Lost work made with 'Fill and Sign' in Acrobat Reader DC (saved work before exit)

New Here ,
Sep 22, 2015

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Hello,

I am in a similar situation. I filled in form fields using "fill and sign". I deliberately saved the work as I did it, after about an hour I closed Acrobat Reader DC. I then opened it up again in a minute - and all my changes were there fine.

I've now come back 3 days later and all the changes have gone, leaving only the empty form. Note: I kept a copy of the original form file and it is 0.5MB, the "edited" file is 3.5MB which suggests that the changes are still there, but somehow hidden.

Could you help?

Thanks,

Peter

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Sep 26, 2015

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Hi peterb23206009,

Are the PDF forms Reader Extended to that they are able to Save the Data filled in the form ?

Regards,
Aadesh

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New Here ,
Oct 18, 2015

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I have the same problem as PeterB:

I used Fill & Sign in Acrobat Reader DC to complete a form that was not fillable in the usual way.

I saved my work and was able to reopen the file and confirm that my work was saved.

Two days later I opened the file and only the X's I had added (using the"add X" option) appeared on the form. All the text I had added did not display.

My saved file was much larger than the original file.

Any hope to get my work back?

Fill & Sign is not a very useful function if it can't be trusted to function properly...

Thanks

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Oct 19, 2015

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Hi chrisw13306433,


Could you please help us in understanding the problem with following information-
1. "I used Fill & Sign in Acrobat Reader DC to complete a form that was not fillable in the usual way.", What do you mean by the 'usual way' you find failing to fill the form?

2. What kind of text you added to the form, was it a regular text or the form field text where separate box is made for each character (where each characters are filled in separate box).
3. Which Operating System you are using?
4. Is it a file specific issue or you are seeing the problem on every file.
Could you please share the file on which you are seeing the issue and the snapshot of the final state which you are seeing after two days.

Thanks

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New Here ,
Oct 21, 2015

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Hi, thanks for the reply. In answer to your questions:

  1. What I mean by "usual way" are the fillable forms that we've been familiar with for years, where the fields available for data entry are highlighted. The form I've the problem with has no fillable fields but the "Fill & Sign" function allows annotations or data to be added to any location on the form.
  2. I've added mostly numbers and text where each character goes in its own box. The ability to stretch and shrink the spacing is great! I also added "x" for marking boxes - not text but the "add an x" function. After all my text disappeared, these x's remained.
  3. Windows 7
  4. This might be only one file that's been affected for me but from my searching it's clear that this has happened to other people, using different files

I'm unable to share the file that has the issue since it contains confidential information. The original pdf file was 270 KB. I entered a lot of text and kept saving as I worked (using save, not save as. The save icon does "save as" the first time you click it but then "save" thereafter). By the time I was done the file was 1,828 KB. Perhaps I didn't look at it right away so the two days may be irrelevant. The file now will not show any of the text I entered, although the X's added by "add an X" do show up. I've opened the file with several different PDF viewers, as well as Acrobat Reader DC.

I have tried to reproduce the error without success. It may be that using "save as" instead of "save" prevents the problem?

If it happens again I will see if I can reproduce the error with a file I can share.

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Oct 23, 2015

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Hi chrisw13306433,

Thanks for providing information.
It would be a great help if you could reproduce the problem and share the file.
I have one more query,
Did you use sign tool as well for placing signature or initials, during form filling?

Thanks,
Sajal

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New Here ,
Oct 23, 2015

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I did not use the sign tool.

I am working on filling in about 20 forms (an income tax backlog!). I have been using "save as" every 5 minutes or so and using a new file name each time. The issue has occurred once again: all my text disappeared, though the "add an X" X's remained. I was able to go back to the previous saved file and continue from there so only lost 5 minutes of work. I am reluctant to share the file because it contains sensitive information but once I have completed all the forms I will try to reproduce the error with dummy information. It seems that too much resizing and moving entered text may trigger the problem.

Thanks,

Chris

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New Here ,
Oct 29, 2015

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Hi again S@j@l

The problem re-occurred several times while completing my forms. I was able to reproduce it with dummy data entered and would like to share the file. But how do I do that?

Thanks,

Chris

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Adobe Employee ,
Oct 31, 2015

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Hi Chris,

I have messaged you with details.

Thanks,

Chandan Kumar

Acrobat DC ENgineering

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Community Beginner ,
Nov 10, 2015

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Can someone please share the solution for the rest of us?

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New Here ,
Nov 10, 2015

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No solution yet, as far as I know. But they are working on it.

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New Here ,
Nov 22, 2015

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Chandan

Please share the solution if you found one.

I have had the same problem using "Fill & Sign" to enter text in a pdf document as Chris and other have reported here.

I am using Acrobat Reader DC (2015.009) in Windows 10.

Thanks

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 28, 2020

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I have had this problem many times so I ended up using the commenting tool instead. Now I am having the same problem with it as well. Maybe the two issues are related? I also show data changes (I mostly use it for filling in schoolwork or any art contracts I need to do) that suggest changes we made in three different spots now: Files, Adobe Acrobat, and Google Drive (where it was uploaded from). Anyone else noticed any odd parallels?

 

Hope this can be solved soon, I enjoy using Adobe and would hate to have to switch because of this.

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Oct 19, 2015

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Hi peterb23206009,

Could you please provide more information about the problem.
1. Which OS version you are using?
2. Did you place a signature on the form before saving?
3. Did you perform a save As or a normal save?
4. Are you seeing the problem with every file or a specific file?
It would also be great if you can share the file on which you are seeing the problem.

Thanks

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New Here ,
Nov 15, 2015

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I had a similar problem. I used the Fill and Sign feature to add content directly to a PDF file that was not set up as a form. I saved the file and made a copy. I then did a Save As of the original and selected the Reduce File Size check box. (The 6 page document was 26MB!) The saved file lost all the filled data and was reduced in size to 162KB.

I thought I was being smart by making a copy first. The copy is still 26MB but the filled data is all gone. Any idea how I might get it to show up? Considering the size of the file, I suspect it's still there somewhere.

Unfortunately, the data that disappeared from my file also contains confidential information so I can't share it--just in case it's recoverable.


Note that I did have the file password protected, for what it's worth.


Using Windows 8, Acrobat DC Pro trial version

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New Here ,
Nov 22, 2015

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I have the same problem on Mac OS X 10.11. Has this bee fixed yet? I just filled in 6 pages to find all my work gone. Adobe knows this function does not work. Why not tell anyone?

Matt

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New Here ,
Dec 17, 2015

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Has there been a solution for this?! I have a project due at midnight for graduate school and all of my data filled in from a 28 page behavioral assessment has disappeared!!! This is my nightmare!!! I never would have used this tool had I known!

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Explorer ,
Jan 07, 2016

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Bump. I assume there's no resolution around this, but I just got bitten by it - spent several hours completing a tax form with Fill & Sign, only to have all of my work disappear after I save and close the file. ChKumar or other Adobe staffers, PLEASE help us recover our data that is clearly still embedded in these PDFs. I'm walking a thin line and can't afford to burn an entire work day tediously producing absolutely nothing.

Edit: Like stephm92884755, I desperately need this to get resolved, I had hoped to have these forms done in the next two days and truly have to have them completed by Monday at the latest. Please address the issue, it seems to clearly be a major application bug.

Edit 2: It just dawned on me that since the PDF is clearly larger than it should be, perhaps I'd be able to see evidence of the text input if I opened it with a text editor. Confirmed - I cracked it open with BBEdit and searched for a couple of text strings that I knew should be there, and they are. So the data is present, Acrobat just isn't seeing it. Help!

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Explorer ,
Jan 08, 2016

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Looping in Aadesh2789‌ and S@j@l. Any chance you guys can get some attention on this bug and/or help me fix my PDF?

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Community Beginner ,
Sep 28, 2020

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looping myself in, this is an interesting approach and makes sense. The only thing now is to figure out why two and two aren't connecting to four. the evidence is clear, but the document is new...

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New Here ,
Jan 09, 2016

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@Whit G.... so disheartening that you are able to see the evidence of the text input and Adobe is doing absolutely nothing to remedy this!

My graduate school assignment was late and to no fault but this bug. I'm lucky that it was accepted with a small penalty or I would have been out $4k to retake the class. I wasted so much precious time! There should be a warning when you go to edit the document that the fill and sign can only be used for printing.

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Explorer ,
Jan 11, 2016

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Thanks Steph. Yeah, the situation is very aggravating. It's one thing to tell me that for whatever reason, they can't help me/us out, but another to ignore my request altogether. I've long since learned not to get my hopes up that Adobe will do the right thing, but that doesn't help me deal with this B.S. situation any better, I'm still apparently going to have to fish my way through the PDF code in order to retrieve all of the data I put in, piece by piece.

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New Here ,
Jan 09, 2016

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I have the exact same problem. Spent significant time filling out a form using the "Fill and Sign" feature. Only to open it the next day with all the text fields missing. The check marks and lines all still show up and the file size is significantly bigger, so I know I did actually save the form. Oddly some other forms I filled out at the same time seemed to be fine.

I did not use the signature tool. Just the text field, tick mark, and circle tool. Using Windows 10, Adobe Acrobat Reader DC version 2015.009.20079

Is there any update on a fix please? Aadesh2789S@j@l

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Explorer ,
Jan 13, 2016

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Hey non-helpful Adobe staff, I just did your job for you. After initially trying to search through the morass of PDF code to tease out my data (extremely tedious, probably not worth the trouble), I decided to try one last thing: copy everything above and below where the textual data appeared, from an older "good" PDF (that I had copied a week ago before closing the document) to the "bad" PDF that was complete but appeared empty. It worked, my data has returned. Eureka! (and grumble - thanks for nothing)

For anyone else in this situation, here are more details for fixing the problem in a "bad" PDF where the Fill and Sign data vanished...

0. (added this later, but it's important) Make a copy of your "bad" PDF that contains the vanished Fill and Sign content. Move that copy to a safe location out of your way.

1. Download a heavy-duty text editor like Text Wrangler (don't use TextEdit or Notepad, not sure if WordPad will work).

2. Locate a fresh, untouched copy of your PDF and give it a name making it clear that this is the original.

3. Open the fresh copy and use Fill and Sign to add a nonsensical phrase anywhere on it (i.e., "rubberducky").

4. Save the document but don't close it!

5. Hide Acrobat (again, keeping the original doc still open).

6. Open both this original PDF that you've been using above and your "bad" PDF that contains your hidden data with the text editor that you downloaded. You should see a big jumble of unintelligible code in both.

7. Now things are going to get a bit tricky. First, run a search for this phrase, making sure that it's a case-sensitive search: Tj

8. Keep searching for 'Tj' and watching just to the left of the selected search results. What you should eventually find is your nonsensical phrase appearing in parentheses ("rubberducky") right before the Tj.

8. Click just to the left of the opening parentheses, then scroll all the way to the top of the document.

9. Hold Shift and click to the left of the very first character of the document. Now Copy (Edit:Copy).

10. Switch to your "bad" PDF and perform steps 7-9, but this time Paste instead of copying. You're halfway there!

11. Things get trickier here. We now need to find the last 'Tj' in both documents that has legitimate content (the nonsense phrase) next to it. The easiest way to do this is to search backwards from the end of the document, so start by scrolling all the way to the bottom. Run a search for 'Tj' again, making sure that your text editor is set to do a "wrap around" search, which should have it jump back to the beginning of the document. With any luck, you can then search "backwards" (i.e., jumping back to the end of the document and going up from there) by holding the Shift key and selecting your Search/Find command. If that works, great, keep watching to the left until you see some of your text in parentheses. If it doesn't work, then you're going to have to find another way to locate the last 'Tj' with legitimate text beside it.

12. We need to do the inverse of 7-9 above. Click just to the right of the ending parentheses, then scroll to the end of the document and Shift-click to the right of the last character in the document. Copy from the original PDF, make the same selection in the "bad" PDF, then Paste. To recap, we have just copied all of the "PDF junk" from before and after the added Fill and Sign content in the original PDF and replaced that PDF junk in the "bad" PDF.

13. Save the "bad" PDF, which is hopefully now a "good" PDF. Open that PDF in whatever reader you would normally use to view PDFs. Is your content there? If not, then either something went wrong in the steps above or my formula doesn't work for everyone. But this process worked for me and it feels improbable that it wouldn't work in another case, since the offending code seems to be contained among the data that we replaced.

To avoid the problem happening in the first place/again...

1. Before closing your document, make a copy of it.

2. Close the document, then destroy the original that you just closed.

3. Remove "copy" from the filename of the version that's left.

Adobe doesn't seem to be emailing me updates to this thread, so send me a message at whitgurley/Gmail if you've posted a question here.

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Explorer ,
Mar 09, 2016

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Oh, I wish your solution would work for me, but I think Acrobat is completely broken on my computer. I do believe I have a "bad" file that has the data because it's significantly bigger than a version of the file without any form data. However, when I open any version of the form now and try to input data into it using fill and sign, the data will not save, print, or send. If I click out of the fill & sign section in any way, the data is gone. I've tried Pro DC and Reader both, and neither will save the data past entering it. Without being able to save a new one with new data, I can't try your fix above. I'm so frustrated. Why even offer the feature, if it doesn't work, and Adobe won't even acknowledge that it's broken. This is costing a lot of users time and money and a high level of frustration. I've used this feature before without a problem so I just don't understand why it suddenly won't work.

Sorry to rant. I know you're just a user like me.

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