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input fields in PDF


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There are somethings one needs to know before answering your question.

1) Is it something that will have to be fully automatic/run server side?

2) Do you want to export the values of a current record, so that the PDF form is already populated with whatever is already in FM, or do you just want an empty PDF to use as an off-line form from where you can extract the field values?

To the best of my knowledge there is no FileMaker plugin that can create PDF forms in one go, but there are several server-side applications that let you do it with more or less programming.

If you only need it occasionally you can do a lot using Adobe Acrobat Professional.

The exact steps depends on what you want to achieve.

If you do not need to export (editable) field values from FM you can use Acrobat's ability to import a new background (think of forms elements as a layer on top of the graphical background) That way you create the forms element once, store them in a file, and replace the background with the PDF file you export from FM

If on the other hand you need to export the field values you can either export the record as a tab/comma-delimited file and import it into your pre-designed PDF form. To get it working reliably you need to be careful when setting up your PDF form.

You can also have a look at the FDF-file format, which is Acrobat's way of storing form data in what's basically a plain text file. FDF files are very easy to import/export from/to PDF forms.

Before sending a PDF form to your client you will probably want to enable clients using the free Adobe Reader to save the form as well, so you must enable Reader rights in the PDF.

Once you get your forms back you can easily export forms data to a text field, which can the be imported into FM.

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We only use FM Server 8 for internal use, the boss thinks allowing people access will be too risky.

Sure I want the client to use Acrobat Reader, and maybe I can have a standard form made with all the input form fields empty.

If I could import directly from the filled and returned PDF form, that would be great.

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You might want to take a look at the PDF Manipulator plug-in from Productive Computing:

https://www.productive.cc/pci_cart/FMPro?-DB=PCSC_Products.FP5&-Format=catalog.htm&-Lay=CGI&ID_No=29&-Find

AFAIK, the only other way to get form data from PDF is to export it to a .csv file, using Adobe Acrobat Pro (or perhaps some third-party utility?), then import the file into Filemaker - see:

http://www.adobe.com/designcenter/acrobat/articles/acr7it_exprtform.html

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