12 Replies Latest reply on Dec 18, 2012 2:34 AM by henrys court

    Fillable PDF forms

    kayla1188

      I recently created some fillable PDF forms but when trying to input data into the fillable spaces I am unable to save the document. I need this document to be saveable because we will send it out to have people fill in and will need the complete form sent back. Not everyone has access to Adobe products here so we cannot send the form like that.

       

      How can I make these forms saveable?

        • 1. Re: Fillable PDF forms
          George_Johnson MVP & Adobe Community Professional

          It depends on what version of Acrobat you have

           

          Acrobat 9: Advanced > Extend Features in Adobe Reader

          Acrobat 10: File > Save As > Reader Extended PDF > Enable Additional Features

           

          Note that this comes with an Acrobat licensing restriction, which in short limits you to using data from no more than 500 forms (including hard copies) that have been returned to you IF you distribute a Reader-enabled form to more the 500 recipients. If you distribute to 500 or fewer, there is no limit on the number of returned forms you can use.

          • 2. Re: Fillable PDF forms
            henrys court

            I want to create a fillable form, make it available on a website (how many recipients is that!) for users to download and complete and save to their computers (to be returned by email).

             

            Reader XI seems not to refer to 'extended documents' anymore so I was wondering whether these licensing restrictions are still in place?

             

            Rather than using form fields in a form, could you use flat PDFs and the typewriter comment tool in Reader XI to annotate it, and avoid the licensing restriction?

            • 3. Re: Fillable PDF forms
              Test Screen Name Most Valuable Participant

              If you cannot count the recipients somehow, then you must not use something which contractually limits the number of recipients; it's as simple as that. However, you are right that something changed in Reader XI, so I'll let someone describe exactly what it is (it isn't as simple as all restrictions of every kind going away).

              • 4. Re: Fillable PDF forms
                henrys court Level 1

                Many thanks for such a quick reply. It's very much appreciated.

                 

                Yes - any information about how things have changed with Reader XI in terms of these licensing restrictions would be welcome.

                 

                On a more general note, however, there must be hundreds of websites distributing PDF files for completion in this way regardless of numbers. Adobe seems to be a bit behind the times with the restrictions. Surely the restrictions discourage people from using their products and switching to alternative solutions.

                • 5. Re: Fillable PDF forms
                  George_Johnson MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                  With respect to forms that you enable with Acrobat, the licensing restrictions have not changed with Acrobat 11. When you make an extended form available on a web site, you've essentially distributed it to those who are able to access it. So if it's publicly available, you've distributed to more than 500 recipients.

                   

                  What's changed with Reader 11 is it is able to save fillable forms even if they have not been extended. Note that it cannot digitally sign unless the document has been enabled with Acrobat Pro, as opposed to Standard. This is as it was prior to Acrobat 11. If you just want to enable so that the typewriter tool is available in Reader, there are no licensing restrictions.

                  • 6. Re: Fillable PDF forms
                    henrys court Level 1

                    " If you just want to enable so that the typewriter tool is available in Reader, there are no licensing restrictions."

                     

                    This sounds like a solution to my problem. Perhaps I can create a document in Acrobat and save it as a normal PDF. I can then ask users to annotate over that document using the Comment tools (particularly the Text Comment tool) in Reader XI. This would mean, to the best of my understanding, that I'm not bound by the 500 recipients licensing restriction.

                     

                    The fact that the document I create in Acrobat looks like a form, but doesn't contain any form fields and is not extended, wouldn't matter. The users would still consider themselves filling out a form by annotating over the top of it with comments tools.

                     

                    As I work for a large educational institutional it would be wise for me to get my understanding formally agreed with Adobe. Any ideas who I should contact as the 'online chat' customer support hasn't been that useful so far?

                    • 7. Re: Fillable PDF forms
                      George_Johnson MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                      Will all of your users be using Reader 11?

                       

                      The Acrobat License Agreement is your formal agreement with Adobe. For what it's worth, folks have reported contacting various Adobe employees about this issue and getting inconsistent replies, some in direct conflict with the license agreement, so I'd say there's little value in pursuing that.

                      • 8. Re: Fillable PDF forms
                        henrys court Level 1

                        The document I have in mind is a feedback page for student coursework. I would be asking thousands of markers to go to a website, download a normal PDF feedback document (looks like a form), annotate over it using the comments tools in Reader XI, save it and return it. So, yes, I think I can tell all my users to use Reader XI if they want to use this method of giving feedback.

                         

                        Thanks for the advice about formal agreement with Adobe. I'll probably have to pursue them though as I don't want to risk legal action without something to fall back on.

                        • 9. Re: Fillable PDF forms
                          George_Johnson MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                          If you can get all of your users to use Reader 11, you can make it a regular form with interactive form fields and they will be able to save it and return it to you. Since the document doesn't need to be enabled, the restrictions regarding enabled forms would not be relevant.

                          • 10. Re: Fillable PDF forms
                            henrys court Level 1

                            So, if it's saved out of Acrobat as a normal PDF but containing form fields, users with Reader XI can still complete and save the form locally?

                             

                            Whereas, the licensing issue only becomes a problem if it's saved out of Acrobat as a "Reader Extended PDF" (what you're calling 'enabled')?

                             

                            Have I got this right?

                            • 11. Re: Fillable PDF forms
                              George_Johnson MVP & Adobe Community Professional

                              That's right.

                              • 12. Re: Fillable PDF forms
                                henrys court Level 1

                                Many thanks for taking time to help me - it's much appreciated.

                                 

                                Best wishes :-)