View Full Version : Fillable Online PDF Forms

11-25-2009, 04:29 PM
Hi All,

I did a search for this issue on this site and didn't find anything, but I'll bet these will be real easy questions for you folks....

I have several static websites that I build with Dreamweaver CS4 and host on GoDaddy. I have some online forms that use webformmailer.php to email the data to a single email address. It works fine, but I want more. In particular, I would like to create and post a PDF form that users can fill out online (you know, type name, phone, etc. into the PDF displayed in the browser) and then submit and/or print. My initial questions are:

- What software do I need to create fillable PDF forms? I suspect Adobe Acrobat will do it, but is that a good choice and are there others? (Right now I have a really cool little program that creates PDFs from Word documents, but it only creates non-editable PDFs.)

- It seems to me there's a difference between the user filling out the form online and printing the completed form and filling out the form online and submitting it electronically.

- - Can I do either or both of those things with a static website or do I need server technology (which I know very little about)?

- - If a user completes the form and submits it electronically, will the data show up as a filled-in PDF file (that's what I want) or as an email with the data in the body (which is what I get already with webformmailer)?

I hope that makes sense. Thanks very much for your help.


11-25-2009, 07:51 PM
I use Adobe Acrobat Pro for this and I'm more than happy with it. In the past I tried several other ones out of curiosity, but IMHO nothing can beat Adobe Acrobat Pro.

It is indeed possible to mail the form from within the form with a submit button and you'll receive the PDF in your inbox with all the filled in data.

11-26-2009, 03:11 AM
Many thanks, Gentle One. That's exactly what I needed to know, but will it work on a simple static website?

11-26-2009, 06:03 AM
I'm not sure yet what you're after, but there is no difference in filling out the form online and then print or submit it.

The users have to click on a link to open the PDF or save it to their computer. Fill it out, click on submit or print. You don't need server technology for this, because you basically set your PDF up in Word (convert it to PDF) or in Indesign or Illustrator if you want to style the form nicely (save it as a PDF). In Adobe Acrobat Pro you edit it furthermore so that the designed form fields will be editable for the users and you insert the submit and print action. You save the finished PDF with a restrictions password, so that only you can edit the structure of the PDF if necessary and users can only fill it out, mail it to you or print it

11-26-2009, 04:37 PM
Very cool. Thanks again.

My confusion was because the only way I know how to do forms on a website now is to create the form in a table in Dreamweaver and use webformmailer.php. The GoDaddy server then sends a plain, old email that isn't formatted at all and is pretty ugly. I just wanted to make sure the Submit button would email a completed PDF as an attachment to an email instead and without a lot of server hocus pocus, and it sounds like it will. Many thanks!