QR Code Link Generator for Acrobat

Many PDF files out there on the web have links to other documents or web sites. But many people print their PDF files for future reference which renders the links useless. Adding QR codes to your PDF files can allow your audience to access the information your document links to even after it has been printed; just scan the QR code with your mobile device and you’re good to go.

Introducing the QR Code Generator for Acrobat:
The QR Code Link Generator for Acrobat is a Flash widget that can be placed on any PDF page and configured to display a QR code that links to any web page. The widget is designed to display the QR code in Adobe Reader 9 and higher; earlier versions and other PDF viewers may not play this widget properly.


QR Code Document Example

Download the Example

The QR Code Link Generator for Acrobat is truly designed for print. When viewed on screen, links in the PDF file will function so the widget dims after 10 seconds leaving only your beautiful layout. There also may be times when your computer can’t connect to the web but your phone can. The 10 second delay gives you plenty of time to read the QR code off the screen. If for some reason you do you want the widget to show, you can change the visibility of the dimmed widget; see “Advanced Configuration” for details.



To add the QR Code Link Generator for Acrobat to your PDF file follow these simple steps.

  1. Download the QR Code Generator for Acrobat. Keep the file in a handy location for future use.
  2. In Acrobat, choose Tools > Content > Multimedia and select the SWF tool .
  3. Double-click on the PDF page to place the widget. The “Insert SWF” dialog box opens.
  4. Click Browse to find the “AcrobatQRCodeLinkCreator.swf” file you just downloaded, and then click Open.
  5. Use the advanced options on the “Insert SWF” dialog box to change the “Enable When:” to “The page containing the content is visible”, and then click OK.
  6. Click on the QR Code widget to activate it. An input dialog will appear.
  7. Enter the fully qualified URL for the link you want the QR code to go to. You don’t need to prefix it with “http://”, that’s baked into the code.
  8. Save the file.
  9. Repeat steps 2 through 7 for each different QR link code you want to add. You can copy a QR code from one page to the next if you want the same destination for each copied widget.

You will likely need to adjust the size and position of the widget once placed. The QR code has quite a bit of white space around it; this is intentional and is required by most QR code readers.

Advanced Configuration:

Modifying the QR code link after the initial configuration:
Double-Click on the QR code twice to modify a QR code that has already been placed on the page. The input dialog will open again and you can set a new destination.

Modifying Visibility of the QR Code When Viewed On Screen:
As I mentioned above, the QR code is designed for printed PDF files since links work when you’re viewing a PDF file on screen (assuming you’re connected to the internet at the time). When you mouse over the area where the QR code is placed, it will become visible immediately. When you move the mouse off of the widget, it becomes idle and will fade to white after 10 seconds. You can modify the degree of visibility by setting a FlashVar.

To modify the visibility of the QR code when idle, follow these simple steps.

  1. In Acrobat, choose Tools > Content > Multimedia and select the Select Object tool Acrobat Select Object Tool.
  2. Double-click the QR Code Link Generator for Acrobat widget. The “Edit SWF” dialog box opens.
  3. Click the SWF tab.
  4. Add the line “dimTo=n” in the FlashVars text box where “n” is a number between 0 and 100. Zero is white, 100 is black.
  5. Save the file.

Reading the QR Codes:

If you need to find a good QR Code Reader for your mobile device, I’m using the ones below and they seem to work pretty well. Leave a comment if you can suggest others.

QR Reader AppsQR Reader for iPhone
QR Barcode Scanner for Android

2 Responses to QR Code Link Generator for Acrobat

  1. James Lockman (@jameslockman) November 15, 2011 at 8:44 pm #

    Very neat, Joel.

  2. Clint Funk November 22, 2011 at 10:55 pm #

    Very neat and good to know! Thanks, Joel

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