[kwlug-disc] (Windows) savable pdf forms?

unsolicited unsolicited at swiz.ca
Tue Nov 2 15:36:30 EDT 2010

I will be collecting a bunch of information (name, phone number, 
e-mail address).

I understand I can create an openoffice document with fields, export 
as pdf, and create a pdf form.

As far as I know, people could then open up the form (in Acrobat 
Reader), fill it out, and print it. And that's it. They can't save it, 
e-mail it, nothing, and, of course, nothing comes back to me to be 
able to do anything useful with the data except reenter the data.

I have no choice, but the clients will all be using Windows, and 
Acrobat Reader. I have no ability to install Okular, Foxit, or 
anything extra, everywhere. It's hard enough to get them to open 
e-mail, an attachment is going to be challenging, and other software 
is right out. We are not in an alternate dimension where they're all 
running Kubuntu.

Poking about with google searches, I see there are web sites, or were, 
such as pdffiller.com, that would take a pdf form and let the user 
fill it out on the web. I've seen no hints that a data record could be 
extracted and sent back to me. All such free sites I could find are no 
longer free.

- anyone know of such a free site out there (still?)?

- how might I go about getting a savable pdf form, starting with 
OpenOffice, and ending with windows acrobat reader savable files?

- how might I make this webable, html + xml files?
   - e.g. Print blanks for people to fill out on-site, .pdf's to send 
to people to fill out then print, and/or a web page to fill out, if 

- what are the concepts / magic search terms I am looking for, having 
received such a filled out pdf, to have the form processed and append 
a record to a database (openoffice spreadsheet for the moment.)

- suppose a web page is possible, what am I looking for / search terms 
in terms of a foss package, that would do that back end part such as 
let them inquire for their last form, update it, and the office can 
then look at the current records?

- there aren't really any back end servers available, no real front 
end user expertise to create their own sql queries / reports on the 
fly, and few web storage facilities available beyond something like 
google docs. At this stage, openoffice spreadsheets and documents are 
all that's available, which is ok as this process will result in 
traversing the user exercise of figuring out what reports need to come 
out, and therefore what data needs to be collected - which is to say, 
cause the system requirements to be defined.

What FOSS is out there in this area, and what is it I'm groping 
towards in terms of concepts or search terms.

Thanks for any thoughts, ideas, suggestions.

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