View Full Version : PDF Filling Forms

12-04-2009, 10:42pm
Is there a way to fill in PDF forms?? I don't understand why one receives them and is expected to email them back, but one cannot enter data into them. Only have Adobe Reader

12-04-2009, 11:00pm
You can do it with the Acrobat PDF writer program. That's the good news. The bad news is it comes from Adobe (the same people who make Photo$hop) and they will charge you the price of a good macro lens for it. Buying it is a really bad idea.

Or, you can visit http://foxitsoftware.com and get a free reader which is vastly superior to Adobe Acroslug in every possible way, and (if you want to) buy a PDF writer from them for about one tenth of the price of the Adobe one.

Or, finally, you can print it out and write on it with a pencil, scan it in, and email it back. Of course, first you have to buy a scanner. And possibly also a pencil.

Why do people send forms out that way? Frankly, it's because they haven't got a clue. The only program they know how to use is Microsoft Word, and the company or government department has already paid for the Acrobat PDF writer to turn a Word document into a PDF, so that's what they do.

There are appropriate and good ways to do electronic forms (that's what Australian Photography is, a giant electronic form), but lots of people are too clueless to use them, so they do everything the hard way.

13-04-2009, 6:55am
I agree with what Tony said, but there is also a good reason some do it. Some of these PDF forms are able to be filled in on your PC. So you receive the PDF and can type in all the fields then print it, sign it, and fax it back.

Now if you have ever had to deal with lots of forms that have been handwritten, you will know how damn bad some peoples' writing really is. It is at times impossible to even work out what their name is, let alone any other information provided. So I can see a place for PDF forms, as long as they are made so that you can enter the data into them. You don't need PDF writer to do that, a PDF form can be made to allow completion of fields on screen, without PDF writer.

13-04-2009, 7:21am
(Arrgaraggh!!! Beats head on floor. Throws small fit.)

That is NOT a good reason. If you want someone to fill it in on a screen, then it needs to be presented in a format and using a technology that works properly on a screen. Otherwse people are only going to print it out and use a pencil. Oh, and while you're at it, lets also make it more user-friendly, easier to operate, and vastly more bandwidth-efficient. That's what HTML forms are for. PDFs are no good on screen, never have been, never will be. They are big, slow, clumsy, and ugly. The "P" in PDF really should stand for "printable", cause that's pretty much all PDFs are good for.

Anyone who sends out forms in PDF format deserves to get them all back handwritten.

13-04-2009, 7:36am
(Arrgaraggh!!! Beats head on floor. Throws small fit.)


13-04-2009, 7:42am
Also PDF files are usually protected so you can't do anything to them, you can only print them off and then yes, Use a pencil

13-04-2009, 8:08am

13-04-2009, 8:17am
If you really want to and have Acrobat 8 or above you can turn a dumb form into a fillable form. Done it plenty of times.

13-04-2009, 8:38am

What does that mean ?

13-04-2009, 9:05am
I think it meand the Office of Film and Literature has refused classification to the picture of me Ricktas asked for on the grounds of extreme violence. :)

13-04-2009, 10:01am
hahaha- funny Tony..you gave me a good laugh for a Monday morning.

13-04-2009, 10:23am
There is a very good reason for the PDF format - you can lock a document up so nobody can change areas you dont want touched. Word wont do this - the document is locked or unlocked - no partial locks permitted.

I work in Supply Tenders and Contracts for a living and the last thing I need is some less than honest person or company changing the specifications or contractual obligations of a document to permit their product being used only to find some time down the track that the product was not fit for purpose in the first place yet the signature of supply authorisation was provided. Leads to some very messy litigation not to mention stopping processes which may be using that product and interfere with our supply of electricty.

An added feature is the compaction of a PDF - Typically my contract documents will be around 2 to 3 hundred pages plus drawings and images. With many Tenderers asking for an e copy of the Tender and mail boxes having in general a 5Mb limit, then compaction is the only answer.

Lastly a PDF can be constructed so that the relative fields can be keyboard written to using Acrobat Reader only (anything after I think version 4 or 5??). It just means that you have to specifically nominate each field you want or demand an answer for. Not difficult but can be time consuming.