5 Replies Latest reply on Feb 17, 2010 6:06 AM by djaknow

    Alternative PDF Viewers

    djaknow Level 4

      Can anyone tell me which features of a form created in Designer 8.1 may or may not work properly with other pdf viewers such as Preview for Mac or Foxit? We'd like our forms to be as compatible as possible for our customers and would like to be able to provide concrete reasons why customers would need to install Adobe Reader.


      Thanks in advance for any input.



        • 1. Re: Alternative PDF Viewers
          Niall O'Donovan Level 7

          Hi djaknow,


          For what it is worth the Preview on a Mac works fine for Acroforms:


          Preview 2.png


          But not for XFA forms:




          Good luck,



          1 person found this helpful
          • 2. Re: Alternative PDF Viewers
            Niall O'Donovan Level 7



            Take it back, some aspects of AcroForms do not appear to work as intended, like mouseEnter and mouse Exit events and some button scripts. It is possible to fill in fields and save data.


            There is some nasty behaviour when viewing and SAVING data using Preview. Here are some screenshots, I hope they make sense:



            Created Acroform with single textfield (red border) using Acrobat (Mac):
            Preview for Mac 1.png


            Opened the form in Acrobat and Reader for Windows and all OK:

            Preview for Mac 2.png


            Opened AcroForm in Preview for Mac and red border was gone (could find the field because there was text in it - but if it was blank you would never see it):

            Preview for Mac 3.png


            I amended the field and saved it with in Preview for Mac and then reopened in Acrobat. Text and border not visible:

            Preview for Mac 4.png


            When I set focus on the field the amended text became visible, but invisible on losing focus:

            Preview for Mac 5.png


            Seriously messed up!!!!


            So even if you were to deploy for Preview it would need some serious stress testing. My inclination would be to steer clear of alternative viewers.


            Good luck,



            1 person found this helpful
            • 3. Re: Alternative PDF Viewers
              djaknow Level 4

              Thanks a lot Niall, I appreciate all the testing you did. I hope you don't mind, I'm going to leave this as unanswered for the moment. I'm hoping someone will chime in on Foxit. That's the only other viewer our customers have asked about.

              • 4. Re: Alternative PDF Viewers
                sumnerm Level 1

                I cannot give you specifics as to why it fails but we have had issues with users of Foxit and Mac Previewer.  For us we have seen the required highlighting and the actual validation of a required field become non functional.  We have had users unable to submit the form via http post - the submit button will not work.  We have found some Mac users that think they have Adobe Reader installed and when you walk them through they do not or have not set up Reader as the default PDF viewer.  Once they are really using Reader it works.  We are thinking of setting up web forms and making the Mac users stay online to complete their work.

                • 5. Re: Alternative PDF Viewers
                  djaknow Level 4

                  That's pretty much where we're at now, we do a version check when the user attempts to open the form, but what it actually is checking is the browser plug-in. So if a Mac user has Acrobat 9 installed but is still using Preview as his/her browser viewer they get denied access to the form. So far this is only affecting one customer (that we know of) so it's not a huge issue, but we want to be prepared for any future issues that may arise.