PDF is sometimes saved as fillable and sometimes unfillable for different users

Community Beginner ,
Mar 03, 2021 Mar 03, 2021

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Hello,

 

I have a pdf that must be filled out by many different users - they may be filling it out on laptops, phones or ipads. Each user then sends their filled out pdf back to me. Ideally these forms would be sent back as fillable still, so I can further edit them. And sometimes they are! But sometimes they come back flattened, with the fields no longer fillable. I can use the comment feature to further edit, but can't select checked boxes and things like that, making that way of editing both time consuming and only partially helpful.

 

There seems to be so much variety I can't narrow down why this happens for some people but not others. There is a section where users must use the fill & sign feature, but again, sometimes the pdf saves as fillable and sometime it doesn't, whether it has been signed or not.

 

Are there any versions of Adobe that automatically flatten a saved pdf? 

Are there any devices that do the same? Or ways of emailing/sending a pdf that flatten it?

 

Any advice on where to even start investigating this would be helpful. Thank you.

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Adobe Employee ,
Mar 03, 2021 Mar 03, 2021

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Hi Sarahp

 

Hope you are doing well and sorry for the trouble. As described, the PDF sometime save as fillable and sometime as unfillable for different users

 

Please make sure that the users are not signing the PDF after filling it as once the PDF is signed it gets locked for further changes, for more information please check out the help page https://helpx.adobe.com/acrobat/kb/edit-signed-PDF.html

 

Hope this information will help.

 

Regards

Amal

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 05, 2021 Mar 05, 2021

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Thanks Amal, 

 

That does seem like the logical answer, but I don't think it's the issue. I've included a few samples of what I'm talking about- it's the section where people can sign somehow and you can see that some still appear fillable and some don't, whether or not a signature has been added.

signed_fillable.PNG

not signed_unfillable.PNG

signed_not fillable.PNG

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Most Valuable Participant ,
Mar 04, 2021 Mar 04, 2021

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Make sure they are all using Adobe software to open and fill in the file. Using browser plugins or apps like Apple Preview is likely to cause all kinds of strange issues.

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Community Beginner ,
Mar 05, 2021 Mar 05, 2021

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Thanks, I hadn't thought of that! I'll make sure everyone knows to use the Adobe software and see if that fixes it.

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