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jumira01
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Interactive PDF - submitting forms separately?

Jun 28, 2013 3:46 PM

Tags: #indesign #interactive_pdf #submitting_forms

I've created a 24 page interactive pdf in InDesign CS6 and it has 3 different forms in it - I would like each form to act on its own and submit separately. It seems though when I click to "submit", it wants to submit the entire thing. Is there anyway to get around this?

 

It's sort of a pamphlet/program for a conference, and has links down the side connecting to different areas of the brochure. Each form has it's own link as well. One thing I tried is saving the forms as separate pdfs and just linked to those files instead, but it appears to close the main pdf and replaces it with the form when I do that. I need to be able to submit the form, and also be able to manuever between the form and the original pdf (as people may just want to look at the form but not fill it out, and then will want to go back to where they were or the next page, etc.)

 

Hope there's a solution! Thank you!

 
Replies
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 29, 2013 1:24 AM   in reply to jumira01

    You can change in Acrobat Pro which fields will be submitted if you press a specific button, by default all fields will be submitted.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 1, 2013 11:15 AM   in reply to jumira01

    Why does xfdf or fdf not work fpr you? Do you know what it is?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 1, 2013 11:18 AM   in reply to jumira01

    My gut feeling is that you'd need LiveCyce Enterprise Suite to pull that off. Last time I checked (which, admittedly, was some years ago) was that the price tag to enable that kind of functionality was in the tens of thousands of dollars. There may have been changes to forms handling in Acrobat since the last time I looked into this matter - I'd suggest that you head over to the Acrobat forums and ask there.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 1, 2013 11:19 AM   in reply to Joel Cherney

    Also: what Willi said. Forms submittal and offline filled-PDF save describe very different behaviors. If

     

    those other types won't open or work how we want them to

     

    then how do you want it to work?

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 1, 2013 11:58 AM   in reply to jumira01

    No, I think I got you. The file that gets sent back to you via email is just the answers, in a data format that is easy to suck up into a database. It is not something that your kinds of users are going to know how to handle.

     

    I can only think of two real suggestions, and the first is no doubt unacceptable - abandon the idea of doing this in a PDF in the first place. I think that you(r client) may be asking too much of the format.

     

    However, there may be a way out. Are you familiar with the ability to attach a file to a PDF? This may or may not work, depending on which applications your clients' users are going to use to open your interactive PDF. If they are all using recent versions of Acrobat or Reader, this may work. No promises on users of Preview on the Mac, or of CutePDF, and so on. But if you attach one of your form PDFs to you main interactive PDF, then when they open the main interactive PDF, they'll get a sidebar that will allow them to doubleclick on and open attached files. Those are treated as separate files, and may well suit your needs.

     

    Check out this Adobe blog posting about PDF file attachments.

     

    Let me repeat the PDF-viewer-caveat: Your clients' users may not be able to use your fancy PDF if they are not viewing the PDFs with an Adobe product. This includes Preview, the default PDF viewer on Macs. Get information about your clients' userbase now, because it may already be too late. If they say "Oh, our userbase is the general public, we want this to work in any PDF viewer going back ten years" or "We want you to take off that warning about only viewing this PDF in Acrobat, we want it to work on attendees' iPhones" then it's never going to work.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 1, 2013 11:59 AM   in reply to jumira01

    I think that this

    Is there a way if when I link it as a separate file, that I can get it to open on its own without closing the original pdf?

    might be determined at the OS level, and outside of your ability to change. But I don't really know. You'd be better off asking this question in an Acrobat-specific forum, I think.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 1, 2013 12:16 PM   in reply to Joel Cherney

    [ moved to the Acrobat Forms section ]

     

    You certainly don't need LiveCycle in order to send out your forms, but there is a 500-copy limit on the receipt of data from extended forms in Acrobat, and the only way to exceed that license is to use LiveCycle.

     

     

    Your first step has to be to decide exactly what formats the submitted data can be in, as there are many options. The natural response format for PDF forms is either to send the entire document back as a filled-in PDF, or just the field values as an FDF file. As you're trying to house several forms in one document, sending the PDF back may not make sense but it remains the most widely-supported option in third party software. To process returned FDF files you need Acrobat (and a copy of the original form to import the fields back into). The form could also submit data directly to a webserver, or you could hand off the data management to Acrobat.com.

     

    Automated 'distributed' forms (using Acrobat.com and Tracker) are the simplest to use, but the distribution would have to be initiated by the person that the returned data is aimed at.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 1, 2013 12:41 PM   in reply to Joel Cherney

    In Acrobat's Preferences > Documents there's an option to open cross-document links in same window. It's enabled by default. IOW, it's a user preference, so naïve users probably won't be likely to do this.

     

     

    I don't know if it's possible to set it as a document field's property using Acrobat itself. It's definitely an option for an interactive object in ID.

     

    Your suggestion to ask for more info in the Acrobat forum is right on point.

     

    However, I tried your suggestion to attach the form to the PDF that's distributed. Good idea!

     

    Opening the "parent" PDF is as expected. Opening the attachment, though, requires opening the Attachment side panel and launching the attached "child" PDF. I'm not sure if it's possible to force the attachment panel open in the viewer's Reader or Acrobat, so it may be necessary to provide instructions, even screen shots. Opening the child works, filling it out and saving or saving as both can create PDF. Users can attach that PDF to their reply.

     

    Extracting info from PDF forms is a topic definitely for the Acrobat forum.

     

     

    Regards,

     

     

    Peter

    _______________________

    Peter Gold

    KnowHow ProServices

     

     

    Joel Cherney wrote:

     

    I think that this

    Is there a way if when I link it as a separate file, that I can get it to open on its own without closing the original pdf?

    might be determined at the OS level, and outside of your ability to change. But I don't really know. You'd be better off asking this question in an Acrobat-specific forum, I think.

     
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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 6, 2013 1:16 PM   in reply to jumira01

    A Portfolio is a kind of package. It's basically a PDF containing other PDF (or other) files as attachments.

     
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