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How to edit a form modified from a non-Acrobat product

Explorer ,
Mar 14, 2018 Mar 14, 2018

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I created a form in Word, exported to Acrobat, and added fields. I enabled extended Reader tools (form fill and save) on a form copy and gave that form to a coworker for distribution.

When the form was distributed with the extended Reader tools, document restrictions (no password) showed Changing the Document, Document Assembly, and Creation of Template Pages as Not Allowed. Usually I can Save a Copy, modify the form, and re-save a copy with extended rights again. With several of the returned forms I can no longer modify the form to change font sizes, etc., in areas where more text was entered than expected. Save a copy is not an option unless I resave as a Reader Extended pdf and then Save a Copy from there, but then only Creation of Template Pages becomes allowed again, instead of changing and assembly.

Any ideas what is causing me not to be able to edit the forms? Form data will only be presented in pdf format and is not part of a managed data process where form information becomes part of a database, so pdf appearance matters. There are multiple signature fields, but they are also not part of a managed process and it was expected to have signature errors based on the document changing from person to person.

On several returned forms I am seeing the PDF Producer as iPhone OS 11.2.5 Quartz PDF Content.  I'm assuming PDF Producer is reflecting what the program the user opened the pdf in for signature purposes.

Windows 7, Word 2010, Acrobat DC (continuous license and program updated)

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correct answers 1 Correct answer

Community Expert , Mar 15, 2018 Mar 15, 2018

Have you tried extracting data from any of the PDFs edited by Quartz PDF on the iPhone?

Quartz is a PDF SDK for IOS, and I don't believe it contains any functionality for handling form fields. It's entirely possible that the data was entered as either page content or the field handling was done poorly (just like Safari) and Acrobat can't properly read the fields.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 15, 2018 Mar 15, 2018

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I can Save a Copy, modify the form, and re-save a copy with extended rights again.

Never do that.

Always keep and work on an "original" form, then export/save it as Reader Extended.

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Explorer ,
Mar 15, 2018 Mar 15, 2018

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Obviously it would be best to edit the original form, but my question is regarding how to modify the filled in form I received back. I wanted to note that what would typically be possible was no longer possible.

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Community Expert ,
Mar 15, 2018 Mar 15, 2018

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Have you tried extracting data from any of the PDFs edited by Quartz PDF on the iPhone?

Quartz is a PDF SDK for IOS, and I don't believe it contains any functionality for handling form fields. It's entirely possible that the data was entered as either page content or the field handling was done poorly (just like Safari) and Acrobat can't properly read the fields.

Thom Parker - Software Developer at PDFScripting
Use the Acrobat JavaScript Reference early and often

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Explorer ,
Mar 15, 2018 Mar 15, 2018

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The form was returned with only a handful of the fields still as fields—those export fine—and what you are saying about Quartz lacking functionality for handling form fields makes sense with what I am seeing based on examining the saved files and gathering info about who did what in what order. Thank you for the heads up regarding what Quartz is. Never heard of it before.

These poor forms definitely were mangled on their journey. My current workaround is to print the form to pdf to remove the restrictions and manually edit the file using the Edit PDF tool. A painful end to a lame process.

As a side note, I want to mention how tremendously helpful you have been over the years. Your articles and posts on various sites have helped me learn new skills or get out of jams on many occasions!

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Community Expert ,
Mar 15, 2018 Mar 15, 2018

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Glad I could help shed some light on this issue and previous ones

The rise of mobile and browser centric PDF viewers (i.e. non-compliant viewers) has just about killed PDF forms for general use. 

Thom Parker - Software Developer at PDFScripting
Use the Acrobat JavaScript Reference early and often

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New Here ,
Nov 14, 2023 Nov 14, 2023

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Hi

how to edit a form which non adobe acrobat to word

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