Making an interactive pdf for a client in Acrobat from a supplied pdf - so NOT created in indesign. Interactivity works fine on some macs but not on others. Is there a way to save the pdf that maximises compatibility with all users? thanks!
It depends very much on the PDF viewer what functions are supported. To have a full support your clients have to use Acrobat or Acrobat Reader.
For the users having trouble with the PDF, find out if they are using the buil-in Preview application for viewing the PDF. It is nortoriusly bad and does not support interactive PDFs (among other things). But it's still the native PDF viewer on Macs.
The issue isn't the PDF, it's the application used to view it.
Not only is it the application that can have an effect, but also whcih web browser is being used if the form is being delivered form a web server. Microsoft View has no PDF viewer plugin. FireBox and Google Chrome have their own PDF viewers that more or less work. Some web browseres need to be manually configured to use the Acrobat PDF Viewer plug-in.
As @radzmar stated, the only way to have it be fully supported is fr everyone to open the file in Adobe Reader or Acrobat. Just because you made the form in an Adobe product does not mean that other non-Adobe products (such as web browsers) can support all the features.
If you will be delivering the PDF via a web browser, I highly recommend not using interactive features. Come up with another way to do the interactivity.
You really have a choice to make: Do you want it interactive? Or do you want to deliver it via a web browser. Becasue honestly, you can't have both and have it work 100% of the time.
Most interactivity will not work at all in an interactive PDF.
I've detailed the reasons in this article:
You know that I have always supported you and this awesome plugin that is in5 from the beginning but this article loses sight of an essential thing: what you say is rather true but it is not the PDF format which is in cause. These are low-end PDF reader software or browsers that do not support all the features of the PDF format.
To add to this discussion, Adobe and other PDF manufacturers should create fully functional PDF plug-ins for all browsers. What we have now is a pile of mis-functional, buggy as heck, junk that fails our end users.
One way around this quagmire: Put instructions on the website for users, guiding them to download and save the interactive PDF file to their computers/devices first, and then open the PDF.
Now, if we could just get users to actually read the instructions!
Also, a PDF app for android and iOS devices with full (or at least, much more comprehensive) JS support. It's a travesty that Adobe didn't do this already.
"One way around this quagmire: Put instructions on the website for users, guiding them to download and save the interactive PDF file to their computers/devices first, and then open the PDF. "
There is an easier way, you should read these articles (Google translate is your friend):
@JR Boulay I agree, a big part of the issue is the fragmentation of all the readers (especially on mobile). This is covered in the article. The interactivity being built on the Flash Player turned out to also be a major flaw.
A lot of people see "Adobe PDF (Interactive)" as an export option in InDesign and expect that the interactivity they designed will export...but it does not (and even if it might work on your machine/reader, it likely won't on someone else's).
Yes, Flash Player was removed but not the "Interactive Export"of InDesign… Hélas.