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PC users can't save PDF form data from form created on Mac

Feb 9, 2012 12:27 PM

Tags: #error #pdf #mac #pc #form #mac_to_pc #cannot_save_form_data

I'm trying to create a PDF form for a client that will be accessing the form on a PC. However, when the client opens the form, a message appears saying that any data filled in the form cannot be saved and the document must be printed. If the client tries to "Save As" a message appears saying the form will be saved without the data. This defeats the whole purpose of using PDF forms.


What can I do to allow my client to save data in the form? When I check the permissions on my end, there is no security and no restrictions.

Screen shot 2012-02-09 at 10.24.51 AM.png

Developer environment:


  • Acrobat 9 Pro
  • OSX Snow Leopard


Client environment:


  • Windows 7
  • Acrobat Pro X
  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 9, 2012 1:08 PM   in reply to Rudylandnet

    Is it possible that your client is not running Acrobat Pro X as you've

    indicated, but Adobe Reader X? What you describe is the behavior the free

    Reader would exhibit. It's standard behavior is to not allow a user to save

    a filled PDF file. And no, that does not defeat the purpose of a PDF form:

    You can submit the form data e.g. to a server that would then process and

    store that data.


    However, there are ways to "reader enable" a form, which would allow the

    client with just the free Reader to fill a form and locally save it.

    Depending on your application, you can do that either with Acrobat Pro, or

    a server based LiveCycle product. Before you get further involved, you need

    a better understanding of the PDF forms eco system and what you can and

    what you cannot do with PDF forms created with these different solutions

    (both from a technical, but also a legal point of view).


    Karl Heinz Kremer

    PDF Acrobatics Without a Net


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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Feb 10, 2012 4:46 AM   in reply to Rudylandnet

    Re: PC users can't save PDF form data from form created on Mac


    The best solution here is for the customer to have Acrobat Pro as well and do NOT Reader Enable.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 19, 2012 11:27 AM   in reply to lrosenth

    That's not really a solution. That's just a ploy to get people to buy a piece of software they don't really need.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 26, 2012 9:21 AM   in reply to inko9nito

    Exactly, I'd buy it just to use for a few minutes, and it's a pretty expensive software, if it was a little bit less expensive I'd consider it.


    Wish all my clients used Foxit, it allows to change and save, just adobe has that "no-save" function, no idea why, maybe just to piss me off.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Oct 26, 2012 9:34 AM   in reply to roclg

    Adobe Reader XI now supports Fill and Save for ANY PDF.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 28, 2012 10:34 PM   in reply to Rudylandnet

    Step 1

    Click "Start," "All Programs" and click "Adobe Acrobat" to launch the program.

    Step 2

    Click "File," "Open" and click the fillable PDF form you want to make savable. Click "Open."

    Step 3

    Click the "Advanced" menu tab.

    Step 4

    Click "Extend Forms Fill-In & Save In Adobe Reader." This will enable your recipients to fill in your PDF form, type their digital signature and save their electronic responses.


    I did this and it worked like a charm!!

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 18, 2013 10:42 AM   in reply to Rudylandnet

    if you are using Adobe Acrobat X to make the form go to the top menu and select File> Save As> Reader Extended PDF> Enable Additional Features. The resulting PDF form can be saved when filled in, if opened in versions of Adobe Reader before XI.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 7, 2013 9:41 AM   in reply to redhead314

    I tried using the extended features which seem to work on reader if you use the file you saved. I wrote an application which populates a pdf file on our server with request data from the customer. The form is then emailed from the server to the agency to complete and post the data back to the server. Some of the locations the agency goes to don't allow internet access so the ability to save the data to their harddrive is important. When I used the template with extended features enabled, I get a notice from the server that the file has changed and extended features are disabled. How can I do what I need to with out making every contactor purchase the full version of acrobat.

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  • Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 7, 2013 10:47 AM   in reply to QualDev

    Sounds like whatever tool you are using on the server is breaking the reader extensions.  I would talk to the vendor of that tool.

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