Methods to Save in Acrobat



Table of Contents

Methods to Save in Acrobat Full Program

What are the methods? How do the methods work? The 'Save', 'Save As', 'Export', and 'Import' options can be selected by the 'File' menu.

What is the difference between the Save(as) and Export/Import? The 'Export' and 'Import' functions export and import the data. In contrast, the 'Save' and 'Save As' functions save the form (together with data).

Can 'Export' and 'Import' features have advantages over the 'Save' and 'Save As' features? Yes.

What is the advantage? Portability.

What does this mean? The file containing the data is much smaller than the file containing the form (together with data).

Can 'Save' and 'Save As' features have advantages over the 'Export' and 'Import' features? Yes.

What is the advantage? The 'Save' and 'Save As' functions save both the values and the properties of the fields. In contrast, the 'Export' and 'Import' functions export and import only the values of the fields.

What does this mean? Some field values can be imported incorrectly.

Why? If the text size, text font, or multi/single-line property is not imported, then the field value can be too long to fit the field space.

Does this mean that to import the field value correctly, text size, text font, and multi/single-line properties are to be imported? Yes.

Does this mean that the Acrobat full program does not have any method (to save data) that is both reliable and portable? Correct.

Is Acrobat full program free? No.

What is the cost?
  1. Acrobat 6 Professional -- $499
  2. Acrobat 6 Standard -- $299
Where can I find these prices? On Adobe Acrobat 6.0 Family Web page.

Methods to Save in Acrobat Reader

Are online PDF forms designed to be viewed via Acrobat Reader? Yes.

Is Acrobat Reader a free version of Acrobat full program? Yes.

Is export or import function available in Acrobat full program? Yes.

Is export or import function available in Acrobat Reader? No.

Why? This is one of the limitations of the Acrobat free version.

Does this mean only the free version is available to millions of form users? Yes.

Are there methods to substitute export/import function in Acrobat Reader? Yes.

How many? There are four methods (other than CP).

What are the methods?
  1. Method of Document Server for Reader Extensions
  2. Method of Persistent Global Variables
  3. Method of Server-Based Processing
  4. Method of Clipboard (or Copy/Paste)

Method of Document Server for Reader Extensions

Is this Method relatively new? Yes.

When was it released? In Fall 2002.

Who offered this method? Adobe Systems Incorporated.

How does this method work? The 'Save' and 'Save As' features of the Acrobat Full program are added to the Acrobat Reader's 'File' menu.

Are 'Export' or 'Import' features of the Acrobat Full program added? No.

Is the Document Server for Reader Extensions method free? No.

Is it sold on per form or per user basis? Both.

What is the cost on per form basis? What is the cost on per user basis? What is the date of the prices? September 4, 2003.

Where can I find these prices? On Weblog: InfoWorld: Adobe: Q&A: Post by Jon Udell, Response by Chuck Myers Web page.

Method of Persistent Global Variables

Is this Method relatively new? No.

How old has it been around?As long as Acrobat JavaScript.

How does this method work?
  1. The form data are stored into persistent global variables.
  2. The persistent global variables are automatically exported from Acrobat documents into the glob.js file on Acrobat exit.
  3. The persistent global variables are automatically imported from global.js file into Acrobat documents on Acrobat start.
Are there any cons? Yes.

What are the cons?
  1. There is a 4k limit for Acrobat 6 (32k for earlier versions) for the maximum TOTAL size of all the persistent global variables exported into global.js.
  2. There is a possibility of collisions of the names of persistent global variable.
  3. Under the Acrobat License Agreement, there are restrictions against using persistent global variable for such purposes.
Are there different software programs to do this? Yes.

Can you provide an example? ReaderSave.

Is ReaderSave available for free? Where can I find it? On ReaderSave Web page.

Method of Server-Based Processing

Is this Method relatively new? No.

How old has it been around?As long as Acrobat Reader.

How does this method work? The form and/or the form data are processed by a server-side software.

Are there any cons? Yes.

What are the cons? Server-based processing is (a) not always safe and (b) almost never private.

Are there different software programs to do this? Yes.

Are all of them available for a fee? Almost all of them.

Can you provide an example of free software? FDF Toolkit

Where can I find it? On FDF Gateway Web page.

Where can I find the nonfree software? On PDF Store Web page.

Clipboard (or Copy/Paste) Method

Is this Method relatively new? Yes.

When was it created? In 2000.

Why do you call it 'relatively new'?
  1. This method is not widely known.
  2. Many improvements added since the year 2000.
Why is this method not widely known? Forms using this method are posted on a limited number of Websites.

Is author's permission required to post the forms? Yes.

What is the name of the author? Berel Ben Yosef Rozin.

Has this method been tested? Yes. Thousands of times.

By different users? Yes.

By different forms? Yes.

Does it work well? Yes. It works perfectly well.

Is this method copyright protected? Yes.

How to add Export/Import options to our forms? Contact the author.

Is this service free? Yes.

Where can I find it? On Save PDF Web page.

How to export the form data?
  1. Click the EXPORT button to COPY all the form data into the clipboard.
  2. PASTE the contents of the clipboard into any text file.
How long can it take to copy the data into the clipboard? No more than a few seconds.

Even for forms containing 1000's of fields? Yes.

How to import the form data?
  1. COPY the exported data from the text file (containing the data) into the clipboard.
  2. Click the IMPORT button to PASTED the contents of the clipboard into the form.
How long can it take to paste the data into the form? No more than a few seconds.

Even for forms containing 1000's of fields? Yes.

Are the field values exported? Yes.

Is the text size exported? Yes.

Is the text font exported? Yes.

Is the text color exported? Yes.

Is the text position exported? Yes (if fill-in method is ITAOP).

Is the multi/single-line property exported? Yes (if fill-in method is not ITAOP).

Is it important to be able to import the text size, text font, multi/single-line property? Yes.

Why? If the text size, text font, or multi/single-line property is not imported, then the field value can be too long to fit the field space.

Does this mean that to import the field value correctly, text size, text font, and multi/single-line properties are to be imported? Yes.

Are text size, text font, and multi/single-line properties imported by other methods? No.

Is this one of big advantages of the Clipboard method over all other methods (including not only Reader Extensions but even the Acrobat Full Program)? Yes.

Can the data from all the form be exported or imported by a single operation? Yes.

Can the data from any range of pages be exported or imported by a single operation? Yes.

Can the data from any single page be exported or imported? Yes.

Is it important to be able to export and import the data from any page or any range of pages by a single operation? Yes.

Why? Otherwise any change of the data in any part of the form would force the user to reenter the data into the unchanged page or range of pages.

Can the data from a single page (or a range of pages) be exported/imported by other methods? No.

Is this one of big advantages of the Clipboard method over all other methods (including not only Reader Extensions but even the Acrobat Full Program)? Yes.

May the same text file contain data exported from different forms? Yes.

Is the data pasted into the text file as a string of characters? Yes.

Is this string of characters prefixed by the information about the data? Yes.

What does this information include? Does this string of characters contain the information about the beginning and the end of the string? Yes.

What does this information include? Words 'START' and 'END'.

How long is the string of characters (for most forms)? A few lines.

Is the user informed if there is no data to export? Yes.

Is the user informed if there is no data to import? Yes.

Is a Internet connection needed? No.

Is this an advantage? Yes.

Why? The operation is not dependent on the Internet connection.

Is email (or any other online data transfer) needed? No.

Is this an advantage? Yes.

Why? More safety and privacy.

What does this mean? Online data transfer is (a) not always safe and (b) almost never private.

Is the form to be viewed online? No.

Is the form to be viewed in an external window (such as a web browser)? No.

Is this an advantage? Yes.

Why? More performance and functionality.

What does this mean? The performance and functionality is always much higher if document is viewed offline outside any external window.

Are fill-in PDF forms relatively large files? Yes.

Why?Fill-in field rectangles significantly increase the file size.

Can it be difficult for an ordinary Internet user to view large PDF files online in an external window? Yes.

Does this mean that the most practical method is to view PDF forms offline outside any external window? Yes.

Is the installation of any program needed? No.

Is this an advantage? Yes.

Why? More reliability and less obstacles.

What does this mean?
  1. Installation of programs is not always easy.
  2. Programs are not 100% reliable.
Is there any limit with respect to the size of the file? No.

Is there any limit with respect to the number of pages? No.

Is there any limit with respect to the number of fields? No.

Is there any limit with respect to the size of the exported text? No.

Is there any limit with respect to the size of the text exported by a single operation? Yes.

What does this mean? This means that if the size of the text to be exported is too large, the text will exported by a smaller range of pages or by page-by-page.

What does this mean? This means that if the size of the text to be exported is too large, the text will exported by a smaller range of pages or by page-by-page.

Is the user informed every time when the text to be exported is too large and must be exported by a smaller range of pages or by page-by-page? Yes.

What is the largest size of the text that can be exported by a single operation? About 16,000 characters (that is four standard pages 8.5x11).

Does this mean that data from 200 fields by 80 characters each can be exported by a single operation? Yes.

What is the average number of fields in each form? Less than 100.

What is the average number of characters in each field? Less than 40.

Does this mean that almost all forms can be saved by a single operation? Yes.

Does Clipboard method work with both latest versions (5 and 6) of Acrobat Reader? Yes.

Is there any advantage of using the Clipboard method with version 6 of Acrobat Reader? No.

Is there any advantage of using the Clipboard method with version 5 of Acrobat Reader? Yes.

What does this mean? The Clipboard method is a little more elegant when used with version 5.

Why? Version 6 of Acrobat Reader has a bug. As a result a little different algorithm is to be used.

Does this mean that a different version of each form is to be used with each version of Reader? No.

Does this mean the same form is used with any version of Reader? Yes.

Does this mean the version of Reader is detected (and corresponding algorithm is activated) automatically? Yes.

Is the technical support available? Yes.

Is the technical support free? Yes.

How to submit technical support questions? By a click of 'SUPPORT' button.

Where is the 'SUPPORT' button located? Next to the 'EXPORT' and 'IMPORT' buttons.



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