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I have this form opened in Adobe Reader. I have the little purple bar up here that tells me that this is a fillable form, but I have some bad news over here on the left. It says, Please Fill out the form, but You cannot save data typed into this form. Please print your completed form if you want to copy for your records. I thought we are all trying to go paperless. So what's going on here? There is a limitation to what Reader can do, after all it's free. By default it can't save a filled out form. If you started filling out this form and then saved it and closed it, opened it again, everything you had put in there would evaporate, and that's what this means by saying, you can't save data typed into this form.
This is pretty bad news. But we're not stuck with this. You as a user of Acrobat Pro can change this. It's really very simple. It's one of those things that sort of hiding in plain sight. Here's how you enable a form so that a Reader user can save the data. Go to File>Save As>Reader Extended PDF and then choose Enable Additional Features and the verbiage here tells you what it's going to do, it's going to allow them to save a filled out form, yay. It's also gives them the opportunity to use Commenting and drawing markup tools.
So if you need for someone to comment on a project that's not yet finished, you need for them to say, okay, or change this, they don't have to have full-blown Acrobat to do it, you have enabled their ability to do that in the free Reader and they can sign and use digital signatures. When I choose Save Now, something else is going to happen. Notice this note here, it says Once this is Reader Enable some functions, we will be restricted, so make sure that you're finished with your file and you can end up saving copy of it anyway and keep your original intact.
But once you save this as an enabled file, you are not going to be able to edit and you are not going to be able to Insert or Delete pages, so that's to protect the content. When I say Save Now, I am just going to put this on my Desktop and call it Reader Enabled. I am going to Save and I am going switch back to Reader and when I open that file, I have the purple bar, but I don't have the bad news, it says in fact, You can save data typed into this form, and one more thing, I remarked that you would have commenting abilities in Reader if that form was enabled.
I can put on sticky notes, and I can highlight text, if I want to mark it up, if I am in collaboration with the creator of this file. So it's a small thing, but when you go to Distribute forms by Email, if you are sending it out to one of two people, don't forget to enable it, so that they can save that filled out data and not lose it when they close the file.
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