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I HATE making Forms in Acrobat Pro!!!

Explorer ,
Sep 13, 2020

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Making forms in Acrobat Pro is not new to me so I am not a novice but I clearly have room for improvement OR Adobe Acrobat Pro is simply a piece of ****.  Yes, I am annoyed and this is the first time I have ever posted such a grievance in the 25+ years I have used Adobe products. So, here's my dilemma...

 

I have created a 4-page Application Form in Adobe InDesign. After rounds of client feedback the design has been signed-off. So I have moved onto form creation in Adobe Acrobat Pro. I have painstakenly added fields, radio button groups, etc and applied form field formatting via Properties so form users have an enjoyable user experience (because no one likes filling in forms). I have been switching between Edit and Preview mode and saving changes as I go, and everything works as expected. Nice. 

 

Until I add a Signature field for the Applicant to sign-off. It's the last thing I need to add.

 

However, when I go to Preview the change I see a normal text field rather than the usual ability for the User to add an existing digital signature or create a new one. Hmm, that's not right. So, I delete the Signature field and save the file again. Then suddently I am unable to edit the PDF in the Form Editor at all!! What the hell!

 

So, I try opening the PDF in Acrobat Reader and a Dialogue Box pops up with the message "This document enabled extended features in Adobe Acrobat Reader. The document has been changed since it was created and use of extended features is no longer available. Please contact the author for the original version of this document." Basically there are no working form fields. 

 

So, I try opening the PDF in Acrobat Pro and the form fields are there but there's no way to launch the Form Editor to add the last Digital Signature field. I try various methods, ie. if I click Prepare Form with this file open another Dialogue Box pops up and says "This document restricts some Adobe Acrobat features to allow for extended features in Adobe Acrobat Reader. To create a copy of the document that is not restricted (and has no extended features in Adobe Acrobat Reader), click Save a Copy." Clearly I don't want to Save a Copy so I click Cancel. Then another Dialogue Box pops-up and says "You cannot edit this file as a form due to its security settings." What Settings???

So, I go hunting around, ie I look into Preferences > Security, Advanced Security and Forms. And there appears to be no clear solution. So I try many things which I won't bother going into because the result is that this PDF (and the many "workaround" copies) is locked from the Form Editor so no further form fields can be added or edited. As it is, the current PDF can't be used with the existing form fields as Acrobat Reader can't read them.

 

So, I need to start over AND RISK something similar happening again. In my experience, when I work with Acrobat Pro it just seems to throw up these anomolies and lose hours of work. If I get a response to this, no doubt it will come far too late as the project is due today. But any wisdom from Adobe would be apprerciated.

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Correct answer by try67 | Most Valuable Participant

Saving a copy will actually remove the Extended Reader Rights (which are actually not needed any longer, unless you expect people with quite old versions of Reader to be using it), and revert it back to its normal editable state.

TOPICS
Edit and convert PDFs, General troubleshooting, How to, PDF forms, Security digital signatures and esignatures

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I HATE making Forms in Acrobat Pro!!!

Explorer ,
Sep 13, 2020

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Making forms in Acrobat Pro is not new to me so I am not a novice but I clearly have room for improvement OR Adobe Acrobat Pro is simply a piece of ****.  Yes, I am annoyed and this is the first time I have ever posted such a grievance in the 25+ years I have used Adobe products. So, here's my dilemma...

 

I have created a 4-page Application Form in Adobe InDesign. After rounds of client feedback the design has been signed-off. So I have moved onto form creation in Adobe Acrobat Pro. I have painstakenly added fields, radio button groups, etc and applied form field formatting via Properties so form users have an enjoyable user experience (because no one likes filling in forms). I have been switching between Edit and Preview mode and saving changes as I go, and everything works as expected. Nice. 

 

Until I add a Signature field for the Applicant to sign-off. It's the last thing I need to add.

 

However, when I go to Preview the change I see a normal text field rather than the usual ability for the User to add an existing digital signature or create a new one. Hmm, that's not right. So, I delete the Signature field and save the file again. Then suddently I am unable to edit the PDF in the Form Editor at all!! What the hell!

 

So, I try opening the PDF in Acrobat Reader and a Dialogue Box pops up with the message "This document enabled extended features in Adobe Acrobat Reader. The document has been changed since it was created and use of extended features is no longer available. Please contact the author for the original version of this document." Basically there are no working form fields. 

 

So, I try opening the PDF in Acrobat Pro and the form fields are there but there's no way to launch the Form Editor to add the last Digital Signature field. I try various methods, ie. if I click Prepare Form with this file open another Dialogue Box pops up and says "This document restricts some Adobe Acrobat features to allow for extended features in Adobe Acrobat Reader. To create a copy of the document that is not restricted (and has no extended features in Adobe Acrobat Reader), click Save a Copy." Clearly I don't want to Save a Copy so I click Cancel. Then another Dialogue Box pops-up and says "You cannot edit this file as a form due to its security settings." What Settings???

So, I go hunting around, ie I look into Preferences > Security, Advanced Security and Forms. And there appears to be no clear solution. So I try many things which I won't bother going into because the result is that this PDF (and the many "workaround" copies) is locked from the Form Editor so no further form fields can be added or edited. As it is, the current PDF can't be used with the existing form fields as Acrobat Reader can't read them.

 

So, I need to start over AND RISK something similar happening again. In my experience, when I work with Acrobat Pro it just seems to throw up these anomolies and lose hours of work. If I get a response to this, no doubt it will come far too late as the project is due today. But any wisdom from Adobe would be apprerciated.

Most Valuable Participant
Correct answer by try67 | Most Valuable Participant

Saving a copy will actually remove the Extended Reader Rights (which are actually not needed any longer, unless you expect people with quite old versions of Reader to be using it), and revert it back to its normal editable state.

TOPICS
Edit and convert PDFs, General troubleshooting, How to, PDF forms, Security digital signatures and esignatures

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Sep 13, 2020 0
Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 14, 2020

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If you TESTED the signature field it will have locked the file so it cannot be edited in any way. Go back to a backup taken before you did that, and be careful not to do it again. Also, if you are adding Reader extensions, do that last, to a copy of the file, not to the file itself, as this might not be undoable.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 14, 2020

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You can simply clear the signature field if you've signed it. It doesn't flatten the fields, just locks them, and is therefore reversible.

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Sep 14, 2020

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Saving a copy will actually remove the Extended Reader Rights (which are actually not needed any longer, unless you expect people with quite old versions of Reader to be using it), and revert it back to its normal editable state.

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Sep 14, 2020 2
Explorer ,
Sep 14, 2020

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Brilliant! Thank you try67. I have learnt something. I did not realise that Save a Copy still retained editable Form Fields. I'm glad I checked back in here and didn't start again. Thanks for taking the time to respond. 

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