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PDF form field doesn't accept typing for several seconds

Posted on 2014-01-14
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Last Modified: 2014-01-29
I have a pdf reservation form at https://secure.mauitradewinds.com/TransMan/resform.pdf   I notice that it may take more than five seconds between placing the cursor in a form field, and the time when the cursor actually appears there.  In other words, a user sometimes can't begin typing for more than five seconds.  This behavior is inconsistent, but visitors sometimes report that the form "didn't work".  Is there a way to avoid that delay?  The form was created with Acrobat 11 Professional.
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Question by:ddantes
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39781181
If they are using Adobe Reader 11, it insists on 'phoning home' over the internet before it lets you do anything.  It is very irritating and I don't know if you can turn it off.
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 39786172
Thank you, Dave.  I think this issue happens particularly when the form is opened in Internet Explorer.  It happens to me with IE 10.
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Expert Comment

by:Dave Baldwin
ID: 39786264
IE uses the Adobe plugin so it uses whatever version of Adobe Reader the user has.
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 39791572
I have Adobe Reader 11, and I'm not getting any "phone home" issue.  There is just (sometimes) a delay of several seconds before the cursor appears in a form field, and typing is accepted.  If anyone can reproduce this behavor and find a solution to avoid that delay, I'd be grateful.
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by:captain
ID: 39795336
Hi

How large is the form and where is the form stored when users open it?

The reason I am asking this is that there are three common reasons for behaviour like this.

1. The form is very large (such as having a large image embedded) and is stored on a network share or on the internet and the client software struggles to process all the information.

2. The save home issue as Dave mentioned. When opening a PDF for the first time the Reader client checks for updates that may be available causing sometimes a perceivable lag. ( unlikely the cause as the lag is in opening Adobe files rather than accessing fields.

3. Local security software causing heavy scan activity on the file, thereby making the file behave very sluggish. What CPU load do you get on the affected user PCs?

There are other possible causes such as validation runnning on fields, or java script that causes delays.

Let us know so we can understand this better.

capt.
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 39795353
Thank you for those details.   The file size is 236 kb.  A link to the pdf is included in the original question.  Since this delay occurs intermittently on my own office machines, I don't think it can be the "call home" issue, and I don't see Reader checking for updates when the form is loaded in my browser.   The CPU load on my desktop ranges from 5-9% while the form is being loaded.  If you use Internet Explorer, and you wouldn't mind testing the form, I'd like to know if you see any delay in being able to populate a form field.
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by:captain
ID: 39808895
Just double checking, the file I have is 623kb I suspect this is a typo, but in any case it should not affect typing.

The Form behaves as desired with quick response time when selecting the fields in offline mode.

In IE there is also no noticeable delay, both typing and switching between field focus is as you would expect.

I think this eliminates the PDF file itself as a problem source.

What happens if you disable all plug-ins in IE? Does it work faster? If so try and re-enable the plug-ins one by one and see which one makes it croak...

hth
capt.
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 39808966
Thank you for your instructions.  Yes, the file is 623kb.  I have a local copy of it on my disk, which is 236kb for some reason.  But when I download it from the server it is 623kb.

I'll try disabling plug-ins in IE and post again.  However, it may not be easy to draw a valid conclusion.  The delay is intermittent, and after typing is finally accepted, the issue doesn't happen again for a while.
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Expert Comment

by:captain
ID: 39809266
Thanks for the info. I think you may be right. It will take patience to figure this out.

I have seen similar behaviour when flash plugins take 10-15% of CPU and anything in a browser becomes jerky.

You may want to keep Task Manger running for a while to see if anything shows up there too...
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 39809452
The intermittent hesitation to accept typing in form fields still occurs, after disabling all toolbars, extensions, search providers (except Google), accelerators and tracking protection.  Spelling correction for U.S. English is still enabled.   The delay is brief enough (5-10 sec) that it may be difficult to make any observations with Task Manager.
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Expert Comment

by:captain
ID: 39812365
Do you get the same symptoms if you run this on you local PDF?
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 39813720
Good question.  Yes, exactly.
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Accepted Solution

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captain earned 250 total points
ID: 39817662
Do you run any antivirus or Network Security software that may interfere?

I think we are looking at an outside influence, unique to your PC as it is not location dependent or a PDF document issue.
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Author Comment

by:ddantes
ID: 39818144
Yes, that is possible.  However, the reason I posted the question is that visitors to my website reported this symptom, so it doesn't seem to be unique to my PC.  However, it could be related to issues on the visitor's PC as well as on mine.  Thank you for your input.
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Expert Comment

by:captain
ID: 39818579
No problem. I guess this will require some more specific trouble shooting.

Thanks for the accept.
capt.
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