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

Subject: Re: Interactive PDFs from Word -- best solution to a painful process?
From: Tony Chung <tonyc -at- tonychung -dot- ca>
To: TECHWR-L <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Thu, 8 Jan 2015 11:05:07 -0800

Hi Ryan,

It doesn't look like Word creates fillable PDF forms from its own fields.
You still have to do all the work in Adobe Designer.

Years ago I tried hacking VBA to alter PDF settings from Word but it's a
pretty closed box. If you could work out a real solution you could make a

I also would be interested in hearing of a DITA solution.


On Thursday, January 8, 2015, <ryan -dot- minaker -at- ca -dot- pwc -dot- com> wrote:

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

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