Difference between revisions of "PDF forms"

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[[Category:Office]]
 
[[Category:Office]]
This article is meant to guide (Arch)linux users to use PDF forms.
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{{Out of date|This page is not being kept up to date.|section=Out of date}}
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{{Merge|List of applications|Condense into a Note in that article}}
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{{Related articles start}}
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{{Related|List of applications#PDF and DjVu}}
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{{Related articles end}}
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This article is meant to guide (Arch)linux users to use PDF forms.  
 
Some of the information here is from [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=52084 this] thread.
 
Some of the information here is from [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?id=52084 this] thread.
  
==Reading and filling PDF forms==
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== Usage ==
===Evince===
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[http://www.gnome.org/projects/evince/ Evince] (available in the extra repository) is a GNOME application that can read, fill, and save PDF forms. However, it seems to be unable to work with checkboxes accurately (As of 23/JL/2008).
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=== Evince ===
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{{App|[[Wikipedia:Evince|Evince]]|Document viewer for multiple document formats. Supports PDF, PostScript, DjVu, TIFF and DVI.|https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Evince|{{Pkg|evince}}}}
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Easy to use GUI
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=== flpsed ===
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According to flpsed’s author:
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:[http://flpsed.org/flpsed.html flpsed] is a WYSIWYG PostScript annotator.  You can’t remove or modify existing elements of a document.  But flpsed lets you add arbitrary text lines to existing PostScript documents [...].  Added lines can later be re-edited with flpsed.  [...] flpsed is useful for filling in forms, adding notes etc.
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From a [https://bbs.archlinux.org/viewtopic.php?pid=556501#p556501 forum thread]:
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:flpsed, in the AUR, will place text on top of a plain pdf (without the special form fields).
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The package can be [[install]]ed with {{AUR|flpsed}}.
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=== Inkscape ===
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[http://www.inkscape.org/ Inkscape] is an image editing program that can be used to fill PDF forms, by importing the PDF file and inserting text fields at the correct location. The fields are likely blank when the forms are read electronically, but it should work well enough for printing.
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See [[inkscape]] for more info.
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=== Master PDF Editor ===
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[https://code-industry.net/ Master PDF Editor] is a PDF editing program that is able to read properly PDF files that "require Adobe Reader 8 or higher" (this is the message that Evince would display when trying to open such files). It is free for non-commercial use.
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Version 4.x can open, fill, save and submit PDF forms. In effect it provides the same PDF form functionality as the free version of Adobe Reader on Windows and additionally it can be used to create PDF forms and form elements. Some other PDF features are however disabled in the free version, see its [https://code-industry.net/free-pdf-editor/ functionality comparison table].
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Changes are preserved on saved files and can be modified again in Master PDF Editor. However, when opening the saved file with Evince 3.2x, due to bugs in Evince one would get blank parts instead of form elements created or edited with Master PDF. Okular 1.1 shows the form elements correctly but has other general bugs in filling/using form elements.
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Note that it cannot properly handle select boxes yet in forms.
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The package can be [[install]]ed with {{AUR|masterpdfeditor}} and gives the executable masterpdfeditor4.
  
For those of you who do not use GNOME, the only gnome-specific dependencies seem to be gnome-icon-theme, gnome-keyring, and gconf.
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=== LibreOffice Draw ===
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LibreOffice Draw can open and edit PDF files in much the same manner that Inkscape can. One can then re-export the edited PDF to a new file.  
  
===Inkscape===
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=== Adobe Reader is unstable ===
[http://www.inkscape.org/ Inkscape] is an image editing program that can be used to fill PDF forms by importing the PDF file and simply inserting text fields where you want them to be. Its not really filling the form (the fields will probably still be blank if the forms are to be read electronically), but should work well enough if you intend to print them.
 
  
===Okular===
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Adobe Reader (version 9.5.5-6) is not a viable alternative, as does not seem to work on my system.  
[http://okular.kde.org/ Okular] (available in the extra repository) is a universal document viewer based on KPDF for KDE 4. The last stable release is Okular 0.10, shipped in the kdegraphics module of KDE SC 4.4. Its development began as part of Google's Summer of Code program. The description of the project is located at KDE Developer's Corner.
 
  
Okular combines the excellent functionalities of KPDF with the versatility of supporting different kind of documents, like PDF, Postscript, DjVu, CHM, and others.
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It starts up, loads the file, spends some 30 seconds fully functional and then crashes without an error message. Not enough time to manage to test any of the forms functions.
The document format handlers page has a chart describing in more detail the supported formats and the features supported in each of them.
 
  
===Adobe Acrobat Reader===
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As part of weird behaviour, the acceptance of licence message only shows up if Reader is run as root.
Naturally, [http://www.adobe.com/products/acrobat/readstep2.html Adobe's Reader] (available through the AUR) will be able to read and fill PDF files.
 
  
===Cabaret Stage===
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The package can be [[install]]ed with {{AUR|acroread}}.
[http://www.cabaret-solutions.com/en/ This] freeware application claims to be able to read, fill, and save PDF forms.
 

Latest revision as of 15:59, 10 April 2018

Tango-view-refresh-red.pngThis article or section is out of date.Tango-view-refresh-red.png

Reason: This page is not being kept up to date. (Discuss in Talk:PDF forms#Out of date)

Merge-arrows-2.pngThis article or section is a candidate for merging with List of applications.Merge-arrows-2.png

Notes: Condense into a Note in that article (Discuss in Talk:PDF forms#)

This article is meant to guide (Arch)linux users to use PDF forms. Some of the information here is from this thread.

Usage

Evince

Evince — Document viewer for multiple document formats. Supports PDF, PostScript, DjVu, TIFF and DVI.

https://wiki.gnome.org/Apps/Evince || evince

Easy to use GUI

flpsed

According to flpsed’s author:

flpsed is a WYSIWYG PostScript annotator. You can’t remove or modify existing elements of a document. But flpsed lets you add arbitrary text lines to existing PostScript documents [...]. Added lines can later be re-edited with flpsed. [...] flpsed is useful for filling in forms, adding notes etc.

From a forum thread:

flpsed, in the AUR, will place text on top of a plain pdf (without the special form fields).

The package can be installed with flpsedAUR.

Inkscape

Inkscape is an image editing program that can be used to fill PDF forms, by importing the PDF file and inserting text fields at the correct location. The fields are likely blank when the forms are read electronically, but it should work well enough for printing.

See inkscape for more info.

Master PDF Editor

Master PDF Editor is a PDF editing program that is able to read properly PDF files that "require Adobe Reader 8 or higher" (this is the message that Evince would display when trying to open such files). It is free for non-commercial use.

Version 4.x can open, fill, save and submit PDF forms. In effect it provides the same PDF form functionality as the free version of Adobe Reader on Windows and additionally it can be used to create PDF forms and form elements. Some other PDF features are however disabled in the free version, see its functionality comparison table.

Changes are preserved on saved files and can be modified again in Master PDF Editor. However, when opening the saved file with Evince 3.2x, due to bugs in Evince one would get blank parts instead of form elements created or edited with Master PDF. Okular 1.1 shows the form elements correctly but has other general bugs in filling/using form elements.

Note that it cannot properly handle select boxes yet in forms.

The package can be installed with masterpdfeditorAUR and gives the executable masterpdfeditor4.

LibreOffice Draw

LibreOffice Draw can open and edit PDF files in much the same manner that Inkscape can. One can then re-export the edited PDF to a new file.

Adobe Reader is unstable

Adobe Reader (version 9.5.5-6) is not a viable alternative, as does not seem to work on my system.

It starts up, loads the file, spends some 30 seconds fully functional and then crashes without an error message. Not enough time to manage to test any of the forms functions.

As part of weird behaviour, the acceptance of licence message only shows up if Reader is run as root.

The package can be installed with acroreadAUR.