I was assigned with the following task:

The user can download a PDF form from our website. When he fills out a certain field, a barcode with the fields value, as well as others, appears.

Now my question is, how could I achieve this?

I've tried out Adobe Acrobat DC pro and it would work fine. However, this only works with Adobe Acrobat DC pro and I higly doubt all our customers have this program. Most will use the normal Adobe reader in which the barcode creation doesn't work (just a grey field).

I've asked in the Adobe forum already and was told it would work with Adobe LiveCycle Reader Extension (LiveCycle ES, I suppose).

Does anyone have any experience with this? Are there alternatives which would do the job?

Thanks in advance for your help!

  • 1
    How about putting the form on a website, and letting users downloaded the resulting PDF containing filled data + barcode? Would that be OK?
    – Nicolas Raoul
    Jun 1, 2016 at 9:15
  • What symbology are you looking at? 1D or 2D? Depending on that, there are a few other possibilities than the Adobe $olution.
    – Max Wyss
    Jun 1, 2016 at 22:35
  • If you can say what technology your web site uses that will help narrow down suggestions based on fit. Jun 18, 2016 at 9:39

2 Answers 2


Disclaimer : I work for Datalogics and we are an Adobe partner

Like some of the questions in the comments on the initial question, the solution you pick is going to be dependent on what the users of the PDF are going to be doing with it and what its overall purpose is.

Things to consider would be

  • Why does the user need a PDF? Can PDF be used to just contain the data once the form has been filled in on a website?
  • Will the user need to go back and edit the values of the form and have the barcode regenerated? Or are they going to fill it in once and be done with it?

If the user must fill it out offline and be able to edit the content later with the barcode being updated then Reader Extensions is going to be required if your users will be using Adobe Reader to fill in the form in the PDF. Barcodes are one of the remaining uses of Reader Extensions that Adobe has not made free with the DC line of Acrobat Reader.

An alternative to Adobe LiveCycle though is our PDF Java Toolkit that is based on the same code as Adobe LiveCycle and is targeted at developers who want to integrate some of the features found in LiveCycle in a more traditional SDK style.

If the user just needs the PDF as record of them filling out the form then you could certainly have them fill in the form on your website and generate the barcode and place it in the PDF before they download it. Both iText and PDFBox can be used for this.

  • How I can use this PDFJT. I download it as trial but I do not understand and can not find information about installation / running this tool. Can you write me more information about it. Thank you in Advance!
    – Allee
    Nov 26, 2016 at 21:24

If you are open to developing a solution to this yourself, you can check out commercial SDKs that offer barcode and PDF support for custom components such as yours such as the LEADTOOLS PDF SDK and LEADTOOLS Barcode SDK. You can use this toolkit and leverage the PDF read and write support to create the file. The barcode SDK has support for a number of 1D and 2D symbologies. Please note I am an employee of this tool.

Code for creating a barcode is as simple as the following:

       BarcodeEngine barcodeEngine = new BarcodeEngine();
       QRBarcodeData data = BarcodeData.CreateDefaultBarcodeData(BarcodeSymbology.QR) as QRBarcodeData;
       data.Bounds = new LogicalRectangle(bounds.X, bounds.Y, 0, 0, LogicalUnit.Pixel);
       data.Value = "Barcode value can be hardcoded or entered by the user";
       QRBarcodeWriteOptions writeOptions = engine.Writer.GetDefaultOptions(data.Symbology) as QRBarcodeWriteOptions;
       writeOptions.XModule = 30;
       barcodeEngine.Writer.WriteBarcode(image, data, null);

This would write the barcode to the existing file.

Dislcaimer, I work for the vendor of this library

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