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Save completed Acrobat Reader fill-in forms Apps
Today I did my taxes using the "Fill-in" Acrobat forms. And discovered that the Acrobat Reader is crippled in that it can't save these forms; you get a "please pay money to upgrade" message. Frustrating.

So, I think smugly, they will print so I'll just use the "Print as PDF" option in the Print dialog. No cigar -- up pops a "This is not allowed" window. Same with the Preview option (how did they do that?). But, I thought, I shall not be duped into thinking that this can't be saved as a PDF -- if it can be printed it can be saved.

The solution I used was using an HP Laserjet printer that I have installed. In those drivers there is an option under "Output options" for "Save as File," which did work fine. I guess there is nothing Acrobat can do as it lets you print and this "Save as PDF" is handled in the driver after Acrobat hands off the data to it.

I'm sure that it could also be done with a dedicated PDF writer printer, but since OS X does this pretty well (not perfectly) by default, I suspect that many don't have one of these set up anymore. Now I have my tax forms saved on the hard drive where I can find them again. Yes, yes I'll e-file someday I'm sure.
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Save completed Acrobat Reader fill-in forms | 9 comments | Create New Account
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Save completed Acrobat Reader fill-in forms
Authored by: maczac on Apr 26, '04 10:33:09AM

If you can downgrade to version 5 of the Reader, your ability to save as pdf's will be restored.



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Save completed Acrobat Reader fill-in forms
Authored by: prodok on Apr 26, '04 11:06:57AM

Of course, you can somehow try to create a PDF with printing. However, this is kind of cheating on yourself, because after you printed and converted to PDF, you have lost any features beyond the imaging level, which means that you no longer can continue filling in the form, or easily get the data out of it. What you now have is ... electronic paper.

You might persuade your tax authorities to enable saving (and a few more features), using the Adobe Reader Extensions Server. If I remember correctly (and you happen to be in the US), you might get the IRS Tax CD, which should provide for the capability of saving (they paid Adobe a nice amount of money for that...).

Max Wyss.

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Save completed Acrobat Reader fill-in forms
Authored by: nerdtech on Apr 26, '04 12:21:29PM

Adobe Approval 5.0 will allow you to save PDF forms that are not completely finished. I just bought and downloaded it from them - it's $40 or so - but for work, and the grant-writers, this ability is needed more and more lately...

It would NOT install on 10.3. It installed on 10.2 just fine. You actually download an Adobe helper thinger that then goes and downloads the actual disc image of the software. If you buy it, do the inital download on a 10.2 machine - then save the disc image, to be able to install on a 10.3.

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Save completed Acrobat Reader fill-in forms
Authored by: j-beda on Apr 26, '04 10:03:40PM

I wonder if saving to a PS file would work directly? If so, you can use the command line ps2pdf tool (part of ghostview/gs/ghostscript/whatever) to convert that to pdf if you wanted.

I would test it out, but I don't have any such forms to try...

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Save completed Acrobat Reader fill-in forms
Authored by: kevinv on Apr 27, '04 08:13:31AM

Basically Acrobat Reader has no "save as...." (or Save function either) function so to get it to a PS you need to print it to a PS printer and save the output as PS. By the time you've done that you can follow the steps above and get it as a PDF.

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Save completed Acrobat Reader fill-in forms
Authored by: Thom on Apr 28, '04 10:57:19AM

Last year, I did mine using Adobe Photoshop -- what a pain, one text element layer per box.

This year, not much better, did them using InDesign. The goal is, always having something halfway between image and text, so I can copy the numbers out quickly and easily.

I don't see the logic behind making people pay for a feature like this. You'd think if Adobe wanted their Reader product to be more ubiquitous, they'd draw the line at being able to *author* fill-in forms, and let people open / write-in / save / re-open / edit their forms to their hearts' content...

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Save completed Acrobat Reader fill-in forms
Authored by: on Apr 29, '04 06:03:06AM

Just put the pdf as a background picture in a Word processor and type your text above the empty slots.
Sometimes, first formatting is tricky: have to use font espacement a lot to put one char per slot, but after this first shot you can reuse easily.

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Save completed Acrobat Reader fill-in forms
Authored by: thundermunkey on Apr 18, '05 11:09:49AM
I was also trying to figure out how to do this and found a plugin someone wrote to view pdf files within your web browser. If you use this and then print using the plugin's print icon you can print to pdf. I was able to fill in the form and then print to pdf and save all my filled in information. here is the link to the plugin.

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Save completed Acrobat Reader fill-in forms
Authored by: macEroni on Apr 18, '06 02:31:34PM


I too was frustrated when filling-in PDF forms from my taxing authorities. It makes no sense to me that you should be restricted to only printing these forms - I'd like to keep electronic versions for my records. It does make some sense that they shouldn't be edited once complete.

Preview in 10.4 now let's you fill in these forms (and save them as PDF files) but it has some bugs. I got some incorrect fonts and auto-fill fields didn't work for me. So I had to use Acrobat Reader 7, hoping that there were no power glitches while I had the partially filled-in forms open.

So, while doing my taxes, I ended up with seven different forms open in Acrobat Reader over a period of several days as I worked on them.

When they were finally all complete and safely printed, I tried some experiments and discovered that I could save them as PDF files in this way:

From Acrobat Reader (7), you can print a document and choose to save the document and then save it as a postscript document. Once saved, the document then opens just fine in Preview. Preview will automatically convert the document to pdf, and then you can save it as pdf if you wish, although the PS versions seem to be just fine, too.

What you end up with are PDF files in which you can select and copy the text, but can no longer edit it. This is just fine for me. Electronic paper is what I want.

....Dave (er... macEroni)

Real nice guy.

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