Reader cannot save filled in forms. It cannot reliably e-mail.
But it can SUBMIT forms (submit does not mean "send an e-mail").
I also have a PDF form I created in Acrobat Professional 6 which I would like our participants to be able to complete and somehow get the form data back to me by email. If I open the form in Preview on my Mac I can "Save As" and the form data is saved with the form. I opened the form in Adobe Reader 7 on my Win XP Home machine and I get an alert informing me I can't save the data typed into the fields. However, if I "Save As Text" from with Reader 7 I do get ...
I also have a PDF form I created in Acrobat Professional 6 which I would like our participants to be able to complete and somehow get the form data back to me by email.
If I open the form in Preview on my Mac I can "Save As" and the form data is saved with the form.
I opened the form in Adobe Reader 7 on my Win XP Home machine and I get an alert informing me I can't save the data typed into the fields. However, if I "Save As Text" from with Reader 7 I do get a text file including the typed-in data.
I created a "Submit" button with an action of mouse up - submit a form and in the URL field I entered "mailto:" followed by the email address. When I open this form in Reader 7 in Windows, complete the form and click the "Submit" button I get an alert indicating "This action not permitted." However, this may be because I haven't set up any email on my Windows machine. If I open the form in Preview on my Mac, complete the form and click "Submit" nothing happens.
Reader cannot save filled in forms. It cannot reliably e-mail.
But it can SUBMIT forms (submit does not mean "send an e-mail").
I chose the available options in the Actions tab/"Submit Form Selections".
I do not have a server with CGI.
Interestingly enough, I can save completed PDF form with data from within Acrobat Pro Mac by using "Save As." I haven't installed Reader on my Mac, so haven't tried it from there.
I'm getting pretty familiar with what Reader CAN'T do with a PDF form.
Any suggestions for a simple method to collect data from participants using a PDF form and email without a web site or server?
What would be really cool would be if Reader (Win or Mac) could "Save As" the PDF form with completed form fields (like Mac Preview) and the participant could simply email the completed form as an attachment.
If I open the form in Preview on my Mac, complete the form and click "Submit"
I think the problem is that you don't have an e-mail application on your Win machine.
Also, Preview is not a full-PDF featured program. That's most likely the reason your submit form button doesn't work.
I'll send the form to a Windows user and she can try the "Submit" button.
Reader cannot save filled in forms. It cannot reliably e-mail. But it
can SUBMIT forms (submit does not mean "send an e-mail").
For a guy who works with software, code, and writing, you can be extremely myopic and narrow-minded.
I'm surprised that you can't look beyond the literal sense of the questions and give people the solution that they want.
Perhaps you don't speak English well.
Or you don't understand Acrobat as well as you would want us to believe.
Or you don't like the idea that someone has come up with techniques you didn't invent.
I know you have a financial interest in third-party plug-ins for Acrobat. Perhaps that is influencing your objectivity in suggesting the built-in submit form via e-mail command.
All I know is every time you make the above comment (twice in this thread), you open your mouth, and then stick your foot right in it.
I have stated over and over that Read can save the INFORMATION in forms. For most of the people looking for an inexpensive solution to the "submit form in Reader question" this is all they need.
It is sad that people like you, who should know better, have determined that the solution I spoke about in post (#27) of this thread is not "professiona" enough for you.
The problem is you're not listening to the actual statements of the questioners. You hear the words "Reader," "Forms," and "Save" and then tell them it can't be done without expensive third-party software.
You hide behind the word "reliably" to weasel your way into the statement "Acrobat can not reliably send e-mail."
You jump from one discussion of submitting form data via e-mail to question the ability of people with accounts such as hotmail to send the form data.
And yet, you haven't even looked at the incredibly simple, easy-to-understand instructions that are built into Acrobat for submitting form data via hotmail and other services.
Mister, what's your problem???
There's plenty of solutions for those companies who can't afford Life-Cycle extensions or FormRouter.
I used to think highly of you and your knowlege and helpful nature. I no longer do so.
There is a method I tried with limited sucess on our Webiste a year or so ago. It requires the person on the end receiving information have a copy of the blank form. Set up for create submit button with mailto of that individual Then people on the site would fill in form. The information would go to emailed person. The blank form would be place in same directory as the information.. But both parties need Acrobat for it to work. and the one receiving the information has to try some stuff in the Blank form in order to make it work. It did work in a limited basis.
Hi again, Sandee
"incredibly simple, easy-to-understand instructions that are built into Acrobat for submitting form data via hotmail and other services"
Could you help me find those easy-to-understand instructions? Searching Acrobat help for "send form data" brings up soooooo many links....
Sandee, what is your problem? Why do you feel the need to use as arguments personal disqualifications disguised as questions?
Honestly, I don´t find in your diatribe a single argument to convince me that Aandi is wrong in anything he has said in this thread.
I think highly of you and your knowledge and helpful nature. Please don't prove me wrong.
>I do not have a server with CGI.
CGI, ASP, PHP - any will do.That's an Acrobat Pro thing. Reader cannot save.>
>Interestingly enough, I can save completed PDF form with data from within Acrobat Pro Mac by using "Save As."
Get the web script. I feel it is the only viable option.>Any suggestions for a simple method to collect data from participants using a PDF form and email without a web site or server?
I'm sorry, I mis-spoke. The incredibly easy instructions appear for something else. But it's not so hard to create a form that can be submitted via e-mail in Reader.
Here's what you need to do:
Create your PDF doent with as many interactive form fields as you want.
Somewhere on the doent, create a button. Open the Button Properties and go to the Actions tab.
Choose Submit Form from the Select Action menu. Another dialog box will appear.
In the URL field for this dialog box, enter the following:
In my case I would choose
Now, here's where it gets tricky. There is a setting that will allow you to chose FDF data. This will create a Form Data File (FDF) that will be attached to an e-mail doent.
But what it will do isSet the rest of the dialog box to FDF data. Field data will automatically be chosen. Add comments if you want.
Click OK to close the dialog box and then close the Button Properties dialog box.
You will probably want to create some instructions for what will happen when your reader clicks the button. Here's what I would say:
"Please fill out this form and then click the Submit Form button here. When you do, Acrobat will open your e-mail program and attach a file to an e-mail doent that will have the correct e-mail address."
I used to be able to choose Complete PDF which would prompt Reader to go through a terrific set of dialog boxes that explain how to send the FDF if you don't have a dedicated e-mail application. This meant choosing Submit Complete PDF.
Unfortunaely, Adobe seems to have changed how Reader handles that command. (Perhaps they've been listening to people like Aandi too long.)
And I get the same "You do not have permission" error that you got on Windows.
So submit FDF is the only solution.
Sandee, what is your problem? Why do you feel the need to use as arguments
personal disqualifications disguised as questions?
Why not pose a question to Aandi as to why he insists on dismissing a free solution?
How about with dot-Mac or iWeb sites?
At this point I've determined that Reader (Win) can "Save as Text" and include the form data; then user could attach that text file to an email. It's not elegant, but it works.
By the way, folks, let's just focus on problem-solving. I just ignore the rest.
Thanks, Sandee, very much!
I had done as you suggested, except that in "Submit Form Selections" I chose "PDF The complete doent." (I'm using Acrobat Pro 6; I have Acrobat 7 Standard but not Pro.)
I've changed the "Submit Form" option to FDF. Will try it and see.
Why not pose a question to Aandi as to why he insists on dismissing a
Because I don't feel he has been doing so. And if I did, I would not descend to unjustified personal disqualifications. I agree with Ken:
let's just focus on problem-solving.
I like you quite a lot more when you do.
Hey, gang, it works! Hooray!
I changed the "Submit Form Selections" in my "Submit" button to FDF, and it works like a charm!
One of my Windows-using participants tested it for me, and the FDF doent I received as an email attachment opens into Acrobat using the original form itself.
I then Export the form data from Advanced menu -> Forms and choose text as the preferred format. My system then recognizes the file as tab- or comma-delimited to be opened in Excel, and I can import it into a master spreadsheet or database, whatever.
WAY COOL! Thanks again, everyone! I'm a happy camper!
My next experiment is to put the form on my iWeb site and see if it works from there.
The argument against "submitting" an Acrobat form by e-mail (Designer
forms are slightly different) is that the user may not have a default
e-mail client that is able to accept the request.
In this case one of the following may happen:
* the user might get an error, and their form submission lost
* the e-mail might go into the outbox of an e-mail program the user
never uses, and sit there forever, with no message
* the e-mail might go into an outbox that isn't set up, and the user
might get an error later they don't understand.
In addition of course e-mail is not secure and should not be used for
any form that collects personal information.
All of these mean that I strongly recommend that form submission not
be used where the form is important (e.g. for any business purpose).
It might be suitable for a test, or a survey where you don't really
care if you get every response. It may also work inside a company
where an IT department sets up every computer with the same, working,
The problem here is the difference between a reliable solution and ones
which require babysitting ...
We all know the Livecycle Designer and workflow products (Windows) can
handle forms much better than AcroForms but this is a Mac forum ...
we're left with just Acrobat ...
Maybe we should take the FDF solution and post into the FAQ as a
Maybe we should take the Form Data Submission (Acrobat 7) solution and
post into the FAQ as a *possible* solution
Maybe we should take the mailto: solution and post into the FAQ as a
Maybe we shoud take the SUBMIT cgi/perl option and post into the FAQ as
a server side *techie* solution
The problem with casual users popping into the forum and wanting to know
how to control sumbission of forms in one sentence - it is very
difficult to manage each and every time - hence the seeming negative
responses across the board (I'm guilty also). The time taken to explain
to each and every user is probably the most intensive of all responses ...
I understand frustration from Sandee (let's get the problem sorted once
and for all) and from Aandi (let's talk about solution that work) ...
I contacted Ted Padova earlier this year to see if he was producing a
de-facto book for forms - both Mac and Windows (AcroForms) and the new
features of Livecycle - this might well be in the pipeline .. time will
So I would like to ask the moderator of the forum to see if we can add
some structure with in the FAQ's to quantify the different options
available to Mac users (and if required) external HTML links to
demonstrate best practices and potential downfalls ...
According to the Adobe CEO, we're not too far from seeing another version of Acrobat (I think he said Q4 2006 for Acrobat 8 ). We'll have to see how this all plays out in the next version....
I agree - but it will probably take 18 months for Acrobat 6 and 7 users
to migrate across ... in the meantime ...