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How do I convince Acrobat 8 Standard to do field recognition?

Posted on 2010-09-15
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
We have an interactive form that is sent to customers; the customer fills in part of it and returns the PDF to us (not in interactive format at that point, unfortunately).  What my users want to do is re-enable the form fields so they can edit some internal-only fields.  BUT, Acrobat 8 Standard (what we use around here) doesn't even show the option for Field Recognition under Forms so we can have it re-enable the form fields for edit.

I'm way inexperienced with PDFs so I'm hoping I missed something simple along the way.  

Thanks!
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Question by:valkyrie_nc
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by:captain
ID: 33681961
Hi

I am not sure I understand your question correctly.

If you have a form without fields that you want your users to fill in you would not have every use detecting the fields and thereby creating forms. You would setup the form once and then distribute to your users.

You use Acrobat standard's form editor to create the fields first. Once you save that form this now contains your fields and a Standard user can fill this and save the form simply by clicking in the field area you specified.

If fields are simply not visible enough (highlight) you can change the highlight settings in Edit> Preferences > Forms

Let us know if you need further help.

capt.
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by:valkyrie_nc
ID: 33684671
I guess I wasn't very clear. :)  My users created an interactive form, and changed the settings so it can be edited by customers via Reader, who then send the edited form back.  Now it doesn't have form fields any more, but we need to reactivate the fields so the form can be edited again.  

When the form is returned from the user, it's just a regular PDF; the interactivity is gone entirely.  I can't get Acrobat to allow me to re-activate the form fields.
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by:captain
ID: 33684714
OK.

I am still unsure how to help you.

Do you edit the completed form when it comes back from the user or have you lost the master form?

Can you post a copy of the form so we can have a look at it?
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by:valkyrie_nc
ID: 33684738
Can't post a copy of the form 'cause of security rules.  But here's the workflow: we send the interactive form to the user, they edit and save and send it back as a regular PDF.  Then we need to edit more internal fields on the form.  They don't get the master, but an interactive copy, and they don't have Acrobat so they send back a non-interactive version.
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Assisted Solution

by:captain
captain earned 250 total points
ID: 33684887
I see.

I have not come across this but quick research may point at a bug.

Forum with bug report:
http://forums.adobe.com/thread/338806 

I will see if I can reproduce the problem and let you know.
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Expert Comment

by:captain
ID: 33685165
I cannot reproduce the error here, all my edits are still editable after saving in Reader and bringing back into Acrobat.

I have Pro but that should not make a difference...

i will continue looking....
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Expert Comment

by:Karl Heinz Kremer
ID: 33691785
When you say the "send back a non-interacrive version" - why is it no longer interactive? How do they fill in the form (which software, which version), and how exactly is the form sent back? Is the form reader enabled so that they can save the modified document, or are they only sending back the form data, or are they printing and sending a scan back?
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by:valkyrie_nc
ID: 33692904
The customers use regular old Acrobat Reader to fill in the form; I'd be shocked if 1 in 1000 has Acrobat on their machines (our customer base is by-and-large not technically oriented; so long as the computer works...).  The form is emailed to them, and they open it in Reader, fill in their data directly into the fields, and send it back to us via email.  It's at the point of saving after they fill in their data that the interactivity is lost, and honestly unless there's something we can do on our end to preserve interactivity through that process without the customer having to do anything, that's probably how things will remain; we cannot depend on the customers to do anything other than 'type 'n' save 'n' email'.
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Accepted Solution

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Karl Heinz Kremer earned 250 total points
ID: 33692980
This means that the form needs to be reader enabled - is this an AcroForm or a Designer form?
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Author Comment

by:valkyrie_nc
ID: 33693057
I believe it's an AcroForm; I wasn't involved in the form design but from sitting with the users when they reported the problem, they walked me through the process and LifeCycle Designer was not brought into play.  When it leaves here, it is reader-enabled (I believe, anyway; Advanced --> Extend Forms Fill-In and Save In Adobe Reader).
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Expert Comment

by:captain
ID: 33724537
Could you do a dummy form without sensitive data so we can have a play with it?
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by:valkyrie_nc
ID: 33737748
Sry; was away from the office for a day.  Here it is, in the interactive form.

Thanks!

 
AnonymizedPDF.pdf
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Expert Comment

by:captain
ID: 33737957
Hi

straight away Adobe Reader tells me that the form is not reader enabled:

Can you check that your PDF form is enabled your end? Maybe there is something awry when creating the forms.

capt.
cannot.jpg
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Author Comment

by:valkyrie_nc
ID: 33754672
No idea what's going on here, but now I cannot even get Acrobat to show the option for enabling reader access to the forms.  I've spent a good day and a half fighting it, and will continue to do so; didn't want you all to think I'd just dropped off the face of the earth. :)
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Expert Comment

by:captain
ID: 33755051
No worries, I am intrigued however about your setup. As you stated you have Standard 8 I don't think Standard included the option to extend the Reader features. I have always used pro so cannot test this, but I cannot find this in the user guide either.

This may be part of the problem. Have you got access to the Pro version and can you try and enable the features from there to see if the problem replicates or subsides?
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Author Comment

by:valkyrie_nc
ID: 33841374
We've determined that we have some Acrobat issues here; at this point I'll close this out and give out points for helpful advice, then go to Acrobat and get some further tech support done there.

Thanks all!
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Author Closing Comment

by:valkyrie_nc
ID: 33841391
Advice is great!  Adobe has issues with our software so I'm heading there now.
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