Embed setting to prevent browser opening forms

Jul 05, 2016

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Ok, so I know you can set your browser not to open PDF forms, so this is not a question about how an individual can prevent all PDFs from opening in a browser.

We use a lot of PDF forms which our users download from our website and email back to us. However, when they open their download the form inevitably opens in a browser and they fill it in and can't save their answers. There is no way to train them to only open forms in the proper Acrobat program because they are all over the country and do not read instructions on the website. They are using all sorts of different operating systems and devices.

Is there a way to embed a setting in each file that will prevent it from being able to open in a browser? I see you can embed settings to open at a particular view, with particular panels open or closed, but can't find a setting for "prevent opening in browser".

As long as our users are able to open a form in their browser, they will continue to email us wondering why their form didn't save their entires. There is no way to get them all to change their browser settings to stop opening pdf files.

Can I configure a specific PDF form to disable opening in a browser preview, just for that file?

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Correct answer by Test Screen Name | Most Valuable Participant

No you cannot. You MUST either train your users, or give up PDF forms.

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Acrobat SDK and JavaScript, PDF forms

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Embed setting to prevent browser opening forms

Jul 05, 2016

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Ok, so I know you can set your browser not to open PDF forms, so this is not a question about how an individual can prevent all PDFs from opening in a browser.

We use a lot of PDF forms which our users download from our website and email back to us. However, when they open their download the form inevitably opens in a browser and they fill it in and can't save their answers. There is no way to train them to only open forms in the proper Acrobat program because they are all over the country and do not read instructions on the website. They are using all sorts of different operating systems and devices.

Is there a way to embed a setting in each file that will prevent it from being able to open in a browser? I see you can embed settings to open at a particular view, with particular panels open or closed, but can't find a setting for "prevent opening in browser".

As long as our users are able to open a form in their browser, they will continue to email us wondering why their form didn't save their entires. There is no way to get them all to change their browser settings to stop opening pdf files.

Can I configure a specific PDF form to disable opening in a browser preview, just for that file?

Most Valuable Participant
Correct answer by Test Screen Name | Most Valuable Participant

No you cannot. You MUST either train your users, or give up PDF forms.

TOPICS
Acrobat SDK and JavaScript, PDF forms

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Jul 05, 2016 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Jul 05, 2016

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No you cannot. You MUST either train your users, or give up PDF forms.

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Jul 05, 2016 0
Jul 05, 2016

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Bummer! Surely this inability to save form data when opening in a browser is a very common problem.

What about some way to embed a message or similar that only displays when a form is opened in the browser? For example, the user opens their downloaded file, it comes up in a browser, they click on a form field and get a message that it won't be able to save unless they open in Acrobat.

Or is there a setting which makes the fields unable to look like they're being edited when done in a browser? So they can't be tricked into writing into the fields and thinking it's working?

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Jul 05, 2016 0
LTek LATEST
Dec 09, 2020

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I'm surprised this thread got revived, but just to bring it full circle to the OP: we gave up PDF forms and instead built our own personell management system. It hasn't made our users any more trainable but at least we have the power to fix most of the problems they encounter 🙂

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Dec 09, 2020 0
Jun 22, 2017

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One workaround - zip your PDF form: most users will be prompted to save the zip file, and when they double-click to open the PDF, their device should (unless they have modified default settings) open it in Acrobat Reader rather than a browser.

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Jun 22, 2017 1
Aug 11, 2020

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I think you should be able to do so.  I receive emails with acrobat form attachements, which refuse to open in a browser and force to open in acrobat. I just don't know how those forms are created. 

Here is what happens when you try to open in the brower: 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++

Please wait...
If this message is not eventually replaced by the proper contents of the document, your PDF
viewer may not be able to display this type of document.
You can upgrade to the latest version of Adobe Reader for Windows®, Mac, or Linux® by
visiting http://www.adobe.com/go/reader_download.
For more assistance with Adobe Reader visit http://www.adobe.com/go/acrreader.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

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Aug 11, 2020 0
Adobe Employee ,
Aug 11, 2020

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There is absolutely nothing in the PDF format itself that provides for that type of message nor is there anything that any Adobe software puts into its generated PDF files to display that message. It would almost seem like a message from the e-mail client itself.

 

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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Aug 11, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 11, 2020

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May be that this is a XFA form created with Livecycle Designer.

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Aug 11, 2020 0
Adobe Employee ,
Aug 11, 2020

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That is indeed a possibility. XFA forms produced by LiveCycle Designer did have a dummy page advising that one needed Acrobat Reader 9 (?) to read the file and that message never appeared at all if the PDF file was opened up by Reader or Acrobat. The “if this message is not eventually replaced by the proper contents of the document” text isn't something that rings true of the dummy page for XFA forms.

 

If I was able to get a copy of such a PDF file, I could obviously check its internals ... ☺

 

- Dov Isaacs, Principal Scientist, Adobe

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Aug 11, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 12, 2020

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Aug 12, 2020 0
Adobe Community Professional ,
Aug 12, 2020

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Here is a related topic, with some suggestions that some people might find useful:

https://community.adobe.com/t5/acrobat/warning-pop-up-message-when-not-filling-form-on-acrobat/m-p/1...

 

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Aug 12, 2020 0
Aug 26, 2020

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Thank you Bernd. That is the message that shows up if a browser opens the file. 

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Aug 26, 2020 0
Aug 26, 2020

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Could you please let me know how to create such a form? similar to Bernd's example? 

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Aug 26, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Aug 26, 2020

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These forms are obsolete. LiveCycle Designer was included with Acrobat 9 and 10, and could make them.  Because they do not work on mobile, or browsers, they have passed out of fashion. They are an entirely different kind of form, and cannot be converted to or from ordinary PDF forms. Anyway, the original question is 4 years old, probably time to close this thread.

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Aug 26, 2020 0