My Adobe Reader Form Fields are Blank When Emailed. I Found a Free Solution in FoxIt Reader

I avoid printing paperwork, and I’d always used Adobe Acrobat to fill in PDF forms using the Typewriter command. I have an old version that worked perfectly, but something happened during a product update, and I lost the Typewriter command.

Now I’m ticked, thinking that I’d have to buy a newer (and expensive) version. Went to the Adobe Website and bam! I had no idea that I could complete forms using the free Adobe Reader. I completed the form, saved it, and then opened it in my old version of Acrobat. I received an error message, and the form was blank. But when I opened it inside Reader, it appeared to be fine.

Until I emailed it to the client. The form was blank.

I researched a little on the Adobe site, and it appears that this is a common problem. My client had created an interactive form in a newer version of Acrobat than I had. The problem is apparently related to how they created the form.

After reading through comments from people with the same problem, someone mentioned the free FoxIt Reader as an alternative. I downloaded it, and the first thing I noticed was its Typewriter command! I used it to complete the form. I emailed it to the client, and it’s all good.

Signing the PDF

I’d already scanned my actual signature and saved it as a graphic. I can use it with FoxIt almost the same way I do with Adobe Acrobat (see how-to video below). Either on the Home tab, in the Protect group, choose Create Signature and upload it.

Or on the Comments tab in the Stamps group, choose to create a Custom Stamp, and upload the signature graphic. If you go from the Home tab, you’ll have an opportunity to assign a password to be able to insert the signature.

Download FoxIt here.

UPDATE: I recently had to delete some pages from a PDF. My old version of Acrobat wouldn’t allow me to because the document had interactive form fields. The free FoxIt Reader does not have this capability. I downloaded a trial version of FoxIt Standard, and under the Organize tab, I deleted the pages. I’ll purchase this software once the trial period is over. It can do everything I need for a fraction of the cost of Adobe Acrobat.

Signing a PDF in Adobe Acrobat

If you’re using Adobe Acrobat, here’s a video I recorded awhile back on how to sign PDFs and also a Word document.

PEACE.

Get Rid of Paragraph Marks After Pasting Text in a Word Document (video)

When you copy and paste text from a PDF or some other technology into a Word document, you sometimes end up with way too many paragraphs…at the end of every line of text. This video shows you a quick way to clean that up instead of deleting the paragraph marks line by line.

This is one of those things I take for granted that everybody knows. Then I saw someone deleting these paragraph marks one line at a time. If you find yourself inside a Microsoft Office document and wondering if there’s a better way to get something done, there probably is.

Here’s a much quicker way to clean up your document.

 

 

PEACE.

Is Your eBook or Booklet Ugly?

Take your ebook (or booklet) to another level. I’ve seen so many that are downright tacky. If you’re going to do this, do it right. Make your ebook or booklet easy on the eyes…a pleasure to read.

Here are some ideas (I use Microsoft Word for my publications, but you can use whatever software you choose as long as it’s designed for book formatting):

Before You Create the PDF (Adobe Acrobat full version has the most functionality and is worth every penny).

  1. Use Word’s powerful desktop publishing features to produce a more professional ebook or booklet.
  2. Resize the document to fit the finished size of your publication, adding about 1/8 inch all around for bleeds and your printer’s machinery. For example, the finished size of my book (the size it is when closed) is 5.5 x 8.5, but the Word document size and the final PDF is sized at 5.75 x 8.75.
  3. Create a stylesheet to make it easy to format everything (I use Word’s built-in styles and tweak them to fit my needs).
  4. Consider the font (I like Book Antigua for the body and Century Gothic for the headings); font size (I use 12 or 13, especially when it’s a computer book); paragraph alignment (I justify my books and avoid amateurish gaps in text using this tip).
  5. Include a table of contents with Word keeping up with the page numbers as they change.
  6. Improve the look of headers and footers, changing them for odd and even pages.
  7. Create an index with Word keeping up with the page numbers as they change.
  8. Insert pictures with figure captions with Word keeping up as figure numbers change. Pictures will break up the text and make your publication more pleasing to read.
  9. Insert cross references to other pages with Word keeping up as page numbers change.
  10. Insert your actual signature if you add a welcome letter…never a typed one.
  11. Paste information that is updated often as a link to the original so every time you change the original, the information in the publication changes too (e.g., your bio).
  12. Make all URLs look live (ebooks only, not for booklets). Change text color and underline it. You’ll see why below. (Do not underline any text if it’s not going to become a hyperlink later.
  13. Add the front and back covers in.jpegs or PDF format. Be sure to add a blank page behind the front cover and in front of the back cover.

After You Create the PDF (ebook)

  1. Check the PDF properties to make sure you created and used the right sizing (see item #2 above).
  2. Add attachments to the file (e.g., freebies sent as bonuses).
  3. Create live URLS throughout the document (they’ll also look live if you changed text color and underlined them before you made the PDF).
  4. Create bookmarks to certain pages for easier navigation and display them by default.
  5. Create live hyperlinks from table of contents to pages.
  6. Change the options – how it’s viewed by default.
  7. Set security and protect your document from changes.

After You Create the PDF (booklet)

  1. Add the front and back covers in.jpegs or PDF format. Be sure to add a blank page behind the front cover and in front of the back cover.
  2. Check the PDF properties to make sure you created and used the right sizing (see item #2 above).
  3. Set security and protect your document from changes.

For information on how to self-publish a book or booklet, see this post. For information on selling your ebook, check out this post Sell Digital Products Online While You Sleep.

If you’re going to do this thing, do it right, giving an expert impression with the look and feel of your book. 

PEACE.

Change a PDF to a Graphic (jpeg, TIF, etc.)

I received a PDF and needed to change it to a graphic. This way, I’d have more flexibility when I needed to insert it in various documents. I’m using an older version of Adobe Acrobat (7.0) and although I saw the  option to File, Save As, jpeg, it didn’t work for me.

Here is what I ended up doing.

  1. Open the PDF in a graphic program (I use Paint Shop Pro and also PhotoShop Elements).
  2. Click the File menu, Save As, choose desired graphic format.

That’s it!

PEACE.

Related Posts

Attach a Native Word File to a PDF Before You Send It
Is Your Ebook Ugly?

Attach the Native Word File to a PDF Before You Send It

When I send a training agreement to a client, I’ll create the agreement in Word, create a PDF of it, and email both of the documents together. (I’m using Adobe Acrobat 7.0.)

  1. From the open PDF, click the Document menu, Attach a File.
  2. Browse to find the file you want to attach, and double-click it.
  3. Add other files as needed. You’re not limited.

Important: Once the attachment(s) is in place, you can change the PDF Options to show them by default (you’ll see an Options drop-down arrow on the right side of the screen near the scrollbar where the attachments start).

Why do I send the Word file along with the PDF instead of just the Word file? Because I want to ensure the file is formatted the way I intended (the PDF). The recipient can open the attachment in Word if they need to make changes* (it’s easier in Word than on the PDF).

*Client Changes
If the client needs to make changes, they’ll do so in Word. When they return the file, I need to see, accept, or reject any changes they’ve made. To do this, I turn on Track Changes in the Word document before I attach and send it (in Word, click the Tools menu, Track Changes. See Word Help for more information).

Set Security in PDF
To prevent changes to the PDF, set the security level with a password (click the Document menu, point to Security, click Secure This Document, then click Restrict opening and editing this document using passwords, follow the prompts, and set as desired).

Note: I used this technique to create a product that is a combination of Word documents and PDFs (instead of mailing a CD).