How To Create a Fillable PDF Form

Not many of us realized that the PDF (Portable Document Format - the file which encapsulates a complete description of a fixed-layout 2-D document) documents can be edited and most of all can be fill up with texts and figures (type on a pdf file) after it has been created. This is because most of us only have the 'Reader' for the purpose of viewing the pdf documents that we've received from someone. In other words, we could not amend, edit or modify the documents using the "Reader". There are plenty of free to download pdf reader/viewer available such as Adobe Reader, Foxit Reader, PDF XChange Viewer, Sumatra PDF and so on.

In our daily live as a students, government servants, office workers etc., sometime we have came across forms that has to be filled repeatedly which has only slight changes in content such as application forms, booking forms, order forms, purchase requests and so forth. Conventionally we have to fill it, print it and hand it over, fax it or post it out.
These forms actually can be converted into pdf doc (files) electronically or scanned as images. To make it fillable, we have to modify it or we may create a fresh new form using the Adobe® LiveCycle® Designer (ALD) which is bundled together with the Adobe® Acrobat® Pro (AAP). We may transform any PDF file into an interactive form with various field types and formatting options. The ALD also use scripting features to add even more functionality to PDF forms. We may say it as an advanced pdfs.  Adobe® LiveCycle® Designer software provides robust and intuitive tools for creating interactive forms and personalized documents. With this forms, it will enable anyone using the 'Reader' to fill in and save to pdf forms locally. No more printing and faxing.

However in this post, I will show you how to pdf a document and how to create a simple fillable PDF form using a pdf creator product such as Adobe Acrobat Professional 8.0 and Adobe LiveCycle Designer from an electronically converted pdf document such as pdf document converted from Microsoft Word.
Let us have a sample of a pdf document to work with. For example this application form which was downloaded from Perpustakaan Negara Malaysia for publisher to apply the ISBN for their publications.

First Run the AAP. In the drop down menu under the 'Forms' tab select the 'Create New Form'. [To view pictures clearly, right click and open link in a new tab.]

The Pop up menu of 'How would you like to create your interactive form' will appear on the screen. There are four options to select from (i.e., i - Select a template; ii - Start with an electronic document; iii - Import data from a spreadsheet; iv-Scan from paper). In this example we select the second option and click 'Continue'. Then another pop up of the info about creating and distributing forms will appear. Just click 'Continue'.

Another pop up menu will appear for locating the document. Locate the downloaded document by browsing our hard disk and open that particular file. Then click 'Next'.

AAP will import the selected document and created a new pdf document. Then click 'Next'. Another pop up will appear. On this menu, we have to decide how we would like to identify the fields on our document. Choose 'Run Auto Field Detection' and click 'Next' and then 'Next' again. Form fields are automatically recognized and converted to fillable fields.

Congratulation! We've succeeded in creating a new fillable pdf document using AAP. The bluish fields on the document that we've just created represent the fillable areas. Now we are ready to edit our document in ALD. By clicking 'Done' our works in AAP end here.

Immediately, ALD will pop opened on the screen with a 'New Form Assistant' menu, showing the third step of the Form Return Setup (i.e, Adding buttons). The first and the second step has been done using the AAP. We have two option here. To add an 'email' button and/or a 'print' button. In this simple example, I decided just to add the 'print' button and unchecked the option for an 'email' button and click 'Finish'.

Now we have a document with a fillable fields in ALD that need to be modified. The document can be edited by deleting unwanted fields and inserting additional fields and adjust them to suit our need.

In the 'Design View' tab of the ALD, we can just drag in the Text fields, Numeric Fields, Date/Time Fields, Document Signature Fields, Image Fields and much more from the Library.

After we've added the text fields to the form design, we may edit the caption text and manipulate the object’s properties in the Field, Value, and Binding tabs of the Object palette. We may also define their properties. For example, predefine some fields such as name, address, telephone numbers and so on by inserting the default text on the 'Value' tab. This field however can still be change or edited after the form has been created.

We may preview our fillable pdf form by clicking the 'Preview PDF' tab next to the 'Design View' tab. Finally, if everything is set to our satisfaction, we may save the document and the document now is a fillable pdf document.

Look at this form after it has been modified and makes fillable. Isn't it nice and convenience? Click on it and down load to give it a try and good luck.

You may use pdf maker product such as this New Corel PDF Fusion PDF editor and Converter to convert easily your office document to pdf format within seconds and view over 100 file formats.
Only $69.99. 

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Animated Header for Blogger

By Roshidan Rashid

Updated : Animated images could make our website's layout or presentations catchy but it may also distracting and annoying if its overdo.

I have received a few requests from my blog site's visitors who interested in animated images for blogs, to teach them how I have created my Blogger-hosted animated header. So as not to turn them down, in this post I will try to show you how I have created (an animated gif image file) and uploaded the file as my blog site header.

Its quite simple but it seem a bit complicated to those who are not familiar with the application software such as Adobe Photoshop, SWiSHmax or/and Adobe Flash.

Its actually a GIF animation file format (the only allowed Blogger-hosted animated image file). Uploaded to Picasa Web Album and installed to Blogger template. It is as simple as that.

How to make gif animated file?

I started by creating the background of the header using a graphic application software that I am familiar with that is the Adobe Photoshop. The width of the background actually was designed for my previous template which is 900 x 100 pixels in dimension. I have created several designs and saved this static pictures to gif or as a jpeg file.

Then, I used SWiSHmax (Flash or Shockwave application software) to create the animated text effect by importing the background file into it. SWiSHmax has plenty of preset effects that can be used to make our presentation looks stunning and impressive. I've used the preset animated effects for my animated blog header namely "Move together from random direction", "Vortex up and slide forward" with "Squash out" and "Typewriter".

The latest SWiSHmax3 has the advanced flash creation tool for the graphic artist or web professional. It could creates stunning flash animations and websites with ease. It also includes over 350 preset multimedia effects and over 180 ready-to-use components and vector shapes. It has the capability of importing images, graphics, sound and video from all popular formats so as to export presentations to flash, video, EXE, GIF animation or image sequence.

Since I am using the earlier version's product which has been discontinued and has no capability of exporting presentations to GIF animation files, my animated header has been saved as a swf file.

If you have the latest version, you may skip the next step (converting SWF files to GIF Animation files).

In this step, I've used Adobe Flash application software (usually used to produce flash animation, flash banners or flash files) only just for the conversion purpose by importing the SWF file to the stage and set the 'loop play back' on, so that my animated header will repeatedly animated and then exported it as a GIF animation file.

The next step is to upload the file. Previously, animated images won't stay animated if the image is a Blogger-hosted since the images are stored in Picasa Web Albums which doesn't support animated images. Thanks god, now picasa does allowed it.

Finally I've to edit or configured the header on my Blogger template layout (layout for blogger) by replacing the image of the my previous header with the newly created animated GIF file.

Walla! This is what it turned up to be.

If you have any question, just give me a comment. InsyaAllah, I'll try to help the best that I could. Good Luck.

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