AutoBatch Plug-in for Adobe® Acrobat®
- What is AutoBatch Plug-in?
- The AutoBatch™ plug-in is an advanced plug-in for Adobe® Acrobat Professional® software. The AutoBatch™ adds a command-line batch file functionality to the Adobe® Acrobat Professional® software. It allows users to execute any existing Acrobat batch sequence (or "action" in Acrobat X) from a command-line batch file and pass custom input/output file or folder paths.
- How it works?
- The AutoBatch provides easy to use interface for creating batch files that does not require any type of programming or typing. Just select a desired Acrobat® batch sequence ("action" in Acrobat® X) from the list and choose few other parameters. The plug-in will automatically write out a batch file for you. Batch files can be invoked from a command prompt, from other batch files, Windows Explorer or Windows Task Scheduler. The Adobe® Acrobat Professional® software is automatically started and exited once processing is completed. It's possible to overwrite input/output file or folder selection in the Acrobat batch sequence/action and pass a different path as a parameter of the batch file.
- What is Acrobat Batch Processing ("Action Wizard")?
- The Adobe® Acrobat® batch sequences ("actions" as they are called starting from Acrobat X) are a great way to automate many routine document handling tasks. You can apply sequence/action to a single document, to several documents, or to an entire folder of documents. However, Acrobat requires a human interaction in order to execute any batch processing sequence or action. The AutoBatch™ plug-in adds a missing functionality to the Adobe® Acrobat® Professional software - ability to process PDF documents in the completely automatic mode.The AutoBatch™ comes very handy when you need to further automate your document processing workflow and/or link it into a bigger file or document processing system. Batch sequences/actions can be now easily launched from outside of Adobe® Acrobat Professional® without any kind of programming or even typing.
- Quick Links
- Features Summary
- Automatic Batch File Generation
- Post-Processing PDF Documents
- Maintaining a Processing Log
- Passing Custom File or Folder
- Executing Multiple Batch Files
- Running As Scheduled Task
- Managing Catalog Indexes
- Applying Password Protection to PDF files
- Password Protecting Multiple PDF Files
- Renaming Multiple PDF Files
- Editing Metadata for Multiple PDF Files
- Exporting Document Properties and Metadata
- Software Limitations
- Step-by-Step "How To" instructions
- System Requirements
- Download Free Trial Version
- Buy software online
- Automatic Batch File Generation
- No programming or even typing required. No guessing, errors and typos! Just select an existing batch sequence ("action") from the list and the software will do the rest. AutoBatch will automatically write out a batch file that is ready to use. Launching this batch file will start Adobe® Acrobat Professional® and begin execution of a selected batch sequence. AutoBatch plug-in adds a "Plug-ins > Create Batch File..." menu to the Adobe® Acrobat Professional® that provides an easy to use interface for selecting an existing Acrobat batch sequence and processing settings.
- Launching Acrobat Batch Sequences/Actions from a Command Prompt
- The resulting batch file can be started from a command prompt, another batch file or another application. Adobe® Acrobat Professional® software is automatically started and exited once processing is completed. AutoBatch plug-in displays a progress dialog that provides a way to visually monitor a current state of the batch sequence.
- Post-Processing PDF Documents
- Copy, move, or delete input PDF documents once they are processed by a batch sequence. You can even execute another batch file or application on input PDF documents. This type of processing adds an additional flexibility to the batch processing framework and allows linking to a bigger document processing system. It allows chaining of several processing steps together and adding an extra functionality that is not available or accessible in the Adobe® Acrobat®.
- Processing Log
- The plug-in maintains a processing log that records all details about files and batch sequences that have been processed by the application.
- Passing Custom Input/Output File or Folder
- It’s possible to override an input/output file or folder selection in an Acrobat batch sequence and pass a different file or a folder path. This provides an additional flexibility to the user of AutoBatch plug-in because it allows using the same batch sequence with different input/output files and folders without editing the batch sequence itself. You can pass a custom input/output file or folder path as a batch file parameter (see example below). The alternative path is going to be used instead of input/output file or folder specified in the original batch sequence. The output file/folder path is optional and can be ommited.
- AutoBatch plug-in interprets this input parameter based on the settings in the
original Acrobat batch sequences that it executes:
If an original batch sequence/action is set up to use “Selected Files” as input source then this parameter is going to be used as an alternative file path. Only single file path can be passed as a parameter. If an original batch sequence is using a “Selected Folder” as an input then this parameters is going to be interpreted as an alternative folder path. If batch sequence ("action" in Acrobat X) is using "Ask when sequence is run" for input or output parameters, then it is possible to pass either file or folder as a parameter. Both input and output parameters are expected to be of the same type - either both file paths or both folder paths. These settings can be specified on "Edit Batch Sequence" dialog.
For example, you have created an Acrobat batch sequence MyOCR that executes a “Paper Capture” command on the selected folder “c:\temp”. Now you want to execute this batch sequence from the outside of Adobe® Acrobat Professional® and created OCR.BAT batch file using AutoBatch plug-in (“Plug-ins > Create Batch File…”). However, if you want to execute this batch sequence on a different folder, then you have to edit the original MyOCR sequence and specify a different input folder. Alternatively, you can keep using the very same batch file and sequence, but pass a different input folder as a parameter. For example, to execute MyOCR on the folder “c:\data\pdfs” just pass this custom folder path to the OCR.BAT file when launching it:[c:\] myocr.bat “c:\data\pdfs\”The above batch file will process all files in “c:\data\pdfs” folder instead of “c:\temp” folder that is specified in the original sequence description.[c:\] myocr.bat “c:\data\pdfs\” "c:\data\processed files"The above batch file will process all files in “c:\data\pdfs” folder instead of “c:\temp” folder that is specified in the original sequence description and output processed files into "c:\data\processed files" folder.[c:\] myocr.bat “c:\data\pdfs\fileA.pdf” "c:\data\processed files\documentA.pdf"The above batch file will process “c:\data\pdfs\fileA.pdf” file and save it as "c:\data\processed files\documentA.pdf". In Acrobat XI, it is possible to pass only output folder, not the output filename.
- Executing Multiple Batch Files
- Sometimes it is necessary to call several batch files from a single master
batch file. The example below illustrates the use of the CALL statement
to invoke individual batch files from a master batch file:
CALL myocr.bat “c:\data\pdfs\”CALL statement safely calls one batch program from another. Refer to Windows XP/Vista/Windows 7/Windows 8 command-line syntax for more information about command-line batch files.
CALL myocr.bat “c:\data\docs\” “c:\data\docs\processed\”
CALL myocr.bat “d:\temp\”
- Running As Scheduled Task
- You can execute AutoBatch-generated batch files at daily, weekly or monthly intervals
using Windows Task Scheduler
application that comes with Microsoft Windows operating system. You can access Task
Scheduler application via "Start > All Programs > Accessories > System
Tools > Task Scheduler" menu. If you want to run a batch file without logging into your Windows account, make sure that
the following options are set while generating a batch file using AutoBatch plug-in:
- "Start Adobe Acrobat in minimized window" is ON.
- "Display a progress dialog" is OFF.
- Applying Custom Passwords To PDF Documents Using AutoBatch
- The plug-in adds "Password Protect Documents" batch command to the Adobe Acrobat batch processing framework (called "Action Wizard" in post Acrobat 9 versions). The Adobe Acrobat also provides a stock "Document / Security" batch command. However, this command is not designed to be used in batch environments. It does not store passwords in the batch sequence file (*.sequ) due to security policy. This means it prompts user to enter a password in each batch process run. The "Password Protect Documents" batch command from AutoBatch plug-in does not have this limitation. It provides ability to secure PDF documents either with a single global password or with file-specific passwords retrieved from a user-specified filename-to-password lookup table. The lookup table allows password protecting files with different passwords depending on the filename.
- Managing Catalog Indexes
- The plug-in adds two batch commands to support Acrobat Catalog index files (*.pdx): "Rebuild Catalog Index" and "Purge Catalog Index". Use these commands to manage existing index files in the same batch sequences that are used to process PDF files. Adobe Acrobat does provide a way to batch rebuild indexes via BPDX files, but it is convinient to have index management commands in the batch sequences as well. It allows a full integration of text indexing functionality with the rest of the document workflow. For example, you can run a "Rebuild Catalog Index" command at the end of a batch sequence that modifies PDF files included into a particular index file.
- Software Limitations
- IMPORTANT: "PDF Optimizer" options are only supported in Adobe Acrobat Professional version 8 and up.
Interactive Document Processing Tools
- Password Protect Multiple Documents
- Password protect multiple PDF documents at once by applying either the same password and security settings to all input PDF files or by using individual passwords for each input document via a user-specified filename-to-password table. If you need more advanced functionality, then use AutoMassSecure plug-in for Adobe Acrobat that offers more password generation options.
- Rename PDF Files
Automatically rename multiple PDF files by using any combination
of the following elements:
- Original document filename
- Text extracted from a specific location on the page
- Text or pattern extracted by performing advanced search operation (regular expression are supported)
- Auto-incremented number (custom starting/incrementing parameters, optional leading zeroes)
- Auto-incrementing letter
- Page label (from the first page of the document)
- Custom text or document property such "Author" or "Title"
- Edit Metadata For Multiple PDF Files
- Edit standard document metadata information in one or more PDF documents simultaneously in the spreadsheet-like editor. The standard document metadata includes “Title”, “Subject”, “Author”, “Keywords”, “Application”, and “PDF Producer” fields. Load and apply previously saved metadata information to PDF documents. Search and replace text in selected metadata fields.
- Export Document Properties and Metadata From Multiple PDF Files
Export the following information for a set of selected PDF files:
- Document filename with extension (for example: MyDocument.pdf)
- Full path to the document (for example: c:\Data\Projects\MyDocument.pdf)
- “Title” metadata field
- “Subject” metadata field
- “Author” metadata field
- “Creator” metadata field
- “Producer” metadata field
- “Keywords” metadata field
- PDF Version of the file (PDF file format version the document conforms to. For example: 1.6 )
- Page count
- Portfolio (Yes/No) - If corresponding document is a PDF portfolio, then the value is Yes, otherwise No.
- Number of document-level attachments
- Form (Yes/No) - If a corresponding document is a PDF form, then the value is Yes, otherwise No.
- XFA Form (Yes/No) - If corresponding document is a XFA form, then the value is Yes, otherwise No.
- Number of interactive fields (if a document is a PDF form, 0 otherwise)
- File size (in bytes)
- "Modified" date
- "Created" date
- Page size (for the first page of the document)
- Page rotation (for the first page of the document) - possible values: 0 degrees, 90 degrees, 180 degrees, 270 degrees.
- List of security restrictions. For example: "No document editing", "No printing", "No page inserting", "No bookmark editing" and etc.
The plug-in supports the following output formats:
- Microsoft Excel XML format (can be opened directly by Microsoft Excel).
- CSV - Plain text comma-separated values format (can be opened directly by Microsoft Excel).
- TXT - Plain text tab-delimited file format, can be imported into Microsoft Excel.
Step by Step How-To Instructions
- 1. Installing AutoBatch Plug-in
- Download and install AutoBatch a free 30 days evaluation version of plug-in on your computer. Make sure you have Adobe® Acrobat Professional® installed on your system (see system requirements below) and it's not running while you are installing the plug-in. You may need to restart your computer after installation if you have been viewing PDF documents online using a web browser.
- 2. Preparing an Acrobat® Batch Sequence
Creation of batch sequence (also called "actions" in Adobe Acrobat X and later) is different depending
on the version of Adobe Acrobat used.
If you are using Adobe Acrobat Professional XI, then follow these instructions on creating a batch sequence ("action") using "Action Wizard".
- If you are using Adobe Acrobat Professional X, then follow these instructions on creating a batch sequence ("action") using "Action Wizard".
- If you are using Adobe Acrobat Professional 9 (or earlier versions), then follow these steps:
- Start Adobe® Acrobat Professional® and select "Advanced > Document Processing > Batch Processing..." (Acrobat 8, 9) or "Advanced > Batch Processing..." (Acrobat 6 and 7) from the menu. The details on how to setup a batch sequence can vary depending on the Acrobat version. It is recomended to consult Acrobat help for details.
- Perform the following steps, once the "Batch Sequences" dialog appears on the screen:
- 1. Click "New Sequence..." button to create a new batch sequence that you want to execute. Give this sequence a name, for example "AUTOBATCH".
- 2. Specify what will be an input for this sequence using "Run commands on" menu. Please note that by default, a batch sequence is using "Ask when sequence is run" option. This option will pop up a file selection dialog during the execution. Most likely, you do not want this type of behavior. Select either "Selected Files" or "Selected Folder" option. Please also note that if you intend to pass a file name as a parameter to a batch file, then you have to choose a "Selected Files" option. If you want to pass a folder name, then choose a "Selected Folder" option.
- 3. Specify output folder and filenaming settings using "Select output location" menu. Please note that AutoBatch plug-in does not support "PDF Optimizer" options in Acrobat versions prior to version 8.
- 4. Push "Select Commands" button to start building your processing sequence from individual "commands" using "Edit Sequence" dialog.
- 5. Locate a desired command in the command list and click "Add>>" button.
- 6. Click "Edit..." button to specify all required command parameters. Make sure not to turn interactive mode on to avoid being prompted for command settings every time a command is executed.
- 7. Save your sequence after adding all desired commands. Now your batch sequence is completed and is ready for execution.
- Consult Acrobat's online help and user's manual for more details on how to create and edit batch sequences. Exit "Batch Sequences" dialog once you have completed and saved a batch sequence.
- 3. Creating a Batch File
- Select "Plug-ins > Create Batch File..." from the main menu. This menu entry is only available if AutoBatch plug-in is installed on your system. "Create Command-Line Batch File" dialog should appear on the screen. Select the batch sequence (AUTOBATCH) that you have created at the previous step from "Select Batch Sequence" list. Choose a final action ("Do nothing", "Copy to a different folder", "Move to a different folder", "Delete document from disk", "Execute application") to apply to each processed PDF document from the "Select Action" pull-down menu. Now you are ready to create a batch file. Click "Create Batch File..." button to create and save output batch file to disk.
- 4. Executing a Batch File
- Make sure that Adobe® Acrobat Professional® is not running on your system. Open a Windows explorer window and navigate to batch file you have created at the previous step. Double-click on the file to start it. Adobe® Acrobat Professional® will be automatically started and you should see a "AutoBatch Status" dialog showing the batch sequence progress. Adobe® Acrobat Professional® will be automatically closed once the processing is completed.
- Microsoft® Windows Vista/XP/2003/Windows 7/Windows 8.
- Adobe® Acrobat® Professional versions 6,7,8,9,X,XI.