Batch Processing for Adobe® Acrobat®

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® Pro software. It allows users to execute any existing Action Wizard "action" from a command-line batch file and pass custom input/output file or folder paths as parameters.
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 Action Wizard "action" ("batch sequence" in Acrobat® 9 and below) from the list and choose few other parameters. The plug-in will automatically generate a batch file for you. Batch files can be invoked from a command-line 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® "actions" 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.
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Features Summary
Step-by-Step "How To" instructions
System Requirements
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Features Summary

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.
Control Input File Type
The software provides control over input file formats and option to include or exclude sub-folders from processing. These options are not originally available in Action Wizard and provide important enhancements over the standard functionality of Adobe Acrobat.
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 myocr.bat “c:\data\docs\”  “c:\data\docs\processed\”
CALL myocr.bat “d:\temp\”
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.
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.
This will ensure the correct execution of the batch file via Task Scheduler.
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.


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.
Creating and Using Action Wizard Actions
Use the following instructions for creating batch sequences in Acrobat 9 and below.

System Requirements

 Microsoft® Windows 11/10/Windows 8/Windows 7/Windows Server 2012/2016/2019.
Full version of Adobe® Acrobat® software is required - Acrobat Standard or Professional (32/64-bit versions 9, X, XI, 2015, 2017-2020, DC).
This software will not work with free Adobe Acrobat® Reader®.
Batch processing functionality requires presence of Adobe® Acrobat Professional®.
(Adobe Acrobat Product Comparison Chart).