Preflight variables (Acrobat Pro)

About preflight variables

The preflight variables are self-contained data objects that can be used to develop flexible and powerful workflows. It enables you to change values of checks, and fixups without changing the profile itself. The variables make it possible to check information or fix up at the time of execution of the profile, instead of having to predefine such information. A major advantage of using variables is the option to postpone the checks or fixups for processing PDFs to the moment when processing is started. You take a preflight profile and configure different jobs, each of which performs a different operation based on the variables you add in the job definition. You can choose different values for the operation each time.

Many aspects of preflight such as profiles, checks, and fixups can be handled through variables. Variables can be used to configure the following:

  • On/off switch for checks and fixups inside a profile.
  • Change severity for checks, and fixups.
  • Browse for various options of pop-up menus.
  • Fields of type check box, pop-up, or input fields for text or numbers.
  • Name and description field.

You can access the variable option while editing a preflight profile, checks, or fixups. When you click the variable icon, a list of variables is shown. The variable used in the current context (profile, checks, or fixups) is shown first followed by all the variables in the current library.

Create variable

  1. Click the variable icon. 

  2. Select New Variable. The Preflight: New Variable dialog box is displayed.

  3. Specify the following parameters for the new variable:

    • Key:  To configure values in profiles, checks, or fixups.
    • Label: Used in the user interface. For example, in Preflight: Specify Variable Values dialog box.
    • Type: Type of value for which the variable is used.
    • Default Value: The default value to be used unless a different value is specified at runtime.
    • Limit input values to specific values: To define the scope of specific values a variable can take.
    • List: Select a list of values for the variable at runtime.
    • Show evaluation results: To check if a given value is acceptable for the variable or not.
  4. Click OK.

Assign variables

  1. In the Preflight dialog box, click Options > Create Check.

  2. In the right-pane, select the property and click Add.

    Preflight: New Check

  3. Click the variable icon.

    Assign variable

  4. Create a New Variable and specify the value. Else, to assign the value to the added property select a variable from the list of all variable keys.

    The variable key is displayed as <key: value> in the respective field (for text input fields or pop-up menus) or next to it (for checkboxes).


    The variable option is not available for all the properties.

  5. Click OK.

Unassign variables

To unassign, a variable, remove the entry in the text input field. To select a different variable, click the variable icon and select a variable.

Run profiles with variables

When you run a profile, check or fixup that contains one or more variables for which input is needed, the Preflight: Specify Variable Value dialog box is displayed.


Specify variable value

To check for additional information on the entered value, click the icon.

Check additional information

Enter the new values or leave the pre-populated default values. An error is displayed if the entered value is incorrect.

Error for incorrect value entered

The variables value also appear in the preflight Results report.

Variable value in preflight: Results

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