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I have a couple of questions about your workflow:
1. Are the completed PDFs emailed back to you or are they submitted to the FormsCentral server?
2. If the PDFs are emailed back to you, are you performing the export operation within Adobe Acrobat?
It would be helpful if you could provide an example form by emailing it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
To export the form data for analysis within Excel, you should do the following:
1. Launch Adobe Acrobat
2. Open the Forms section of the Tools pane then navigate to and select the "Merge Data Files into Spreadsheet..." menu item
3. In the "Export Data From Multiple Forms" dialog, click the "Add Files" button and select one or more of your completed forms
4. Click the "Export" button then select a location for the .csv file that contains the form data
5. The .csv generated by Acrobat can be opened in Excel as the source of a new Workbook or imported into an existing Workbook
Let me know if you have any trouble.
I have a follow up question: Is there any way to influence the order that the fields are exported to the CSV file? As far as I can tell so far, it is exported in the sequence that the fields were created but is there a way that I can move the export of the values to an earlier position if I add an extra field to the PDF file?
Thanks for any help.
The only thing you can do is change the column order (drag and drop the columns) in the Response Table before you export
I'm not sure I understand what you mean by "Response Table"? I'm using the tool "More Form Options > Manage Form Data > Merge Data Files into Spreadsheet". Is there somewhere a "Response Table" where I can change order of the columns? Or did you mean to change the columns after I open it in Excel?
The form has a couple of hundred data fields so changing the sequence of the columns in Excel is not really an option.
Trying different ways of creating and/or modifying the PDF form leads me to believe that the order of the exported fields is completely random. I do not see any pattern based on creation time of the field, order on the form, tab order, or anything like that.
The only solution I currently have is to create an intermediate database in FileMaker to import the data into and then to export it again in a specific sequence. I could also export it as XML and then write an XSLT file to transform the XML file - but again: pretty laborious for a simple task like this.
Sorry I thought you were collecting data using FormsCentral. I see now that this is not the case. You might want to try to post your question on the Acrobat Form forum. I do not know of anyway to change the order the fields are getting exported in Acrobat