1 2 3 Previous Next 109 Replies Latest reply on May 9, 2017 11:00 AM by jessl94609577

    Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't

    Level 1
      We have a fillable savable form created with Adobe Acrobat 8 Professional. Sometimes the form emailed back to our office and opened in Reader Version 9 and it the form appears initially to be blank unless you click into the field - you can then see the data. However, you can't print the form with the data displayed. If using Reader version 8, then if you click the highlight button it acts like a toggle switch to view the data in the fields; however you still can't print.

      Any ideas on what is causing this and how we can fix it?
        • 1. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
          MCHCAH

          I also have the same problem but not on every field.  The 2nd and 3rd rows of the form can be filled in, and remain as does the name, and date, but other rows in the form have the same problem as above and cannot be printed.  When you put the cursor on the field, the correct data does show up, but when the cursor is moved, its gone again.  i am using Adobe Professional 9.0.

          • 2. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
            ~graffiti Adobe Community Professional & MVP

            Do you know what the people that are filling in the form are using? This seems to be common occurance when they are using something other than Adobe Reader to fill it out (Mac Preview for example).

            • 3. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
              MCHCAH Level 1

              I'm actually filling it out using Adobe Professional 9.0.  I then send the filled out time sheet that I created to someone else. It works if I only have two lines on the sheet (2nd and 3rd rows) but sometimes have more and thus the problem.    I can't see any difference in the other lines on the form.  Seems like this shouldn't be a problem.

              • 4. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                ~graffiti Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                It shouldn't be an issue no.

                 

                So are the people receiving the form using Reader? If so, are they perhaps using an older version? If it's the latter, check to see what version you are saving the PDF files as. If it's version 9, try using PDF Optimizer (under the "advanced menu) to change the PDF version to something lower (I use PDF 1.4 for the most part).

                • 5. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                  MCHCAH Level 1

                  The person I sent the filled out form sees exactly what I see.  She has Adobe Reader 9.  where I have Adobe Professional 9..  The form also prints with the fields blank when we both print it except for the 2nd and 3 rows.  (There are many rows in the form for date, place, activity, and time.)

                   

                  I hate to go back to printing the form, filling in the blanks, scanning the form, then sending it but just can't find anyone who knows what is happening.

                  Any suggestions are welcome!

                  • 6. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                    ~graffiti Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                    Can you post a link to the form so we can look at it?


                    • 7. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                      MCHCAH Level 1

                      Here is a link to the form.

                       

                      https://acrobat.com/#d=eHIf7tm3RC-1vNPVvmhMRQ

                       

                      On further testing, it is just the date fields that disappear except for rows 2 and 3 where they show up like they are suppose to.

                       

                      Thanks for looking at this.

                      • 8. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                        ~graffiti Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                        After looking it over, I don't see any difference in the fields short of the names and tool tips.

                         

                        Replacing them with new fields seems to work just fine. How did you create them? Were they all new fields or did you copy/paste one field and change the names?

                         

                        Fortunately it's an easy fix since there are only 8(ish) fields effected. Just create new fields or copy/paste the ones that work and rename them.

                        • 9. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                          MCHCAH Level 1

                          I really don't remember how I created the fields.  I scanned in the paper form we use and added the fields.  I'm guessing I probably did a copy and paste but not sure.  Thanks for your help.  I deleted the defective fields and recreated them and it now works.

                          I also signed up for Acrobat.com which made it easy to post a link.  Learn something new every day!  Thanks again.

                          • 10. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                            dblancard

                            We are having the same issue, but ALL fields on a large-ish form.  Also this form was widely distributed for email responses - so re-distributing it will be challenge.

                             

                            We are using Acrobat 9.10 with livecycle to create/publish. All works well, except that we are getting occasional returns where all data is hidden, unless we 'click' inside the field - then it appears.  If we export data it is empty.

                             

                            I cannot see any pattern re: version of acrobat reader or Mac vs. PC that the recipients are using.

                             

                            This is a serious issue for us, and any help would be greatly appreciated.

                             

                            Dave B.

                            Toronto.

                            • 11. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                              ~graffiti Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                              I wish I had an answer for you but I do have some information that you may be interested in.

                               

                              Your licensing only allows 500 uses per form so, a "wide" distribution would probably be in violation of the EULA and would put you at risk. Be sure and study up on the EULA before continuing down that path.

                              • 12. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                abrunson2010

                                We have several faculty members who create forms using Acrobat 9.3.x, send them to students, and receive the PDFs forms completed.  When the faculty open the PDFs, the data is blank and will only appear when they click on the individual fields.  This is incredibly annoying and we need a fix soon.

                                 

                                Is there a fix / patch / setting / workaround for this?

                                • 13. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                  dblancard Level 1

                                  We continue to have the same problem....

                                   

                                  The ONLY workaround we have come up with is to use a different reader to view/print the returned forms.  We use FoxIt.

                                   

                                  I'm still amazed that adobe cannot fix this issue. I'll never purchase another adobe product if I can avoid it.

                                   

                                  Dave B.

                                  • 14. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                    George_Johnson MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                    Dave B.,

                                     

                                    It's not really fair to blame Adobe for this. The problem is almost certainly that some user are not using Adobe Reader or Acrobat to complete and save the Forms. The most recent version of Foxit Reader happens to be a PDF viewer that works relatively well with PDF forms, but programs such as Preview on the Mac have very limited support for forms. I'd be surprised if you saw this behavior from a PDF that was saved with Reader.

                                    • 15. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                      dblancard Level 1

                                      I don't make comments like this lightly.

                                       

                                      We have tested and diagnosed this issue thoroughly - and I can guarantee that the problem is SPECIFIC to using Adobe Reader (any version after 8.x) to complete the forms and Adobe 9.x or later to receive them.

                                       

                                      I have had Adobe support on the phone several times; demonstrated the problem to them, and never received anything more than a 'gee that's odd' response.  yet I have seen on several web forums that many organizations have the exact problem.

                                       

                                      Believe me: if Adobe was even willing to assist in a resolution, I'd retract the satement. Until then, we are avoiding them.

                                       

                                      Dave B.

                                      • 16. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                        George_Johnson MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                        Dave B,

                                         

                                        OK. In re-reading all of the posts in this topic, it seems as though folks have described at least three separate problems. I was thinking that yours related to using Preview, but that's obviously not the case.

                                         

                                        Since your forms are created with LiveCycle Designer, if you're still interested in looking for a solution, I would urge you to start a new topic in the LiveCycle Designer forum here (if you haven't already done so), and be prepared to provide a sample form so the folks there can take a look.

                                         

                                        Good luck.

                                        • 17. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                          mikev1256

                                          I had the same problem with forms being returned and the data only showing when the cursor was on the field. Downloaded FoxIt Reader and now I can read and print these forms. simple fix for those pesky forms that you can't read otherwise.

                                          • 18. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                            blampyre Level 1

                                            We are also having this problem.  It's very annoying, since I bought Acrobat 9 Pro espressly to be able to create saveable fillable forms.

                                             

                                            In our case, some PDFs which are returned are fine; others appear to have no data until you click on a field.   If the answer is that you must use Acrobat to fill in the form, I will just post something like that on our website.  But it's not clear from the discussion below that this is really the problem.  WE ALL NEED AN ANSWER TO THIS!!!

                                            • 19. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                              jcroberts

                                              It seems to be an issue with the font. You can make a "blank" form visible by following these steps:

                                               

                                              1. Click on Forms > Add or Edit Fields.
                                              2. Click on Edit > Select All.
                                              3. Right click on one of the form fields and click on Properties.
                                              4. Click on the Appearances tab.
                                              5. Change the font size.
                                              6. Click Close.
                                              7 Click on Close Form Editing.

                                              • 20. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                                kjez Level 1

                                                This fix worked for me - can't thank you enough!

                                                • 21. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                                  Grady G Level 1

                                                  THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THE FIX!

                                                  • 22. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                                    KAF72

                                                    I've also been having this problem and am able to fix it easily by exporting the data in Acrobat Pro to a file and then importing that data back into the very same form. Takes all of a few seconds!

                                                     

                                                    If anyone has since determined a possible fix for this on the form side of things, I'd like to know. Or perhaps as discussed above it's generated on the user side of things because they are using a non-Reader app to fill out the form. I have no way of determining what people are using to fill out the form.  But I have noticed that when my respondent has an @mac.com email address it never works, so clearly the fillable forms are problematic when filled out on a Mac.

                                                    • 23. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                                      Aussie_leah Level 1

                                                      It seems to be a problem if people fill out form on a Mac program rather than Reader or Acobat. There is a script to fix it here:

                                                      http://blogs.adobe.com/pdfdevjunkie/2009/11/script_to_fix_mac_osx_previewa.html If the link doesn't work Google: "Script to fix Mac OSX preview" "

                                                      • 24. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                                        _DanielT

                                                        I HAVE THE PROPER SOLUTION!

                                                         

                                                        I was having a problem with a PDF form that was filled with information, but not printing that information. I found another PDF form that did print information that was inside the form fields and compared the two forms in Acrobat 9 to find the solution. My goal was to make my PDF form savable AND printable. After opening your PDF form in Acrobat follow the steps below.

                                                         

                                                        1. Click on Forms > Add or Edit Fields

                                                        2. Click on Edit > Select All.

                                                        3. Right click on one of the form fields and click on Properties

                                                        4. Click on the General tab (default tab)

                                                        5. Under Common Properties, change the Form Field drop down to Visible

                                                        6. Click Close

                                                        7. Click on Close Form Editing

                                                        8. Save

                                                         

                                                        Note - You may be prompted to "Save as Copy" due to Extended Features, such as making your form savable via Abobe Reader. If so, go ahead and "Save as Copy," close the PDF, and start this process over using the copy. After you are done with the process above, then enable your Extended Features and Save.

                                                         

                                                        More on making your form savable via Adobe Reader (Acrobat 9):

                                                        http://help.adobe.com/en_US/Acrobat/9.0/3D/WS58a04a822e3e50102bd615109794195ff-7e0d.w.html

                                                         

                                                        More on making your form savable via Adobe Reader (Acrobat X Standard 10.1.4):

                                                        Go to Save as > Reader Extended PDF > Enable Forms Fill In and Save in Adobe Reader...

                                                        http://tv.adobe.com/watch/acrobat-x-tips-tricks/quick-tip-how-to-save-form-data-in-adobe-r eader/

                                                        • 25. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                                          Thomas Garrod Level 1

                                                          I hope that "fix" works for some, but my downloaded IRS tax form fields have a property of "visible" and I still don't get data in my printed form.

                                                          • 26. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                                            Thomas Garrod Level 1

                                                            OK, the problem, in my case is that the IRS in their complete lack of wisdom set entered text to be blue. Of course, my printer prints only black. There isn't a setting for grey scale or print as black, so it printed all but the colored text. I selected all fields and changed the color of the text to black. Problem solved (my wife figured this out @!$#%).

                                                            • 27. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                                              josh_dbx

                                                              I think most people here are having the same problem. That problem is:

                                                               

                                                                        Most completed PDF forms return fine,

                                                                        however about 20% return with "blank" fields.

                                                                        When clicking on these fields the data is visible...

                                                                        until you click on another field, then it is hidden again.


                                                              I have found a couple of helpful things, which I will summarise:

                                                              • The problem IS often caused by Mac OSX among other things (check doc properties: see attached).
                                                              • The problem can be "fixed" by any method of altering the "blank" fields... resizing, changing font etc this is ONLY because it refreshes the field, the problem is NOT the font or the field size... its a problem with the compatibility of the returned form.
                                                              • The Javascipt "fix" above is for Acrobat ONLY not reader, becauase the fields need to me "edited" to fix the issue.
                                                              • Adobe needs to address this issue... It seems quite widespread.
                                                              • There is no "proper solution" all solutions are just altering all those fields... a proper solution would mean you dont have to apply it for every faulty document... they would just work.

                                                              Lastly:

                                                              • FOXIT is another free PDF reader that will read/print these PDFs easily, it's a pretty small application, I suugest you install it along side your acrobat and use it when you need...

                                                               

                                                              There isnt really a need to get upset, your data is there and it's fine... just hidden by defult. Contact Adobe and pass on your issue, when they see how widespread it is, they will focus more attention on a fix.

                                                               

                                                              I hope this helps.

                                                              Josh

                                                               

                                                              PDF-Problem.png

                                                              • 28. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                                                ~graffiti Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                Adobe creates forms that work with Adobe products. It's not their responsibility to make forms work in non-Adobe products.

                                                                • 29. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                                                  josh_dbx Level 1

                                                                  Adobe could seek to help customers who are using their program however...

                                                                   

                                                                  I wrote my comment to be helpful and clarify the situation... and your "helpful" comment was just to retort at something I said. You've made thousands of posts, I hope other posts of yours were more useful!

                                                                  • 30. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                                                    ~graffiti Adobe Community Professional & MVP

                                                                    I didn't mean to say you weren't helpful. You just mentioned that "Adobe" needs to fix this but, it's not nor ever has been an Adobe problem. It's a Mac Quartz problem. Their software isn't fit to work with Adobe forms. Nothing Adobe does can fix that. It's been said all over these forums (along with your and others "fixes).

                                                                     

                                                                    Just clarifying since this keeps coming up repetitively.

                                                                    • 31. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                                                      josh_dbx Level 1

                                                                      But if there are "fixes" or work-arounds that, by refreshing data fields, fix the probelem...
                                                                      And if foxit can read all the files properly, then surely adobe could work in an automated "field refresh" (for lack of a better name) that would apply to all forms coming from know problem causing programs.

                                                                       

                                                                      If Adobe sees a need (20% of incoming forms are suffering and people a beginning to use a competitors program to fix it), and they see a solution (refreshing the data fields or some form of editing in the their program resolves the solution), then surely it is in their best interest to fix it asap.

                                                                       

                                                                      Microsoft fix problems like this all the time, even if it's not technically their responsibility, maybe its just a duty of care to loyal customers to make their programs as compatible as need be. Not to just wash their hands of a problem that's been caused by someone else...

                                                                       

                                                                      I'm just saying, the problem is with the Adobe program... not with Quartz... Quartz is working fine, Adobe made InDesign read Quark files (to an extent) even though it wasn't their problem...

                                                                       

                                                                       

                                                                      There is a problem... that is vast and wide-spread and in their program... (yes their program isnt reading it). According to this forum and to a google search, many people using adode reader or acrobat are having trouble...

                                                                       

                                                                      I have said enough.

                                                                      • 32. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                                                        George_Johnson MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                                                        I think it's better that Acrobat/Reader do not attempt to correct things, because doing so would obscure the fact the that document has been corrupted. Forms that have been corrupted by Preview should not be used for anything more than printing (once the contents have been made visible) and perhaps the form data exported. I have not done extensive testing to know whether or not the exported data from a Preview-corrupted form can be trusted, but since the form is corrupted in a numer of significant ways, using it further in a workflow would be a mistake. If a form visually appears to be OK when it isn't, this mistake would be significantly easier to make.

                                                                        • 33. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                                                          Midimistro

                                                                          To All Above:

                                                                           

                                                                          If I am reading your posts correctly, you experienced the same problem I did. What happened is that the form data saved, but the application did not close correctly and/or save normally the last time the document was edited. In order to correct this, all you simply need to do is edit the text in the text field of the form. This means if you have a phone number in the form, add or take away ways to write down the number. As for Names, completely retype the name. For Description fields, simply add a phrase or two or delete any undesired text while editing. After doing this and clicking on a different field in the form, the text/data that was there but wasn't visible  earlier will become visible and prinable again. Note:  You may need Reader 9.1.2 in order to do this, as well as the document Assembly and Creation of Template Pages to be set as "Not Allowed" (set up from "Document">Security" and apply fields according to previously stated if you are the creator of the form;  users already under the "Not Allowed"s should be able to fix the problem without being the creator by doing the what I first stated). If the above doesn't work, then I can't help. If I find time I will update this post.

                                                                           

                                                                          PS-This problem was sovled by a high school junior who only experienced and solved the problem between 2:00pm and 3:00pm today (see post info above for date, post time is 2 hours later than seen)

                                                                           

                                                                          Midimistro

                                                                          • 34. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                                                            AVTTCLC

                                                                            We just ran into the same problem.  The forms were we received back have "Mac OS X 10.6.8 Quartz PDFContext" as the PDF Producer.  They were created using Acrobat Pro X, and we tried viewing them with both Acrobat and Reader X, and had the issue where all the fields show up blank until you click on it.

                                                                             

                                                                            Changing the font size made the fields visible again, but this is a clumsy workaround at best, as the users who receive these forms don't have Acrobat, and I don't know of a way to refresh the fields in Reader.

                                                                             

                                                                            I can't believe that this issue has been around for 3 years, across 4 different revisions of Acrobat and Reader, and it still hasn't been resolved!

                                                                            • 35. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                                                              George_Johnson MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                                                              The script shown here will work with Reader: http://kb2.adobe.com/community/publishing/885/cpsid_88564.html

                                                                               

                                                                              I don't expect Apple to fix this major problem with Preview any time soon. That is a long time that Apple has ignored this problem.

                                                                               

                                                                              Acrobat and Reader's behavior is according to standard. It is not a problem with Acrobat or Reader, it is a problem with Apple and their application that creates corrupted documents.

                                                                              • 36. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                                                                hottubmegan

                                                                                Wrong.  I created a file with Acrobat Pro and when opening on another computer with Acrobat Pro, all fields are blank.  If I hit the arrow down, then all fields magically show up.

                                                                                It is inconvenient having to explain this to a customer when gets my email attachment is BLANK.

                                                                                • 37. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                                                                  George_Johnson MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                                                                  I would be very interested in looking at a sample that behaves this way. If you'd like my help diagnosing the problem you're experiencing, you can email me a sample at: acroscript at gmail dot com

                                                                                  • 38. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                                                                    hottubmegan Level 1

                                                                                    You state it is a Mac Quartz problem.  With Apple closing on 10% of the Market you would think that Adobe would be designing for Mac users.  After all, Adobe has been working continuously for almost 2 decades with Apple to create Photoshop, Indesign etc for the (almost Mac exclusive) print & design industry.

                                                                                     

                                                                                    It seems like a pretty simple fix.  Make Acrobat work on a Mac.  Apple will not change for you.  (Unless Adobe stock prices have magically gone up 20x since I last checked.)

                                                                                    • 39. Re: Fillable Saveable Form - Fields appear to be blank but aren't
                                                                                      George_Johnson MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                                                                                      Acrobat has always worked on the Mac. Version 1 was first released for the Mac.

                                                                                       

                                                                                      The problem isn't with Quartz, it's with Preview. If people decide to use a non-conforming PDF viewer/editor to work with PDF (which is now standardized by ISO), that is not Adobe's problem.

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