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Read Acrobat 7 PDF form data with PHP

Posted on 2008-10-16
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Last Modified: 2012-05-05
Software; Acrobat 7 Pro - Server WindowsXP SP2, Apache 2, PHP 5.2
Question;
Our office staff have made a number of PDF forms for our customers to fill out.
What we now want to do is have PHP read the form data without having to re key the data.
In another part of the system we use TCPDF for PDF output ( but the forms are created by hand with Acrobat Pro 7 )

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Question by:Matthew_Way
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Expert Comment

by:socross
ID: 22737782
Have you already collated the data using Acrobat? If the forms were made in Acrobat there is a function within acrobat to collate the data into a dataset (essentially a database of results linked to a master .pdf from). This can all be done through the "Forms" tab.

You can then export it to CSV, XML etc.

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Author Comment

by:Matthew_Way
ID: 22737839
The forms dribble in over a period of time in different offices in different countries.

Would like to be able to "File Upload" the completed PDF form and the PHP application extract the data.
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socross earned 500 total points
ID: 22740621
I used a similar process earlier this year when I sent out a questionnaire for my dissertation research. I emailed the .pdf questionnaire as a form with an "Submit" link at the bottom which automatically e-mailed the questionnaire to me for collation.

The alternative to this is configuring the "Submit" button to upload the data directly to a server via HTTP. To compile you simple point acrobat towards the data on the server and it will compile it and output it to CSV or XML.

The functionality that you want is already there and it will certainly save a lot of time programming PHP.

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