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PDF (Painful Document Format???) - OctaneZ's Rambling

About PDF (Painful Document Format???)

Previous Entry PDF (Painful Document Format???) Dec. 17th, 2012 @ 06:21 pm Next Entry
Dear Lazywebs,
How does one go about editing a stupid PDF these days? I have a fellowship application that I can open in Apple Preview, Adobe Acrobat Pro 9, and Adobe Reader XI (had to download this I thought it may be a versioning problem). It is the usual form business: name, address, institution, etc, etc (pages of this stuff). When I click on the __________ I get a text cursor, but I can't seem to input any text!! I tried exporting to a word document but that was a disaster. All I can seem to do in Adobe products is add blue comments, no luck doing anything in Preview. It's nearly 2013, do I really have to print this thing, fill out 5 pages, and scan it back it to submit??

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Date:December 18th, 2012 01:58 am (UTC)
If someone sets a PDF to uneditable, you have nothing to do but export it to PS or XPS and then go at it with a graphics program. Most such forms are meant to be printed, written out manually and re-scanned (manually), even the ones where the text fields actually do work properly, they have to be printed and re-scanned, or just the form info can be saved (as an xml format), and sent back to the form originator, which - frankly - always seemed pretty error prone to me (unless the producer version controls their forms very carefully).
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Date:December 18th, 2012 05:07 pm (UTC)
Apple Preview is pretty good about letting you add content to a PDF... The versions in Lion & Mountain Lion will even detect horizontal/almost horizontal lines and snap text input to them. I really like the Signature features, too. I filled out all of the paperwork for my current job with Preview.

If the auto text entry doesn't work, click the Show Edit Toolbar button (next to the search box) and manually add text boxes.

If it's edit-locked, there was a time (might still be) when the Preview app would let you save a PDF from the print dialog, giving you a new PDF from the edit-locked version. That might be worth a try?
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Date:December 18th, 2012 05:30 pm (UTC)
I'll try that just to test it, this is what eventually worked for me:

In Acrobat 9 PRO, you have to select "Forms" --> "Add or Edit Fields" then let Acrobat Chew through the document for a few minutes (it's only 8 pages long)!!

This results in blue boxes you can fill in

Yay for excellent and intuitive user interfaces!
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