Can I save a secure form in Reader?
October 11, 2012 7:16 AM   Subscribe

How to get Adobe Reader to save a secure form?

I'm almost embarrassed to admit I can't figure out an answer to this one...

I'm building a PDF form for a client in Acrobat 9 Pro. The PDF will be posted on their website for their customers to download, fill-in, and email back. (No, we aren't doing an online form. Don't ask.) I've set security on the PDF to allow printing and filling-in form fields. However, I run into a problem when opening and filling-in the PDF in Adobe Reader. I can fill-in the form just fine, but cannot save the filled-in form in order to mail it back. Reader will only save a blank form.

I've found that Preview will save the filled-in form, so I'm sure that there are plenty of Windows apps that will, too. But, it's a good bet that a large number of their customers will be using Reader.

Any ideas how I can build this form and get Reader to save a completed form? Will I have to post the PDF without any security set? I'm told there is a way to do this with Acrobat 10 Pro, but, as I said, I'm on Acrobat 9.

posted by Thorzdad to Media & Arts (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Did you save the form with Extended features? FILE>>SAVEAS>>READER EXTENDED PDF>>ENABLE ADDITIONAL FEATURES

Without that, the form is just a regular PDF, but if you use that option, Acro Reader can save forms as well. Sort of like a runtime version of the PDF.

Added: If you have done all that, then you can address the security issues which is another feature, but separate from the saving feature. Let me know what stage you are at and I can give you info about that.
posted by lampshade at 7:43 AM on October 11, 2012

Did you save the form with Extended features? FILE>>SAVEAS>>READER EXTENDED PDF>>ENABLE ADDITIONAL FEATURES

Thanks, lampshade. In Acrobat 9 Pro, that option isn't available under Save As...

However, I did some further research after posting this and discovered that a similar setting can be found in Acrobat 9 under Advanced > Extend Features in Adobe Reader. Not sure why they put it there, as it performs a Save As... function.

Anyway, the form works perfectly now!
posted by Thorzdad at 8:00 AM on October 11, 2012

Yeah, forgot about that change. I use Acro X, so the menus are a bit different now. I recall that the Extended feature in Acro 9 was sort of buried.

Anyway, good that it works for you now.

Another feature you may want integrate into your form is an email/attachment button. You can specify recipient address, whether the file gets attached and other features. Very helpful for this type of operation as it takes a lot of the guess work out of the process for the end user. The button script can be a simple Java and the attachment, addressing and notation features are accessed in the button definition window.
posted by lampshade at 8:20 AM on October 11, 2012

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