Recently took a clients online .pdf forms and made them "fillable". They wouldn't work whe placed in a web environment - until I saved with Extended Reader (Enabling Add Features). 4 forms were then tested by a number of people both inside and outside clients office. They all worked fine - they could fill them in, save to their pcs, and email.
Now the project is being launched and all 50 forms have been attached to web, and suddenly they can't be saved. This includes the 4 originally tested. What is happening and why?
Perhaps some process e.g. on the web server, or the uploading to the server, has changed or damaged the file. Can you post the URL of a form which is no longer fillable, if they are public?
Do you think there would be a difference for people who have the “writer” versus those who just have “reader”? It still doesn’t explain why 4 of the forms worked for everyone during initial web testing, and now that they are reloaded – they do not. I’m being sabotaged! Yikes.
Looks like a lot of work went into this. Sorry to throw a wrench into the pot, but I would suggest reading the license agreement carefully to be sure you are within the rules for using Reader Rights. If the forms are to be submitted in any way (electronic or paper), then there may be a 500 use limitation to Reader Rights. Printing is still allowed, but saving would be restricted. For your use, a careful read of the license agreement (and maybe consultation with a lawyer) would be wise. Looks like your company is a nice large one for Adobe to go after if you are not abiding by the rules.
The first form seemed to be set for Reader Rights, so I don't know why it is not working. It may be that the users are using the MAC Preview application that has issues with Acrobat forms.
The forms have already been added to the website. I didn’t know any of this. I do know, however, that it will take quite some time before the 500 limit would be reached. I just called Adobe, but it was difficult to hear what they were saying over the phone connection – just something about purchasing some software. They didn’t know how much it would cost. I am so in trouble here. I had no idea. What to do?
When the 500 use limits is reached, the license would require you to remove the form from use or be in violation. There is always an outside chance the problem may not exist in the next release of Acrobat and Reader, but I would not hold out hope. The file can still be printed after completion with or without Reader Rights. I can see the interested in saving the file in light of the length of the forms.
The other software that Adobe was probably talking about was LifeCycle. As I understand it, you have to get a quote from Adobe on the price for software for your need. I have heard of cases where it runs into the thousands of dollars.
Like I said, it looks like you have done a lot of nice work on your forms and I would hate to see that have to be thrown away. PDFs are ideal for your use, but this license issue is a potential problem for the future. At least you might have time for now to consider alternative or even possibly wait for a new Acrobat release -- who knows when it will come, but Adobe and other software houses tend to be on a 2-3 years cycle of regular upgrades.
I should start by thanking you for taking so much time to help me. I do so appreciate it.
This is all so upsetting. As an ICloud customer I received Acrobat Pro with my package. It is always coming up and saying "do you want to create a fillable form" with this product? So then I finally do (spending over a month to create all these fillable .pdf's for a client) and then you don't find out until it's time to launch them to a website that you need to save them with extended reader for them to be useable on the web!! So I save them that way, and even then it is not clear to me that this means a "licence agreement" and that there is a price attached to that. I just thought it was a particular way of saving. If I have to drop this whole project is Adobe going to pay me for all the time and loss of wages? Doubtful.
Why would Adobe do this? We already have to pay to have the software needed to create them - and why would anyone need to create a fillable form unless you were going to put it on the web in this day and age? They are just simple applications created to make a users life easier than hand-completing and having to get up and fax or mail. I could have created fillable forms in Word just as easily - and attached them online for free!!
Then there is this limitation of 500 unique addresses. How is one supposed to even gauge this - and where did they come up with this particular number?
Presuming it is Adobe Live-Cycle Reader Extension that is needed, at a cost of possibly thousands, this just seems so totally unfair.
Adobe would say: you accepted the license agreement, you were supposed to have read it. Of course, some people do agree to licenses without reading them, but it isn't always a good idea.
Forms are usable in many ways on the web without extended rights. Most people don't need forms to be saved, that's not the typical form workflow.
It's your job to work in a way which works within the license. If you can't do this, then you can't use the facility. There is a separate and much more expensive product if you need more than 500. Yes, probably much more than you estimate.
But I think it's very important to identify what exactly you want to be able to do with your forms. You seem to be assuming that you need it just to put forms on the web, but that's just not true.
Again, thank you for sharing your knowledge – I find this all so confusing.
How can I add the forms to the web without extended rights??? I tried adding the forms to the web before and data couldn’t be entered until I saved them that way.
The forms do not have to be extended for them to be fillable. The data can be submitted to a web script (recommended if private information is included) or to e-mail (has other problems based on client machine). AcroForms can create FDF data files that can be submitted and then managed on the server with the FDF Toolkit.
The disadvantage of not extending the forms is that they can not be saved unless one has Acrobat (not Reader). It looks like your forms are lengthy, making the saving issue desireable. They could also be printed and completed by hand or typewriter (a few of us still have one). Since you seem to be focused on printing the form in the end, maybe it should be recommended that pages be printed at the end of a session. Then future pages could be printed and added to the last set. Not as desireable, but may be a reasonable workaround. However, trying to explain that to some folks may be a challenge.
I am not trying to justify the route that Adobe has taken, but give you alternatives. Of course, they may change in the future. Little things (actually huge in your case) like this seem to be changed along the way. It used to be there was a $40 or so product that allowed forms to be completed and saved, but no other PDF functionality from Acrobat. That went away with AA6. So it may be that they change there mind in the future. That does not help solve your problem now and is why we are making some suggestions. Maybe with a bit of dialog we can help you reach a reasonable solution. Pick one of the forms and let's discuss what you want to do with it and what alternatives might be possible. I will try to post one of your forms on my server to see how it works. You indicated a problem with no extension and we can see how it goes. I will send the link by a private message.
Just to add to that. You say the forms "didn't work" until extended, but what did that really mean? What specifically didn't work?
Another thing, if you are a form designer; it's absolutely crucial to know the difference between Acrobat and the free Reader and to have a test system with only Reader.
That’s ok Bill, you’ve been more than helpful. I will contact you again if I decide I need to take you up on your kind offer.
In the meantime, I have contacted Adobe with a number of questions and am awaiting their reply. Maybe for now, we will try using the forms on site and just see how long it takes to reach the 500 limit. I suspect it will take a while. We can always revert to placing the old “print-and-hand-complete” forms when that limit is reached. In the meantime, I will consider redoing the forms in MS Word as my time would be infinitely cheaper than purchasing LiveCycle at$10K upwards, that’s for sure!!
I still feel that Adobe is being somewhat unfair about this. Say, for example, you were a small chocolate shop or such, and you wanted to put a simple fillable app online for people to easily place their orders. It is conceivable that 500 order forms could be received in over a month or two, but perhaps these orders could be for small amounts (say a $10 box of chocolates). Because 500 forms were used in this instance, does not mean that this individual is a in a league that can afford a $10k upward software. The 500 limit doesn’t work for every scenario. I can understand it for companies who maybe have upwards of 100 employees.
And considering that fillable MSWord form templates can be used online for free – why should it really be any different for Adobe? Mostly everyone has MSWord and the handful that don’t can’t print off an optional non-fillable .pdf version.
Everyone wants their pdf forms to be handled from a their websites – but because it is so cost prohibitive, few do. I really think this needs to change.
I’m trying to remember, but I believe they were unable to open and save the forms to their pc (then fill them in and mail them back).
Unfortunately, I am not a form designer (though I’m not bad at it) and because I have Acrobat Pro, couldn’t test fully myself – it always worked fine for me – but once placed in a web environment, without extended reader/enable add-ons, others were not.
Do you know some other way of handling – i.e. a fillable form can somehow be completed on line and via a button attached to email, without saving the form with extended reader? If so, I’d love to know how.
Ok, that's just one way to use forms. They don't need to email them back, they can submit to a web script. Or they can email form data rather than the form itself.
If you're designing forms you are a form designer for these purposes. So you do need to test with Reader. You're making a big, big assumption that what works for you will work for others, and it isn't safe.
You raise an interesing point that Word forms can be used for free. Well, know, they can be used if the user has paid Microsoft for Word. Similarly, if the user pays Adobe for Acrobat they can return forms. Now, if you're saying that because Microsoft have already been paid for Word and nobody wants to buy anything else, they everything else should be free, well... pretty soon there would only be Microsoft.
Thank you. I have been testing the forms in web-based environment and you are right – there are problems. If user downloads a current version of Adobe Reader will it be ok?
And with respect to your other comment, pardon my ignorance, how does one submit to a web script?
Actually a lot of folks do not have WORD and use LibreOffice or OpenOffice. In addition, WORD had layout problems for forms. That is because WORD tends to reflow the text in the form to meet the needs of the attached printer. I have often gotten corporate forms in DOC form that don't work right because the desinger tried to take it right to the edges of the page and my version of WORD would dump part of the form to the next page. Then there are those who think they are making a form by just putting in underlines with a bunch of spaces. What a pain to fill those out.
An advantage of web submission of a form, particularly to a secure server, is that the data is more secure and you can include personal information without as much concern. Other web form solutions exist with a variety of programming languages.
In terms of returning the forms, the data can actually be submitted without extending the form. In AcroForms, that is typically the FDF submission. The FDF file can be imported to the form on the receiving end. The FDF Toolkit can also be used to extract info from the FDF files and add to a database, etc. Since the forms may likely contain personal information, e-mail is actually not a good idea (not secure). In that case, submission to a secure server with a web script is best. The alternative is to print pages and submit the form my mail or in person. With the printing, different pages could be done at different times (some of your forms appear to be long).
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