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Making lengthy forms on a website

Posted on 2012-03-13
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Last Modified: 2012-03-14
I am a novice website guy. Here is my issue. I have a 10 page application form on the site, and its an editable PDF with an email button. When someone fills it out and clicks the email button I get an XML message showing the filled in fields and field names, not the actual entire form. As you can imagine, a 10 page form send back to me as XML is not an easy thing to decipher. I really don't want to recreate this 10 page form in another utility. Does anybody know of a "form tool" that would let me scan in the form, keep it editable, but when the email button is clicked I would get the entire filled in form attached to the email that I could then print, have signed, and file?

The other issue is the PDF I use says at the top that it cannot be saved to a hard drive, on some PCs I AM able to save the completed form to the hard drive, but on other PCs when I save the form to the hard drive it only saves a blank, not filled in form. Why is this?

thx experts...Bob
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Question by:bobrossi56
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Expert Comment

by:käµfm³d 👽
ID: 37718411
on some PCs I AM able to save the completed form to the hard drive, but on other PCs when I save the form to the hard drive it only saves a blank, not filled in form. Why is this?
The free Adobe Reader will not allow you to save completed PDF forms. I believe Adobe Acrobat (non-free) will let you save the forms as completed.

I am not sure about your other requirement.
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Expert Comment

by:Michel Plungjan
ID: 37718415
XML is not THAT hard to decipher
The receiving program can apply a stylesheet (xsl) that mimics the form
If you converted the form to HTML, you would get only form field and values back anyway.
If you wish, you can show me the form and its output - my email is in my profile if you do not wish to post here. If you do post, please obscure any personal details in the output
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Author Comment

by:bobrossi56
ID: 37719718
No problem...here is the form.
Application-distributed.pdf
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Michel Plungjan earned 500 total points
ID: 37719954
Aha - that was enlightening.

So when I submit this, a mail is created with an FDF file you can import into Acrobat Pro

It is not XML, it is FDF format and it is actually quite parse-able too

<</T(Eye Color)/V(blue)>>
<</T(F)/V/Off>>
<</T(Fax)/V(none)>>
<</T(First Name)/V(michel)>>
<</T(Height)/V(178)>>
<</T(Home Phone)/V(....)>>
<</T(Last Name)/V(plungjan)>>

Some fields need some more thinking such as
<</T(F)/V/Off>>  

which is sex:female=off which then means male

so either you get yourself a copy of Acrobat PRO or get someone to for example write an HTA (html application) which will parse the values into a readable format.
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