RE: Interactive PDFs from Word -- best solution to a painful process?

Subject: RE: Interactive PDFs from Word -- best solution to a painful process?
From: Dan Goldstein <DGoldstein -at- nuot -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L (techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com)" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 2015 14:16:33 -0500

What if you first create a protected Word form, and then convert that document to PDF? Word forms use the same elements as PDF forms: text boxes, check boxes, etc.


-----Original Message-----
From: ryan.minaker
Sent: Thursday, January 08, 2015 1:31 PM
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Subject: Interactive PDFs from Word -- best solution to a painful process?

Hi everyone,

I have a project where I need to create interactive PDFs from Word documents. Very basic stuff -- text boxes and check boxes -- not linked to any sort of actions/database or anything. Just enter text and save the document for reference.

Last year, on this same project, we were very tight for time so we we used the 'brute force method' to get this done:

1. Save the Word document as PDF.
2. Run the Acrobat form recognition on that PDF.
3. Manually fix all the stuff that Acrobat got wrong/missed (fields that weren't recognized, fields that showed up in weird places etc.)

This turned out to be a real hassle and really time consuming.

This year, I have more time to figure out a better process. The main issue is that Acrobat doesn't recognize all the static fields and convert them to form fields. There's lots of manual work involved once you create a PDF. I've tried creating brand new Word documents from scratch and still get the same issue (some fields show up and others don't...).

Does anyone know of any software/processes/methods that I can use to actually get Word documents to convert to PDF forms without having to tweak them after the fact? Even if I have to convert the Word documents to some other format...

On the same topic -- has anyone ever created PDF forms from DITA (this would be an idea solution eventually)?

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Interactive PDFs from Word -- best solution to a painful process?: From: ryan . minaker

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