[Tex/LaTex] Save fillable forms


I am using the eforms package in order to build pdf fillable forms. However there is something I haven't found yet, which Adobe product do I need to purchase in order to save the edited forms? Does anyone know if I can use something for free?

I would like to create the forms using LaTeX and then offer them through our website to our customers. They should be able to complete them with their details, save them and send them back to us. We don't want our customers to buy anything extra in order to fill in a form. We just want them to open the pdf using Acrobat Reader, edit it and then send it to us.

Best Answer


The new version Adobe Reader XI allows to save the filled-out version of any form - special treatment with the commercial Adobe Acrobat thus isn't necessary any more.

Please fill out the following form. You can save data typed into this form.

The original answer

You can create fillable forms with hyperref which can be filled out in the free Adobe Reader and send back to you by e-mail. A minimal example would be (replace forms@stackexchange.invalid by your own e-mail address):

\begin{Form}[action=mailto:forms@stackexchange.invalid?subject={The submitted form},method=post]
    \Reset{Reset} \quad \Submit{Submit} \quad  \Acrobatmenu{Print}{Print}

form as displayed by Adobe Reader

Your customers can fill the form, and by pressing the Submit button, an e-mail will be sent to you with an attachment called <filename>.fdf which contains all the provided data.

You can examine this file using e.g. the free PDF-XChange Viewer: Open the PDF file containing the form, select File->Form Data->Import Data to Form... and open the e-mail attachment you received. Now all the form fields will be filled with the results. (Update: You can even use Adobe Reader X itself: Just open the PDF file containing the form and double-click on the .fdf file afterwards. You may have to accept to trust the document with the yellow notification bar on top, then the form fields will display the results.)

The advantage of this solution is that it doesn't require your customers to install an additional program: They can use the Adobe Reader which is installed on many systems by default. You can even create forms that sends the results directly to a script running on your server to store it e.g. in a database - see the hyperref manual for more details.