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How To Find Field Dimensions To Use For FormFieldLocation Property In Adobe Sign REST API

How To Find Field Dimensions To Use For FormFieldLocation Property In Adobe Sign REST API

How do you find the dimensions and position of a field when using the Adobe Sign REST API `formFields` endpoint so that you can then programmatically set where someone is to sign on your custom PDF?

When you’re uploading a complete PDF document to Adobe Sign and programmatically setting where users are to sign using the `formFields` endpoint you need to set the `formFieldsLocation` property for each field which requires values for top, left, width, height and page number.

So how do you find the top and left distances in pixels for your field, along with its width and height?

Unfortunately, there’s nothing helpful in Adobe Sign’s edit PDF area that can help provide this detail. Instead you need to download Adobe Acrobat Pro.

Finding Field Properties Using Adobe Acrobat Pro

Thankfully there is a quick and easy way to get the information you need to set your fields, and all you need is Adobe Acrobat Pro.

Once you’ve got Adobe Acrobat Pro on your computer you will want to open it up and have a copy of your custom PDF document on hand. Open this document in Adobe Acrobat Pro.

Use Prepare Form Tool

From here click on the View menu item, then Tools and click on the Prepare Form item (or More Tools and then the Prepare Form item).

This will open up a new toolbar where you can add elements to your PDF. Adobe may already automatically detect where fields can go on your document, so you might see some boxes already on your PDF.

If there’s already a field set for where you want your signature panel to be on your PDF then right-click on the field and select Properties…

Find the field you want to set and right-click on it then select Properties…

A new modal window will pop up and to find the dimensions of the field and it’s location on the page click on the Dimension tab.

On the Text Field Properties window click on the Position tab to get all the dimensions

Here you can now get the dimensions and location of your field in inches, millimeters, picas and everything else you need except pixels!

Therefore, write down the numbers you see for the top, left, width and height values and search on Google for converting your inches, millimeters or whatever your Unit of measurement field was set on the properties window and get the equivalent in pixels.

The values you then get can be used when setting the location field values.

If Adobe didn’t automatically add a text field to your PDF then you can click and select a text field in the Prepare Form tool bar.

If you can’t see the Prepare Form tool bar click on View then Show/Hide then Prepare Form.

Clicking on the Add text field button will allow you to place a text field anywhere on to your PDF. (It doesn’t matter what field you place as you just want the dimensions.)

You can then re-shape it as needed and then follow the process above in getting the right dimensions and properties of your field.

Click the text field button to add a field if Adobe doesn’t automatically set one

Summary

Creating a PDF document and sending it through Adobe Sign can be a great way to produce a workflow using digital documents.

However if you’re designing your document outside of Adobe and are not using templates then finding the dimensions of where to set your signature fields and other fields can be a pain.

As I’ve demonstrated in this post by using Adobe Acrobat Pro you can use the Prepare Form tool and obtain the dimensions using the properties of the field you’ve set.