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

Raul Suarez rarsa at yahoo.com
Wed Nov 3 11:32:26 EDT 2010

The main question when solving a problem is: Define the problem.

In this case you say that you need Fillable PDFs. that to me sounds more like a solution than a problem definition.

Depending on the ultimate goal. fillable PDFs may be the answer or may not. 

For on-line forms you don't even need to have a database server. You could initially collect the answers in your email


Raul Suarez

Technology consultant
Software, Hardware and Practices
Twitter: rarsamx
An eclectic collection of random thoughts

--- On Tue, 11/2/10, unsolicited <unsolicited at swiz.ca> wrote:

> From: unsolicited <unsolicited at swiz.ca>
> Subject: [kwlug-disc] (Windows) savable pdf forms?
> To: "Kwlug-Disc" <kwlug-disc at kwlug.org>
> Received: Tuesday, November 2, 2010, 3:36 PM
> 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 possible.
> - 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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