Creating editable/form PDFs that Adobe Reader X can save

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Creating editable/form PDFs that Adobe Reader X can save

Postby starmonkey » Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:11 am

Hi Guys,

Note sure where to post this - but wanted to check to see if I don't need to buy Adobe Acrobat Pro in order to achieve my goals.

Note I've tried searching here and on a few search engines but have yet to confirm my issue.

My goals:
  • (DONE) Use OO Writer to create and then export a PDF with form fields that a user can fill out (eg, an application form).
  • Allow the user to save an partially completed form for later completion using the Adobe Reader client.

Using Foxit Reader, i can successfully save my inputted data for later, but I cannot do this using (the latest) Adobe Reader. Note: I cannot tell the users to "install Foxit", so it should work using Adobe Reader.

The most relevant help topic/page I've found on adobe's site is this one:

http://help.adobe.com/en_US/acrobat/sta ... e0d.w.html

Which appears to note a requirement for "Reader Extensions capability for local saving of PDF forms". There also appears to be some license related restrictions to how many forms can be filled out in this manner, so I'm fearing this entire exercise is a bit of a dead-end.

Anyway, any help/pointers/comments welcomed!

// SM
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Re: Creating editable/form PDFs that Adobe Reader X can save

Postby Hagar Delest » Mon Dec 20, 2010 9:55 am

Hi and welcome to the forum!

The standard version of Acrobat Reader cannot save filled in PDF. You have to buy a special version. As a workaround, users can print the forms with a virtual printer like PDFCreator but they have to fill in completely.
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Re: Creating editable/form PDFs that Adobe Reader X can save

Postby starmonkey » Tue Dec 21, 2010 1:52 am

Hi :)

Thanks for replying.

re: Adobe Reader not saving PDF forms - are you sure about that? If you read that help.adobe link I posted, it seems to state fairly explicitly that you can:

Ordinarily, Reader users can’t save filled-in copies of forms that they complete. However, you can extend rights to users of Reader 8 and later so they can do so.

...

Choose File > Save As > Reader Extended PDF > Enable Additional Features.

These extended privileges are limited to the current PDF. When you create a different PDF form, you must perform this task again to enable Reader users to save their own filled-in copies of that PDF.


It's a real shame if they can't - cause asking users to switch to Foxit is not really an option for this task at hand.

What I was hoping is that someone had worked out how to use OOo Writer's PDF export to achieve the same goal (surely it's just setting some kind of meta-information flag - I suspect license issues prevent OOo from doing this).
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Re: Creating editable/form PDFs that Adobe Reader X can save

Postby Hagar Delest » Tue Dec 21, 2010 12:09 pm

The problem is that you've removed from the quote the most important part! They are talking about Acrobat Standard and Acrobat Pro! Acrobat Reader cannot save a PDF (it can save a copy only).
Here is the (almost) complete quote:
Ordinarily, Reader users can’t save filled-in copies of forms that they complete. However, you can extend rights to users of Reader 8 and later so they can do so. In Acrobat Pro these rights also include the ability to add comments, use the Typewriter tool, and digitally sign the PDF. See video on How to Fill in and Save Forms for Adobe Reader

    1. Open a single PDF, or preview a component PDF in a PDF Portfolio.
    2. If you are editing the form, click Close Form Editing in Forms task pane.
    3. Choose File > Save As > Reader Extended PDF > Enable Additional Features.

    These extended privileges are limited to the current PDF. When you create a different PDF form, you must perform this task again to enable Reader users to save their own filled-in copies of that PDF.
    If you don’t want recipients to overwrite the blank form template by saving form data, do not extend rights in the copy you send to them.

Limitations on saving filled-in forms locally

Acrobat Standard and Acrobat Pro, each allow Adobe Reader 8 or later users to fill in and save PDF forms locally. The use of the Reader Extensions capability for local saving of PDF forms (called extended documents) is limited in two ways:

[...]

Acrobat Standard and Acrobat Pro include technology that can enable PDF documents with certain features by using a digital credential. This credential is located within the Software (“Key”). You agree not to access, attempt to access, control, disable, remove, distribute the Key for any purpose.

Last sentence (my emphasis) clearly explains that the feature you're looking for is part of a commercial product linked to a license. And you can't reverse engineer this feature.
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Re: Creating editable/form PDFs that Adobe Reader X can save

Postby george.joeckel » Thu Jan 20, 2011 2:13 am

I've created a tool that allows you to create writable, savable and printable PDFs using only Adobe Reader, and a word processor, like Writer.

Here's a video showing how to use the PDF Assignment Builder: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ork2LxbVwV8.

Here's the file: http://podcasts.usu.edu/Podcasts/OSTT/A ... ilder1.pdf.

Cheers,

George
http://georgejoeckel.blogspot.com/
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Re: Creating editable/form PDFs that Adobe Reader X can save

Postby lowak » Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:38 pm

Hello,
I know this thread wasn't updated for some time, however I got some exciting news.
I started creating application form using OO and it was cool experience. Then I realized that Adobe Reader won't let me save anything in my form, so I started looking for a way to solve this thing and... found pretty nothing. Normally it would be just a spam but I got more to this. After all that efforts I installed new Adobe Reader XI (whole testing was on AR 9 and X) and I thought: "I'll give it a try" and... it WOKRED!

I don't know if guys at Adobe changed anything but now when I export my application form created with OO 3.4.1 it works also on Adobe Reader XI. I can save filled forms!
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