As form fields (& their content) are not part of the PDF page content itself this may be the reason they are not present in the Excel file.
I'm sorry, I am not sure what you are saying (a bit naive when it comes
to forms). If I open the PDF I see the data. Doesn't that mean it is in
Do you know how I can make the forms and content part of the PDF page?
Thanks for the response!
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Form fields and annotations (such as those available on the Review & Comment toolbar) are not part of the core PDF page content.
Form fields and annotations are objects that are associated with a location on a PDF page.
Core content of a PDF (including the glyphs that depict textual content) are graphic objects "painted" to the PDF page by the PDF creation process.
A simple way to see this is to create two simple 1 page PDFs having different page content.
On the first PDF, add a form field and an annotation. Save. Now, use Replace Pages to replace PDF#1 with PDF#2.
Or, do the opposite. Either demonstrates that form fields and annotations are not part of the core PDF page content.
Simplistic, but convenient is to consider form fields/annotations as on a separate "layer".
The "meat and potatoes" are in ISO 32000-1.
Adobe's ISO approved copy of ISO 32000-1 (The PDF ISO Standard):
What is inserted into the Excel file is the core PDF page content.
Using Acrobat Pro:
To "flatten" form fields into the PDF page content you could use Acrobat's Optimizer or a Preflight.
To "flatten" annotations into the PDF page content you could use an Acrobat Preflight.
Thanks for the information. My client doesn't have Acrobat, just the Reader so she can't really edit anything.
I ended up having her use a pdf creator program to basically change the form to a straight pdf file. She opens the form in Reader, selects Print and then chooses her pdf writer as the printer. The pdf that is creates obviously has the form data in it (though it is no longer a form).