How Many Scripting Languages Are Possible in Adobe Forms?


Larry Thompson

How Many Scripting Languages Are Possible in Adobe Forms?

Adobe Forms is a powerful tool that allows you to create interactive and dynamic forms for various purposes. One of the key features of Adobe Forms is its support for scripting languages, which enable you to add custom functionalities and interactivity to your forms. In this article, we will explore the different scripting languages that are possible in Adobe Forms.


JavaScript is the most commonly used scripting language in Adobe Forms. It is a versatile language that can be used to perform a wide range of tasks, such as form validation, calculations, data manipulation, and more. JavaScript code can be embedded directly into the form’s fields or triggered by events like button clicks or form submission.


FormCalc is another scripting language supported by Adobe Forms. It is a simpler language compared to JavaScript and is often used for basic calculations and data manipulation within forms. FormCalc uses a more formula-like syntax and can be useful for users who are not familiar with JavaScript or prefer a simpler scripting language.

Calculations in XFA (XML Forms Architecture)

XFA (XML Forms Architecture) is an XML-based specification used by Adobe Forms. XFA supports its own calculation syntax that allows you to perform calculations within forms. While it’s not a separate scripting language like JavaScript or FormCalc, it provides built-in functions and operators for performing calculations.

Comparison Between JavaScript, FormCalc, and XFA Calculations

To decide which scripting language to use in your Adobe Form, it’s important to understand the differences between JavaScript, FormCalc, and XFA calculations.

  • JavaScript: Provides the most flexibility and power. It is a widely-used scripting language, making it easier to find resources and examples for complex tasks.
  • FormCalc: Offers a simpler syntax and is ideal for basic calculations.

    It may be a better choice if you are new to scripting or have less complex requirements.

  • XFA Calculations: Built-in calculation syntax within XFA provides limited functionality compared to JavaScript or FormCalc. It is useful for simple calculations but may not be sufficient for more advanced scenarios.


In Adobe Forms, you have the flexibility to choose between JavaScript, FormCalc, or XFA calculations depending on your requirements and familiarity with scripting languages. JavaScript offers the most power and flexibility, while FormCalc provides a simpler syntax for basic calculations. XFA calculations are built-in but have limited functionality compared to JavaScript or FormCalc.

By understanding the differences between these scripting languages, you can make an informed decision on which one to use in your Adobe Forms project. Experiment with different languages and explore their capabilities to create dynamic and interactive forms that meet your specific needs.

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