TechWhirl (TECHWR-L) is a resource for technical writing and technical communications professionals of all experience levels and in all industries to share their experiences and acquire information.
For two decades, technical communicators have turned to TechWhirl to ask and answer questions about the always-changing world of technical communications, such as tools, skills, career paths, methodologies, and emerging industries. The TechWhirl Archives and magazine, created for, by and about technical writers, offer a wealth of knowledge to everyone with an interest in any aspect of technical communications.
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.
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?
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)?
Doc-To-Help: The Quickest Way to Author and Publish Online Help, Policy & Procedure Guides, eBooks, and more using Microsoft Word | http://bit.ly/doctohelp2015