When I create a PDF form (for instance using Acrobat) that contains text fields in AcroForm format (PDF dictionaries, no XFA), and I submit the data to a server, how can I specify/retrieve the encoding that will be used?
For instance. When I submit the Chinese glyphs '??' (test), I receive the following headers and content on the server-side:
accept: application/x-ms-application, image/jpeg, application/xaml+xml, image/gif, image/pjpeg, application/x-ms-xbap, application/vnd.ms-excel, application/vnd.ms-powerpoint, application/msword, */* content-type: application/x-www-form-urlencoded content-length: 23 acrobat-version: 10.1.4 user-agent: Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 8.0; Windows NT 6.1; WOW64; Trident/4.0; SLCC2; .NET CLR 2.0.50727; .NET CLR 3.5.30729; .NET CLR 3.0.30729; Media Center PC 6.0; MDDC; .NET4.0C; AskTbCLA/188.8.131.5229) accept-encoding: gzip, deflate connection: Keep-Alive Song=%b2%e2%ca%d4&Test=
Where can I find information about the data encoding used when submitting PDF? Is it always GBK? Can I change the data encoding by setting a specific key in a dictionary in the PDF? For instance: can I make sure the PDF always sends Unicode characters instead of GBK?
Note that I've already experimented by changing the default font (and encoding) of the text field. I've also searched ISO-32000-1 for encodings in fields, but all I found was a way to define non-Latin characters for check boxes, and some info about the encoding of an FDF file. None of which answered my questions.
cCharset parameter that is available for the
submitForm() method. That parameter defines:
The encoding for the values submitted. String values are utf-8, utf-16, Shift-JIS, BigFive, GBK, and UHC. If not passed, the current Acrobat behavior applies. For XML-based formats, utf-8 is used. For other formats, Acrobat tries to find the best host encoding for the values being submitted. XFDF submission ignores this value and always uses utf-8.
In other words: in my case GBK was used because it fits best to submit Chinese characters. However, one could force UTF-8 by using the
Based on this question, I have asked the ISO committee to fix this problem in ISO-32000-2. As a result, an extra possible entry was added to the table entitled Additional entries specific to a submit-form action in section 184.108.40.206:
CharSet string: (Optional; inheritable) Possible values include: utf-8, utf-16, Shift-JIS, BigFive, GBK, or UHC.
Starting with PDF 2.0, this problem will no longer exist.
Click this link if you want to see how to answer this question in iText 5.