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Pre Fill Adobe PDF Form and send to user

Posted on 2011-09-10
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Last Modified: 2012-05-12
Hi,

I currently have MS Office, Adobe Acrobat Pro 8, and LiveCycle Designer.  I created an emergency contact form to collect sensative information from people about 1 year ago.  It's time to update the contact information, and I want to use the data collected from my form to create the updated database.  What I would like to do is email the form to the person from the email that they provided with the form pre-filled with the information they provided a year ago.  I've completed a couple of google searches, and it appears to only come up with 3rd party applications or add ons to allow this to happen.  For my application, I don't think I will be able to install any new software, so I need to try and work with the existing programs.

Does anyone have thoughts as what next steps I should take?
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Question by:atljarman
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Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 36517810
It is not advisable to send this type of information to emails that you do not know whether they are still held by the individuals who filled the forms in the first place.
Email is also not a secure communication medium.

You should send an email advising that you need an update of the contact information and provide them with a URL where they can presumably login and update the information.

There are different ways using scripting languages to access and add entries into a PDF form.

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Expert Comment

by:TommySzalapski
ID: 36520724
If you make the form an Excel file that they update and send back, you could easily write a script there to do the updating. Outlook also supports built in forms that would be cleaner but would require a bit more work (I think) for the scripts and mail merge.
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Expert Comment

by:TommySzalapski
ID: 36520725
If you hit 'request attention' and have this added to the Access and Excel zones (assuming you have Access as part of your Office suite) then the question should get answered fairly quickly.
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Expert Comment

by:Richard Daneke
ID: 36523697
Please clarify your Access version.   There is an option to update the database with email in Access 2007 and Access 2010.   This will permit you to accomplish your task with just Access and your email program.
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Author Comment

by:atljarman
ID: 36524041
We have access 2003 at this point, unfortunately.  We're supposed to be upgraded at some point but it is not clear when.
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Expert Comment

by:arnold
ID: 36524583
Are the users internal to the organization?
Do you have an external access mechanism i.e. a web site that is secure and each user would have credentials to access and update their profile?
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Expert Comment

by:Richard Daneke
ID: 36528545
In 2003, this can be done with a mail merge to a Word EMail merge document.  

When you include Word Form fields in the merge Word master, the end user can tab from field to field and update data.  

This will have to be entered into the system when returned.
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Author Comment

by:atljarman
ID: 36529170
Yes.  They are all internal on the same network.  I'm not able to display a form on our website.
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Author Comment

by:atljarman
ID: 36529175
Dosage, do you have an example?
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Author Comment

by:atljarman
ID: 36529184
DoDahd, do you have an example?  Sorry, the iPad changed the name.
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Richard Daneke earned 500 total points
ID: 36530475
Yes. (It is good to have an virtual XP environment still handy with Office 2003!)
Sample DB and mail merge for email with form fields is attached.  (Only one record in db)

Contact-Management1.zip
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Expert Comment

by:Richard Daneke
ID: 36530484
Dosage was not an insult.  But, it must be an operator error as Apple products never fail, never break, and NEVER get viruses!!!
(And never show popular Flash objects)
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Author Comment

by:atljarman
ID: 36531163
DoDahd,

Say you have 100 people you need to send this form to and you want to save a copy in a folder.  Do you have a macro that will fill the file with the data in the second column, name the file with the person's name and current year, then email the form to the correct person?  This way you could save the file on your hard drive then import each file.  Does that make sense?  Do you have an alternate approach to suggest?

I'm just not sure how to write the VBA to insert the record into column #2 then send it to the correct email based on the email address in the database.
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Expert Comment

by:Richard Daneke
ID: 36531234
The mail merge pulls the column two data from the database for each record.  Each form is emailed to each contact.

To test, enter several contacts in the database and use your own email address for each one.   Send the emails.   Each unique email will contain the data that needs updating.
  Since this is a mail merge document, you can merge to a file and merge to email to have a copy on file, but to what purpose.  
  When the email is returned, someone updates the data based on the changes entered in column three.  You can include a key field value on the form to make editing easier.
  Since forms are likely to trickle in, the data entry will be faster than the effort taken to automate the changes.

Again, email sending and updating of your Access database is a feature in version 2007 and 2010. So, don't work to hard on fixing 2003 if you will be upgrading before the next file updates are emailed.
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LVL 18

Expert Comment

by:Richard Daneke
ID: 36531242
There is no VBA in the sample.   The mail merge is handled by the Office Link to a Word Merge document.
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Author Comment

by:atljarman
ID: 36531543
DoDahD,

So I've downloaded the databaase and word form.  I added one record for myself.  I open the word doucment, and it asked me to identify the location of the database.  I located it, it asked if I want it to run the query, I say yes.  Only a blank form appears with no data.  What am I doing wrong?
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Author Comment

by:atljarman
ID: 36531563
DoDahD,

I opened the View, Toolbars, Forms and unlocked the form.  This allowed me to make the changes.  Now when the person returns the form, is there a way to update the database based on what the user puts in the form?
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Expert Comment

by:Richard Daneke
ID: 36532349
In my example, I used a table.   I guess you could copy and paste the data into Access.  When copying from a table (word or excel) into Access, the cell ranges must be equal (if you copy three fields from word, you must highlight three fields in Access to paste into).
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Author Comment

by:atljarman
ID: 36532377
DoDahD,

I clicked on the email merge link, and the form fields did not retain in the emails.  Did I click on the right link?  It sounds like the email should have included a word attachment to the email.  Is this correct?
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Author Closing Comment

by:atljarman
ID: 37017858
Great job
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