So I think I have come to an understanding about Forms in Acrobat Pro 9 (both Mac & PC). I've used Acrobat 9 Pro on the PC and I must say that LiveCycle Designer ES 8 that ships with Acrobat Pro on the PC is VERY buggy. It crashed on me more than a few times (to the point of being ridiculous). I was, in all fairness, pushing it to do some fairly complicated things with layout and fields. After going through the cross-grade to the mac platform and realizing that LiveCycle does not ship with Mac AP9, I followed the suggestion of another poster who recommended this process for Mac Forms creation and it worked beutifully (it is deceptivley simple):
1) Create your form layout in Illustrator (far superior, and more stable vector layout tools to LiveCycle PC anyway), draw in your text fields with a .5 stoked box with a no fill box (white fill can cover up your text field content if it is above), save as a PDF and then simply open this new document into AP9. By the way AI CS4 Mac will place text from Microsoft Word Docs no problems - I even did this over a null modem connection directly from my PC - no complaints.
2) Go to the Forms > Add or Edit Fields... I wouldnt bother running "Start Form Wizard..." as in this process AP9 wont detect text fields anyway. Start by adding textfields directly on top of the stroked boxes you've created in the AI PDF. (it may ask you to save a copy of the document in order to Extend Acrobat Features for Reader). You will now be placed in Form editing mode.
3) Add buttons, signature fields, text fields - really everything LiveCycle Designer does only in a more streamlined and consolidated way. Once again - far more stable and predictable process. You can switch between prevewing the document and editing it very easily.
That's it basically it. Forms editing on the Mac is simply more integrated into Acrobat Pro 9. Seems like to the tools aren't there becuase no LiveCycle - but they are. If you want to give reader users the power to fill and save forms from Free Reader, go to the Advanced menu and select "Extend Features in Adobe Reader..."
Let me know if this works for you - After using this process in my opinion - who needs LiveCycle Designer on the PC? If you are good with Illustrator, you'll make better looking forms anyway. And the "Add Text Field" tool in the Forms Editing mode on the Mac is far less jumpy than LiveCycle. - Thanks - AM
The ONE THING Livecycle gives you that Acrobat for Mac does not is the "Image Stamp". This procedure allows a Reader Enabled PDF to have an image inserted into the PDF by someone using just Reader. This can not, I repeat CAN NOT be done in the Macintosh versions since as stated Livecycle was never meant to be used on Mac's.
I create our job application packets, where the fill able forms are attachments within the adobe file. Every phone call I get because they cannot view the attachments, are those who have a Mac. I then have to e-mail them each attachment separate, then they are able to view and complete the forms. Not sure if there is anything I can do with my packet that would allow them to view all attachment within. However, they are able to use the fill able form when sent as individual adobe files.
In reply to the previous posts, about creating interactive forms in Acrobat Professional, below is a link that will instruct you on how to do it.
In my case, I use my forms for Production Print Specifications since I have to email them back and forth to clients whom only hae Acrobat Reader.
Even though I learned by myself, I am still searching of ways to learn more advance formats to give more flexibility with the formats. I was actually interested in Live Cycle until I realized it is not a MAC program.
Usually, the basica way I create the forms is by designing in one of two programs:
- Adobe Illustrator - create, save as a medium or print quality PDF
- Open PDF in Acrobat, Forms Menu, create forms use existing scanned form or PDF, or if you are in Acrobat 10 (Click on Tools, Forms, create form
- Acrobat generates all of the fields and then you need to specify what type of field, i.e., text, date, $$,
- By double-clicking on the fields you are able to specify its attribute:
- Name the field - Add help text
- Font Appearance such as font style and size, color, field border or field fill color
- In the options menu within the Appearance dialogue box, you can select rich text, multiple lines etc.Preview form and
- Preview form and test it until you are satisfied it works properly. Then test it in Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Most of these forms require that you go to ADVANCE menu, Extend reader features so that the end user is able to save the DATA otherwise Acrobat will only allow the end user to print the forms or overwrite them.
The other thing I do like of LiveCycle is that by creating subforms, you can designs that automatically expand depending on the type of information you insert. So this is why I am still searching to see if there are any advance features in the new Acrobat that I can apply.
Hope this helps!