Orbeon Forms both features PDF production and the ability to test a form in Form Builder. The latter allows you to run your form in a special “test” mode, where you can test a few of the form’s features without having to deploy it.
But so far there wasn’t a way to test PDF production without publishing your form. This is now improved with Orbeon Forms 2021.1, which allows you to do just that!
How to test PDF production
There are two ways to access the “Test PDF” function:
- directly from the Form Builder’s main window’s new “Test” menu
- from the “Test Form” window
In either case, selecting “Test PDF” shows the following dialog:
You have access to the following options:
- “Disable the evaluation of ”Initial Values“ formulas”: when selected, all “Initial Value” formulas are disabled, as if they were not present.
- “Disable the evaluation of ”Calculated Values“ formulas”: when selected, all “Calculated Value” formulas are disabled, as if they were not present.
- “Show controls, grids, and sections with dynamic visibility”: when selected, all controls, grids, and sections that can be dynamically shown are shown. This means that those with visibility “Yes” or “Formula” are always shown. Controls with visibility “No” remain not visible.
Use cases for enabling the last option include:
- Verifying that every control, grid, or section that can appear in the PDF appears correctly.
- Exporting the PDF file for printing and manual filling.
Selecting “Continue” simply opens the resulting PDF, which will show in your browser window.
When you access the “Test PDF” feature from Form Builder’s “Test Form” window, any data currently entered in the form will show in the PDF.
Form Runner has allowed you to optionally attach one or more PDF templates to a form, in which case the templates are used by Form Runner to fill out fields.
Now the “Test PDF” dialog lets you choose between the automatic PDF or one of the available PDF templates when testing.
We hope you will enjoy this new feature of Orbeon Forms 2021.1!