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Randy Swineford 2,339 posts
Mar 7, 2011
Currently Being Moderated

New! Create, distribute and collect data using a fillable PDF form

Sep 14, 2012 8:49 AM

Tags: #pdf #offline #create #print

FormsCentral now allows you to create, distribute and collect data using fillable PDF forms. When you distribute your form as a PDF respondents will be able to:

  • Fill out and save forms offline, then submit when back online
  • Fill out the form little by little over several hours/days, then submit when completed
  • Forward the PDF form to other people to fill out different sections of the form then submit when completed
  • Keep the filled out PDF form for their records
  • Print a copy of the PDF form

 

The new Page View mode in the design tab shows how the form will be laid out across pages when saved to PDF. You can access the page view mode by selecting it in the lower right corner of the UI:

CreatePDF-PageView-ZoomOnChanger.PNG

Click image to view full size

 

Based on the paper size chosen (File menu -> Form Setup), page view mode will automatically break the fields up into pages.

CreatePDF-PageView-ImplicitPageBreak.PNG

Click image to view full size

 

You can also define your own custom page breaks within page view by clicking the new page button on the item toolbar.

CreatePDF-PageView-ExplicitPageBreak.PNG

Click image to view full size

 

Page breaks created in the Web View do not show up in Page View – each view has its own independent page breaks. This allows you to better optimize your form pagination based on the form type (web vs PDF)

 

Once you have setup your form go to the Distribute tab to distribute the PDF form.

CreatePDF-Distribute.PNG

Click image to view full size

 

Save Submission-Enabled PDF - This will save out a fillable PDF form that contains a Submit button at the bottom of the form. Respondents can fill out the form, click submit and all of their data will appear in the response table.

 

If you want to save out a fillable PDF form that does not contain a Submit button (the data will not be collected using FormsCentral) then go to the File menu and select the Save as PDF Form menu item. You will be asked if you want to collect responses or not using FormsCentral. Select "Don't Collect Responses" - this option is focused at users who just want a PDF form that can be sent around in email, filled out and then managed like a document.

 

CreatePDF-FileMenuSave.PNG

 

The fillable PDF forms created using FormsCentral allow Adobe Reader users to fill out the form, save the file locally and submit their data. Your respondents only need Reader or Acrobat version 8, 9 or X.

 

You can also distribute both a web form and fillable PDF form at the same time - the options are not mutually exclusive. All of the submitted data from both will appear in the response table.

 

PDF forms do have a couple of limitations that prevent some of the FormsCentral features from working with them. PDF forms do not support these features (click here for more info):

  • Page Skip Logic
  • Question Skip Logic
  • Redirect URLs
  • Payment Processing
  • Attachments

 

This feature is part of our Basic and Plus plans.

 

Please send us your feedback on this feature. Enjoy!

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 15, 2012 8:29 AM   in reply to Randy Swineford

    I can build a ColdFusion web app that grabs inputed form data and generates a custom-layout PDF with that data, it'd seem like Adobe FormsCentral would also have that capability... or is there just a much simpler, scaled down version in the new Acrobat X? If not, I'll just build the CF app to do it. Thanks!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    May 31, 2012 2:19 PM   in reply to Randy Swineford

    Hi Randy.  This new feature is AWESOME.  We are using it extensively.  The only problem we are finding is that some "users" who want to fill out the form get the message "you cannot save data typed into this form" and they don't get a submit button.  This is with a PDF form created to be saved back to FormsCentral.  This is only happening to a few people -- for the others, things work perfectly.  How do we help these few?  What needs to be done to correct this?  Thank you!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 1, 2012 5:45 AM   in reply to Randy Swineford

    Hi, I have several questions regarding the fillable PDF files.

    Where do the respondends should upload the PDF file? How we can access the statistics for their answers?

    Thank you!

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 1, 2012 8:25 AM   in reply to AchieveTheDream

    AcheiveTheDream's question about "you cannot save data typed into this form" has been answered here: http://forums.adobe.com/thread/1015216?tstart=0

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 1, 2012 8:27 AM   in reply to at.georgieva

    In response to at.georgieva,

     

    When you create your fillable PDF files with Adobe FormsCentral, they include a "Submit" button that sends responses automatically back to FormsCentral. Respondents need only click the button to submit and no explicit uploading is involved. As the author, you log in to FormsCentral to view a table or reports based on all submitted responses.

     

    Thanks!

    Shannon

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 13, 2012 11:01 AM   in reply to Randy Swineford

    Can i import a list of contacts from Excel to send my fillable PDF form?

    or

    if i want to use the link for my customer to click on the link and complete the form, do they need to sign in to their adobe account?

     

    also,

     

    if i need to received copy of the form signed back or with initials? is that okay? will it do it?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 13, 2012 11:12 AM   in reply to Datamyne_AR

    Hi,

     

    FormsCentral does not distribute your forms directly - you have to email them yourself, or post the form to a website.  Because of this, there's no customer/contact management feature in FormsCentral, and therefore no import contacts feature.

     

    Your customers do *not* need an Adobe account to fill out the form.  Whoever you send the PDF (or HTML link) to, can fill it out.

     

    Unfortunately at this time, we do not offer any kind of signing feature for our forms.

     

    Thanks,

    Todd

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 27, 2012 9:01 AM   in reply to Randy Swineford

    Is it possible to create a form in FormCentral that collects no responses but given a link to the FormCentral site,  a user can save or download the document as a PDF?  

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Sep 28, 2012 7:04 AM   in reply to Randy Swineford

    I can already create a fillable PDF form with (or without) a Submit button using Adobe Acrobat Pro, then distribute it and collect the responses in a file on my computer.  The only advantage I can think of for doing this through FormsCentral instead is the ability to access the data from anywhere and the ease of sharing the data with others.  Am I missing anything?  (The reason we chose FormsCentral was for the form logic it offers, which sadly isn't possible in the PDF version.)

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 10, 2012 2:11 PM   in reply to Randy Swineford

    I want to have a PDF but then let the user select options and based on those it will add a transparent image to the PDF for printing, is this possible?

     

    I have a CD Label and they need to change the image and text before printing it, and so I thought I could create all the custom images in PNG Transparent and then if there was a way to allow them to pick and add it to the PDF it would save a lot of time, plus it would be easier to update the background main image.  Otherwise I have to create a separate PDF for each one...

     

    any help? Thanks

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 14, 2012 7:56 PM   in reply to Randy Swineford

    I work for a large organization. We use Livecycle ES. Our custom application uses an HTML front end to capture the data (via XML BLOB within a Oracle DB). One of our biggest challanges is creating front end forms. Currently we create the form and bind the fields, we do the same for the PDF in Designer. We do not have a tool that does that as simple as this AdobeForms Central does it. My question is do you offer an enterprise version for large corporations that would want to use this tool to create an HTML form, with an ability to review answers and sign the backend PDF form? If not any plans to incorporate this to a future release?

     

    Thx

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 20, 2013 3:56 AM   in reply to Randy Swineford

    Hi Randy,

    is it possible for the same respondent to complete the " same" form a number of times offline. In order to submit all responses when they are online again.

     

    i am using forms on Android tabs and Ipads , submitting through 3G connections.

    the signal in the area is really bad and it is difficult to complete a survey without this facility.

     

    the only solution I have found is to email the form and then delete the last response and start again.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 22, 2013 6:16 AM   in reply to Randy Swineford

    Hi Randy,

    Is it possible to create a form save button ( or alternatively a form email button )  for offline use of the Pdf form?

     

    With regards

    Garth

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 19, 2013 11:37 PM   in reply to Randy Swineford

    But in form central there is no Submit button. i have adobe 11 installed on win Xp PC. also suggest how to add a button with some in adobe 11.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 20, 2013 9:34 AM   in reply to AVIS

    Hi AVIS;

     

    If you are using the "FormsCentral" Desktop application included with Acrobat Pro XI then you will need to sign into FormsCentral in order to save a PDF with the FormsCentral Submit button.  In addition to being signed in the form needs to be "online", you can move the form online from the "Collect Responses online" tab when you open the form.

     

    What is the question "also suggest..."?  I think you are asking how to add another type of Submit button, not one that submits to FormsCentral, if that is correct you can check out this YouTube video on creating an Email submit button: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jql1wp5Gofs

     

    Also - if you are creating forms in FormsCentral desktop application and need to edit those forms further in Acrobat XI (such as to add your own submit button) see this FAQ on editing FormsCentral PDFs:

    http://forums.adobe.com/docs/DOC-3661

     

    Thanks,

    Josh

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 23, 2014 8:07 PM   in reply to Randy Swineford

    Hi

     

    Sorry I'm new to this, so excuse me if my question is obvious.

     

    I am creating a PDF for our mobile Sales staff tablets. At the end of the PDF we want a checklist for the Respondent to fill out. The tablets will not be connected to internet/wifi.

     

    My question is : Can we store multiple Respondent answers to the checklist offline, and donwload once they get back to internet access?

     

    Thanks in advance.

     

    S.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 24, 2014 1:19 PM   in reply to Cyberdooley

    Hi Appvader;

     

    Take a look at this thread and Genevieve's recommended work flow: http://forums.adobe.com/message/5339644#5339644

     

    Thanks,

    Josh

     
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