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Ms Access vs Fillable PDF forms | to- and from-

Posted on 2013-11-03
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I've searched here, and the most recent questions/solutions on this are very dated.

So, are there add-ins, APIs or other programs or packages that facilitate read-from and writing-to 'fillable' PDF forms?  For instance, the US Governments I-9 and W-4 employment forms?   I'm versed in VBA, and can interface/control the creation, modification, etc, of Word, and Excel files via their object models and interfaces, so was hoping there is something 'out there' I could work with in a similar manner.

Suggestions and/or sample code much appreciated.
-Bill-
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Question by:bcreen
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Joe Winograd, EE Fellow 2017, MVE 2016, MVE 2015 earned 1500 total points
ID: 39620458
Hi Bill,
I've used the PDF Toolkit in many programs:
http://www.pdflabs.com/tools/pdftk-the-pdf-toolkit/

The command line interface is very nice. Here's the man page for it:
http://www.pdflabs.com/docs/pdftk-man-page/

I've never used the fill-form feature, but it looks as if it will do what you want:
http://www.pdflabs.com/docs/pdftk-man-page/#dest-op-fill-form

Everything I've done with PDFtk has worked well, so I'm guessing fill-form will, too. Regards, Joe
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by:bcreen
ID: 39620521
Hi Joe,

I've looked at PDF Toolkit via the links you provided....have you actually written Ms Access VBA code to interface with PDF Toolkit?  I didn't really see where that was a possibility?

If so, could you provide a code-sample ?  Thanks in advance!

-Bill-
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LVL 58
ID: 39620565
Hi Bill,
I have not written VBA code that interfaces with it. I know very little about VBA, but I was going on the assumption that it's possible to call a command line from VBA code. All of my code calls it via <%comspec%>.

<link removed - GaryC123>

Here's a code sample of using it via VBA in Excel (scroll down to the "May 16, 2006, 5:35 am by Anonymous" entry):
http://dailydoseofexcel.com/archives/2006/05/

A web search for "vba pdftk" turns up numerous hits that will make much more sense to you than me. :)   Regards, Joe
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ID: 39620641
For instance, the US Governments I-9 and W-4 employment forms...
For the US Government forms the Paper Reduction Act allows you to create something that is close and has the same information. I have been print I9, W4, Ws2 and all the 1099s formats on plain paper.  I use controls on an Access report to draw the forms along with the data.  

At least for the US Government forms you can draw your own on a report. I have been filing 1000s of forms a year for many years now.

Unless I must submit the form as a filled in PDF, I have yet to have anyone not accept the forms I generate using Access Report not their PDF.
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by:Joe Winograd, EE Fellow 2017, MVE 2016, MVE 2015
Joe Winograd, EE Fellow 2017, MVE 2016, MVE 2015 earned 1500 total points
ID: 39621810
Although it's not for Access, here's a relevant thread at EE that may help as it talks about using PDFtk in Excel VBA:

http://www.experts-exchange.com/Software/Office_Productivity/Office_Suites/MS_Office/Excel/Q_27666838.html

Regards, Joe
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by:bcreen
ID: 39657450
Thanks folks!
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You're welcome! Good luck with the project. Regards, Joe
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