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Export PDF form data to Excel?

Explorer ,
Sep 26, 2012 Sep 26, 2012

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Hey guys

I've got a form created with different fields to collect information. Is it possible to export the data to an Excel file? This is because some of the data collected is also used for tracking job progress and the tracking is done in just an excel file.

I could see if I distrbute the form, the data is submitted and collected in Acrobat. Just wondering if it's possible so that I don't have to re-type the data in the form submitted (via email).

Thanks.

Leanne

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Adobe Community Professional ,
Sep 26, 2012 Sep 26, 2012

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Sure, there's a built-in feature for this:

Acrobat 9: Forms > Manage Form Data > Merge Data Files into Spreadsheet

Acrobat 10: Tools > Forms > More Forms Options > Manage Form Data > Merge Data Files into Spreadsheet

It will prompt you to select one or more forms or data files (FDF/XFDF) and generate a CSV file that contains the form data, which can be imported into Excel or whatever. The first row will give the field names. Note that you don't have direct control over the order of the fields with this option. If processing PDFs, Acrobat 10 will use the tab order.

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New Here ,
Apr 11, 2016 Apr 11, 2016

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What is the path in CC?

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Community Beginner ,
Jul 27, 2016 Jul 27, 2016

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In the prepare forms tool there is a dropdown for more options and it is in those options.

A faster way is to just type spreadsheet in the tool search field. You probably won't get past the word spread before you see the option.

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New Here ,
Feb 02, 2018 Feb 02, 2018

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LATEST

garyo99822465:

Thank you for this answer!  There were many complicated answers and you hit the nail in the head with a few sentences.

All the best!

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New Here ,
Apr 05, 2017 Apr 05, 2017

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Very usefull answer!

Tanks

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New Here ,
Apr 01, 2013 Apr 01, 2013

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I know this is may be a bit late for you but I have an alternative suggestion. I have just written and published a free utility that simplifies the export. Faced with a PDF form that may force you to go through the Acrobat export process many times I wrote a program that lets you open multiple XFDF files, open one existing Excel spreadsheet and load the lot in one go. Of course, it needs to know how the form fields map to the spreadsheet columns and that takes a bit of work, but you do it once and the process is simple after that (so a technically competent person could do the mapping and leave the day-to-day process in less technical hands).

I'm not saying it'll necessarily be better for you, but I am sure it will be better for some than doing the Acrobat export thing every time. It's all explained at http://www.tarrget.info/XFDF2XL.

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Engaged ,
Apr 08, 2013 Apr 08, 2013

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@TheSilverSmith...that sounds like a fabulous utility. Thank you for providing the link.  I haven't downloaded it yet, but I certainly will, shortly

A few questions...

1. Will the utility allow you to import the entire AcroForm with data, or can the user only import the "data file" portion (XFDF)?

2. Will this work with Livecycle XFA based forms as well, or perhaps XML data if not the entire XFA file... (Although XFDF and XML is just about the same if my understanding is correct).

3. You mentioned it allows the user to open/load "multiple" XFDF files...I presume they can open a singe XFDF file as well, correct?

4. After the user has completed the inital import and the Excel doc is loaded with data, can the user select a "new" group of XFDF data files, and have the "new" XFDF data APPEND to the exisiting/same Excel doc? Perhaps the data gets appended to the end of the exisiting Excel table...Or, will the user have to select a fresh/new Excel  doc each time?

Thank again!!!!

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New Here ,
Apr 08, 2013 Apr 08, 2013

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Hi SI_MSD7,

The import uses the data file portion in XFDF format. I haven't looked at the spec for the data files out of Livecycle XFA so I don't know how similar they are. The code expects the fields and values in the XFDF file(s) to be in the format:

<fields>

  <field name="fieldname"><value>Test</value></field> ...

</fields>

so if the Livecycle data file's XML looks like that then it should work but my quick trawl through the Livecycle documentation this morning indicates that it may not work as it stands.

Yes, the file open dialogue for the XFDF files will allow you to select only one file... but also more if you need to load several at once.

The code expects an existing Excel file with one row of headers (which are used as column names when mapping between the XFDF field names and Excel) and inserts data into the second row of the first sheet, shifting the existing data down - so: Yes, it does append data to an existing file that can have as much pre-existing data in it as you like. The idea of appending into the second row is to place the new data somewhere easy to find for a quick visual check (or any immediate manipulation you want) as Excel can very easily sort them to your liking once you are happy with the loaded rows.

I hope that this utility can be useful to you but I have a suspicion, purely based on the fact that you're using Livecycle, that your needs might be a bit more complex than it can handle. If it would only need a few tweaks to be made to work for you (like having a configuration option that says where to append the new data rows instead of always inserting them at row two) then let me know and I'll see what I can do.

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Engaged ,
Apr 08, 2013 Apr 08, 2013

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TheSilverSmith,

Now that I recall, there is a slight difference between XFDF and XML

In XML the data element<> contains the field name and the value is listed thereafter:

<FirstName>Mike </FirstName>

<LastName>Phillips</LastName>

<EmailAdress>mike.phillips@yahoo.com</EmailAdress>

in XFDF the field name is listed following field name = "" and the value is contained in a separate element. Thus, it wouldn't work for XML but that's OK, its still a great utility for workign with AcroForms.

The fact that your utility allows the user to select an existing Excel doc is a huge advantage over the Acrobat process in that Acrobat basically generates the Excel doc for you, and the user is stuck with appending data through some other means (i.e. copy/paste). That being said, appending to the top of the list isn't a huge problem. I'm just used to seeing data append at the bottom since that's how Excel does it when you Map Fields (working with XML data). But like you mentioned, your utility includes filters to sort the data, so it's basically the same slice of pie at the end of the day.

P.S. I think it would be a great thing to include/package the PDF form you used to generate the XFDF and format the config file. That way users can visually see the field names and placement within the actual form, all of which could help them follow the structure of the config file a lot better. Just a suggestion.  In fact, I' d appreciate it if would email me a blank verison of the PDF file so that I could follow along,  I'll private message you my email address if you don't mind.

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Guest
Sep 27, 2014 Sep 27, 2014

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Hello, your given instruction Exporting PDF form data into an excel spreadsheet

is very useful, thank you. Exporting PDF form data into an excel spreadsheet

But I have problem, if you can help me I will be very grateful.

When I export to excel file ARMENIAN language date (written in Unicode -Sylfaen), instead of letters it shows dots (.....) like this, how can i solve this problem.

Thank you in advance.

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New Here ,
Feb 03, 2015 Feb 03, 2015

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The link to the utility XFDF2XL, http://www.tarrget.info/XFDF2XL, does not work and isn't even listed in Google right now.

Q:

  1. Anyone know why this has happened?
  2. Can anyone share a copy of XFDF2X?

I'd like to test this utiliy.

Thanks in advance.

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LEGEND ,
Feb 03, 2015 Feb 03, 2015

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It appears they did not pay their domain registration fee.

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New Here ,
Apr 01, 2015 Apr 01, 2015

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Yes, could someone share this or similar utility as mentioned in this thread:

The link to the utility XFDF2XL, http://www.tarrget.info/XFDF2XL, does not work and isn't even listed in Google right now.

I'd also like to test such utility : Script to transfer data from PDF Form to SQL Database / Excel Spreadsheet

Thanks!

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Guest
Jan 01, 2015 Jan 01, 2015

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I have encountered a similar problem and resolved it.

How to Insert a Blank Row After Every Other Row in Excel

Sometimes you may face a situation where in you are given thousands of rows of data and you need to create a blank row after every other row in the excel sheet. In order to do it manually, it will consume lot of time. Learn the following trick to do it in seconds.

1 Since there are 10 rows of data in the given example, write numbers from 1 to 10 in column D starting from row number two.

2 Copy the range from D2:D11 and paste it in D12, so that the numbers from 1 to 10 repeat once again.

3 Select the range A2:D21.

4 Choose Custom Sort from Sort & Filter menu in Home tab.

5 Choose Column D in the Sort by menu, Values in Sort On menu and Smallest to Largest in the Order menu.

6 Delete the numbers in the column D.

7 Blanks rows have been successfully inserted after every other row in the given range.

[link removed... Mod]

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LEGEND ,
Jan 04, 2015 Jan 04, 2015

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You are exporting the form data into a database table. This exported data could be imported into an SQL compatible database. Databases expect unique ids or unique data for each entry, duplicate empty rows can cause a lot of problems.

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New Here ,
Jan 29, 2016 Jan 29, 2016

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Regarding the XFXF2XL utility:

Sorry that it has been unavailable, I used a friend's hosting which was hit by hackers and misused for spamming so I took down the site (definitely nothing to do with not paying for the domain!).

I have had two private messages just recently asking if the utility still exists and it certainly does. I will be too busy to get fresh hosting organised for a while so I have dropped the package here: XFDF2XL.zip - Google Drive.

Feel free to download it. The package includes what I hope is comprehensive guidance on how to use it, but it is intended to be configured by someone who really understands forms well (with the aim of making the day-to-day processing really simple).

Please note... I very rarely log into this forum and am not notified of questions in posts so it is extremely unlikely you'll get an answer from me (of course you might get one from another user)! If you have a question for me, PM me (point at my user name and click "Message").

Cheers, The SilverSmith

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New Here ,
Jul 20, 2016 Jul 20, 2016

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There are a lot of people that have this "problem". There are a lot of paid and free tools/services that are available outside Adobe.

One that I've been using consistently with success to turn PDF's into Excel, CSV, JSON and XML is here: docparser.com. There are other functions of this software too, but for what you describe it should fit your needs.

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