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

Subject: Re: Interactive PDFs from Word -- best solution to a painful process?
From: Scott Russell <s_w_russell -at- yahoo -dot- ca>
To: "veronica -at- front-runner -dot- com" <veronica -at- front-runner -dot- com>, "ryan -dot- minaker -at- ca -dot- pwc -dot- com" <ryan -dot- minaker -at- ca -dot- pwc -dot- com>, "techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Fri, 9 Jan 2015 13:44:31 +0000 (UTC)

Ryan:ÂI tend to create theÂlook of a form in Word, but build the functionality in Acrobat using the method you described. I spend more time in AcrobatÂthan inÂWord.ÂI then editÂand update the Acrobat form, keeping a separate versionÂfor this purpose from my distributed and responses Acrobat form versions.ÂOf course, major changes require rebuilding the Acrobat form from the Word source, but you can largely copy and paste your formfields, which makes the rebuild much quicker.ÂI have also distributed Word forms internally, which would simplify your process (staying in Word). I find Acrobat formsÂmore attractive, easier to use,Âsmaller in size, with perhaps better security, and they are published with a responses database.ÂWhen I distributed Word forms, IÂcreated a responsesÂdatabase in Excel for ongoing reporting and data reuse.ÂWith content controls, building interactive Word documents is much more robust now, with more content options.Â________________
Scott Russell

On Thursday, January 8, 2015 5:07 PM, Veronica Kutt <veronica -at- front-runner -dot- com> wrote:


Hi Ryan,

You may want to talk to Tim Grantham, who developed a product, DITA InPrint for your question about creating PDF forms in DITA.

Designed and developed DITA InPrintâ, which enables users to easily style and publish DITA content to PDF and Microsoft Word formats.

Designs, develops, and deploys XML-based publishing platforms, including knowledge portals, online help systems, web sites, wikis, and printed documents.

Expertise and experience includes transforming XML sources to other types of XML and using XSL to automate publishing of XML content to brand-compliant mobile, Web, and PDF outputs.


Talk soon,



Warm Regards,

Veronica Kutt
President
Front Runner Training, a div. of Front Runner Publishing Solutions Inc.
(Local) 416-515-0155
(Toll Free) 1-877-999-0155
Follow me on https://twitter.com/@Veronica_FR
Connect with me on LinkedIn ca.linkedin.com/in/veronicakutt




-----Original Message-----
From: techwr-l-bounces+veronica=front-runner -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com [mailto:techwr-l-bounces+veronica=front-runner -dot- com -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com] On Behalf Of ryan -dot- minaker -at- ca -dot- pwc -dot- com
Sent: January-08-15 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)?


Thanks!

R.


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

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