Enable Reader users to save form data

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Video tutorial: Enabling Reader Users to Save Forms

Mike Hoffman
Allow Reader users to save data that they enter into your forms.

Ordinarily, Reader users can’t save filled-in copies of forms that they complete. However, you can extend rights to users of Reader 8 and later so they can do so. If you have Acrobat Pro, you can include additional capabilities for Reader users.

  1. Open a single PDF, or preview a component PDF in a PDF Portfolio.

  2. If you are editing the form, click Close Form Editing in Forms task pane.

  3. Enable Reader users to do any of the following:

    • Save data in interactive or fillable forms (File > Save As > Reader Extended PDF > Enable Adding Text In Documents).

    • (Acrobat Pro) Type in non-fillable forms (File > Save As > Reader Extended PDF > Enable Additional Features.

    • (Acrobat Pro) Add comments or digitally sign PDFs (File > Save As > Reader Extended PDF > Enable Additional Features).

    Note: Acrobat users can type in non-fillable forms, add comments, and digitally sign PDFs without requiring special rights.

    These extended privileges are limited to the current PDF. When you create a different PDF form, complete this task again to enable Reader users to save their own filled-in copies of that PDF.

    If you don’t want recipients to overwrite the blank form template by saving form data, do not extend rights in the copy you send to them.

    For troubleshooting tips on Reader-enabling forms, see this TechNote.

Limitations on saving filled-in forms locally

Acrobat Standard and Acrobat Pro, each allow Adobe Reader 8 or later users to fill in and save PDF forms locally. The use of the Reader Extensions capability for local saving of PDF forms (called extended documents) is limited in two ways:

Number of deployed extended documents
An Acrobat Standard or Acrobat Pro customer can send an extended document to an unlimited number of recipients for them to fill in. For example, an Acrobat customer can post an empty form template on a web page that allows users to fill in and save PDF forms locally. An unlimited number of people can access the template. However, the Acrobat customer can collect only 500 responses from the filled-in form. This limitation includes both hardcopy (paper form submission) and electronic representations of the filled-in form.

Number of recipients of the extended document
An Acrobat Standard or Acrobat Pro customer can send an extended document to no more than 500 unique recipients. For example, an Acrobat customer belongs to an organization with 500 people or less. The Acrobat customer can send an unlimited number of copies of the extended document to those 500 recipients and collect unlimited responses from the filled-in form.

Both limitations apply per entity/company, and multiple users in an entity cannot abuse this feature. Obtaining additional licenses to use Acrobat does not increase the above restrictions. For example, five Acrobat Standard 9 users in a company cannot send out the same extended document to receive and extract data collectively more than 500 times.

Acrobat Standard and Acrobat Pro include technology that can enable PDF documents with certain features by using a digital credential. This credential is located within the Software (“Key”). You agree not to access, attempt to access, control, disable, remove, distribute the Key for any purpose.