may make as many requests as you like. It is possible that the email was blocked by your company's firewall. We will happily provide you with a direct link to the download. Without your email we would have never known about your particular download problem and been able to provide you with a download link, so thank you very much for contacting us.

2. Can I return my software for a refund?

A: The software products available on our web site are downloadable, fully functional and try-before-you-buy. We offer all customers a Free trial period to let you fully evaluate our products risk-free before you make a purchase decision. If you purchase one of our products, after your payment has cleared you will recieve an email with the license code to permanently activate the software. We do not offer refunds on software after the license code has been emailed or delivered to the customer. We have this policy since it would be impossible for you to return your registered version of our software. Unlike physical goods, electronically distributed software and software licenses can be duplicated. Once a license has been issued it is unfortunatley not possible for us to recall all copies. Therefore, WindJack Solutions, Inc does not accept product returns or exchanges. During the free trial period we offer free support via email and are available to answer any questions about our products. We strongly recommend that all customers download, install and test the trial version of any product before making a purchase.

3. I want to distribute a toolbar button I created with the AcroButtons tool to all 10 members of my group- do I need to purchase a license for all 10 people?

A: That's not necessary. You only need to purchase a license for those people who want to create toolbar buttons with AcroButtons. Once a toolbar button is created you may give it out freely to whomever you wish at no charge.

4. I created a Toolbar button with AcroButtons and now I want to distribute it to my group. How do I do that?

A: This is a two step process.  First you must identify the File that the toolbar button is stored in and then copy this file into the Acrobat JavaScript folder on your colleagues computer.  AcroButtons creates Acrobat Toolbar Button definitions with a block of JavaScript code.  This block of code is typically stored in an Acrobat JavaScript file.  In fact, AcroButtons asks for the name and location to place this file when you save the button for the first time.  The name and location of this file are displayed at the top of the AcroButtons Properties Panel when the button is selected for editing.  This is the file you distribute to your colleagues. 

In order for Acrobat to use the button definition file, it must be placed in the Acrobat JavaScript Folder. This the same folder in which the button definition file is on your system.  Your colleagues will also have a similar folder on their systems.  Typically, the location of this folder on a Microsoft Windows system will be:

Full Acrobat: C:\\Program\Files\Adobe\Acrobat 7.0\Acrobat\JavaScript

Reader: C:\\Program\Files\Adobe\Acrobat 7.0\Reader\JavaScript.

On a Mac this folder is inside the Acrobat Package.

5. Will a toolbar button created with AcroButtons work in Acrobat Reader?

A: Yes, because the button definition is created with JavaScript. JavaScript is platform and version independent. This makes the toolbar buttons created with AcroButtons completely portable to any Acrobat tool that is version 6.0 or greater (JS toolbar buttons were implemented in Acrobat 6). For security reasons there are of course some restrictions on the specific JavaScript commands that can be used by a particular version and type of Acrobat. For example, commands that permanently alter a document cannot be used with Reader. So the toolbar button itself will display and operate in Reader, but the operation the toolbar button performs may be restricted

6. Can I make toolbar buttons for Mac users with AcroButtons?

A: Yes, you sure can. Again, because the button definitions are created with JavaScript. While we do not currently have a Mac version of the AcroButtons program so Mac users can "create" custom toolbar buttons, once a toolbar button is created, it can be both copied to, and used on a Mac.

7. AcroButtons seems perfect for automating some Acrobat tasks for my whole group but I don't know JavaScript. Do you do custom JavaScript work for specific Acrobat toolbar buttons?

A: AcroButtons writes the toolbar JavaScript for you, and it comes with several JavaScript commonly requested actions you can just pick off a list, no JavaScript knowledge is necessary. However, the real power of AcroButtons lies in your ability to customize the button operation for your own particular purpose. Most of the time this can be accomplished with small modifications to the scripts that are provided with the tool, or by copying and pasting scripts from another source. We can give you some guidance on modifications and we offer development services. We have written custom JavaScript actions for many of our customers, some simple, and some complex. Just contact to see if we can help you with your specific need and for a quote for the work.

8. Is it possible to create an AcroButton that, when clicked, will create a form field on the page?

A: Yes, this is in fact one of the most common operations done with AcroButtons. Several of the included button actions add fields to a PDF Document, from adding date and filename fields, to placing Previous/Next page buttons, and even a sample that adds a field with custom appearance parameters like border style and font. Each of these button actions can be modified for your own purpose or used as a template for creating your own button action script.

9. I have made an AcroButton which places the filename on the .pdf that I am viewing. It places the filename in a fixed location each time. This is helpful, however, I would like the field to be placed at a different location.

A: It is a simple operation to modify the geometry of field placement. It does however require some minimal scripting knowledge. All scripts provided with AcroButtons use the size of the first page in the document for determining the placement location of the button. First, the page rectangle is retrieved from Acrobat with the "this.getPageBox" function. This rectangle is an array of four numbers that represent the Left, Top, Right, and Bottom sides of the page. The coordinate system in Acrobat is always 72 points/inch. So to place a field one half inch to the left and below the top of a page, use the following code to modify the page rectangle.

     var rect = this.getPageBox("Crop",0); //Get Page Rectangle
     rect[0] += 36; // Add half inch to left side
     rect[1] -= 36; // Subtract half inch from the top
     rect[2] = rect[0] + 72; // Make field one inch long
     rect[3] = rect[1] - 18; // Make field a quarter inch high

This is the only modification that needs to be done to the existing scripts to change the location of field placement.

10. Will AcroButtons allow me to create a button in my pdf that will flatten and or remove hidden layers - leaving me with only the visible layer?

A: Yes, in fact we created a demo AcroButton that does exactly this. You can download it from the "free stuff" page.

11. I want to automate some Acrobat Menu Items by making them toolbar buttons. Can I do that with AcroButtons?

A: Sure- we have a step-by-step article on just how to do this in our Resources section. Click here to read it.

12. Will AcroButtons allow me to create a button in my pdf that will flatten and or remove hidden layers - leaving me with only the visible layer?

A: Yes, in fact we created a demo AcroButton that does exactly this. You can download it from the "free stuff" page.

13. I created a toolbar button with AcroButtons but the only way I can use it seems to be embedding it into a PDF. We want to add a toolbar button to the Acrobat toolbar, not put them into every PDF- am I missing something?

A: When you first create a JavaScript toolbar button with AcroButtons it, or rather the JavaScript that creates the toolbar button, is written into a Folder Level JavaScript file (*.js) in Acrobat's JavaScript folder ( feel free to examine the code). At the same time it is saved it should also appear on the "Add-On Tools" toolbar. Right click on the general toolbar area to display a list of available toolbars and make sure the Add-On Tools is checked. The newly created toolbar button is active, available for immediate use, and is not associated with any document. If the toolbar button did not appear then there may be some error in the Button JavaScript that is preventing the completion of the script. Check the JavaScript Console (Ctrl-J) for any error messages and please contact WindJack Solutions Support so we can help get you back on track

14. I embedded a toolbar button into a PDF but it shows up in a floating window in Acrobat 7. How can I dock my toolbar button into the toolbar?

A: This is a change that Adobe made in Acrobat 7- toolbar buttons created with JavaScript and embedded into PDFs now show up in their own floating toolbar. While the change is slightly irritating for those that are used to the single, docked, toolbar, it's actually an improvement since it solves an array of button management and security problems. Each document has it's own toolbar that's only visible when that document is in the foreground and the buttons can only effect their host documents. No more problems with confusing the user over which button is associated with which document and which buttons are application buttons versus document buttons.

The floating document toolbar isn't supposed to be docked, but it can be. When a floating toolbar is visible, right click on the toolbar area and select "Doc All Toolbars" from the popup menu. This is an over-site in Acrobat and may be fixed in some future version so don't count on it.

15. Can the message Warning: JavaScript Window be replaced?

A: This is another change that was made in Acrobat 7. It is a security measure that applies only to Embedded Buttons that are displayed in Acrobat 7 products. It's intended to advise the user that the Toolbar Buttons belong to Document JavaScript so that they are not fooled into believing them to be official Acrobat buttons. Since Documents can come from anywhere, Acrobat does not automatically know whether the Document can be trusted. We think Acrobat is already a very secure environment and this warning is overkill.

The only way to remove the warning from an Embedded Button is to Certify the document. Certification tells Acrobat the document can be trusted. But, in order for it to work, the public part of the certificate that was used to certify the document must be on the users system. If it's not there, the warning will appear

16. Can the title bar name be changed from JavaScript Window?

A: No, this is the name of the Document's Toolbar. Maybe one day Acrobat will support the creation of named toolbars, but right now they all have the same name.

17. We created 5 toolbar buttons with AcroButtons. Now we want to embed all 5 of the buttons into 100 PDFs. We would like to just say "add these 5 buttons to the following directory containing these 100 PDF docs. Is this possible?

A: Sure. If you take a look in the Acrobat Batch Processing command list you should see an entry there for AcroButtons. You will need to use one command for each button you wish to embed. AcroButtons also adds a batch command for inserting and removing General purpose JavaScripts into and from any of the document level locations.

18. If I uninstall AcroButtons can I keep using the toolbar button I created with it?

A: Yes, you can keep using it. AcroButtons creates JavaScript code. Once this code is created the AcroButtons tool is not needed to use it. You can give the code to anyone that has Acrobat and they will be able to use it too- on both Windows and Mac.

19. What kind of support do you provide for AcroButtons?

A: WindJack Solutions provides free technical support for all of our products via email. If your issue is complex we are happy to have a phone conversation with you too.

20. We envision having buttons that would not have an icon, but would only have a caption. How would we implement this with AcroButtons?

A: Button Labels are only supported in Acrobat 7 and later. Simply add some text to the Label field in the AcroButtons Properties Panel and you have a button with a label. Clear the button icon and you will have a label only button.

Creating a label only button In Acrobat 6 is a little more difficult since Acrobat 6 only supports image buttons. But the solution is fairly straight forward. You create an image of the text you want for the label. The easiest way to do this is to enter the text into a text field on a PDF, then select the button's icon from that PDF document

21. I've tried to embed the buttons but it doesn't seem to work.

A: There are a few reasons why a button may not embed into a document.

  1. An error in the button code. Check the JavaScript console window for exception reports and test the button in a folder level script first, before embedding. If button is displayed, and works, when the "test" button is pressed it should embed properly
  2. The PDF has security on it. Document security will prevent AcroButtons from being able to write the button definition into the document.
  3. The PDF is an XFA, or LiveCycle Designer 7 document. Because the forms and JavaScript engine for these document types is very different than for traditional PDF files, Acrobat blocks access to many internal areas of the PDF. The button definition JavaScript must be manually copied into the Designer 7 document.

22. I'm using LiveCycle Designer 7. Where/how do I manually copy the AcroButtons code into the PDF?

A: First, you must have LiveCycle Designer 7. It came bundled with the distribution of Acrobat 7.0. It started being sold as a separate product with Acrobat 7.1

If you have not already done so, save the AcroButton to a file (from the AcroButtons Properties Panel), then open this file in a text or JavaScript editor. Don't use a formatted text editor like MS Word. Select and copy the entire contents of the file. Now startup LiveCycle Designer and open the PDF file. The button definition code (the contents of the button file) can be used in just about any location in the Designer Document. The best location though is the Forms "docReady" script. This script is at the very top level of the Form hierarchy. To get to it,

  1. Display the "Hierarchy" and the "Script Editor" windows (from the Window menu)
  2. Select the top level node in the "Hierarchy" window. This node is usually named "F".
  3. Select "docReady" from the "Show" list in the "Script Editor" window.
  4. Paste the button definition code into the "Script Editor" window.
  5. Select "JavaScript" from the "Language" list in the "Script Editor" window.

23. Can the toolbars be hidden except for AcroButtons (using full-screen mode for instance)?

A: Yes you can and this is a great feature. You can put a toolbar on your full screen documents. To do this you MUST execute a toolbar button definition after the document has already gone into fullscreen mode. The best way to do this is to move the bottom part of the button definition script, the part that does the actual button creation, into the Page Open Action for the first page of the document. It also works if you just move the entire button definition into the Page Open Action.

24. I want to create Acrobat Toolbar Buttons that will interact with an external application.

A: Unfortunately, there is no direct connection between Acrobat JavaScript and the world outside Acrobat. For example, there is nothing equivalent to the Active X objects that can be used with Visual Basic in MS Office scripting. This is part of what makes Acrobat a safe and secure environment.

There are however, a few things you can do to communicate with an external application through the internet. Acrobat provides 3 ways to "talk" over the internet, but you'll need to be a programmer to take advantage of them.

  1. The app.launchURL() function. This function simply passes an URL to the local browser. But, you could use it with parameters to activate a CGI script, or to simply touch a web site.
  2. The doc.submitForm() function. This function is very flexible. It uses the HTTP Get or Put operation to send data to a web server. Data can be in one of several formats. Data should be returned as FDF or some other data format.
  3. The SOAP Object. This object is used to communicate to a web service using the SOAP format.

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