Monday, May 12, 2014

How To Fill In PDF Forms Using Okular 0.10.5 & Kubuntu 10.04.4 & KDE 4.4.5

Modern PDF files can have forms for the user to fill out. In some cases, the user wants to fill them out, and hand them in, with the option for somebody else to modify them. I do not know of any ways to do this with actual PDF files. The rest of my post tells you how to fill them in, and then submit them in a way that cannot be modified.

Okular will not help you to store form data in the actual PDF file that you downloaded. Instead, Okular saves form data to your home directory [home/.kde/share/apps/okular/docdata/]. To save to that directory, you have to select Save As from the file menu of Okular, as opposed to Save Copy As.

Generally speaking, you just fill in the form, which should be easy to do, and then print to PDF. That should be all that you need to do. This new PDF will have the text that you typed out, but it will not have any form fields, which means that the new PDF cannot be edited.

I vaguely recall needing to install a package to do it, but you might be able to do it without the package. Just try it. If does not work, then leave a comment below or search the web.

For a lot of situations, printing to PDF will do just fine, since most forms do not have a section that requires filling in by administrative staff. Even if there were such sections, then often times, administrative staff would want to print out paper versions, and then fill in the sections by pen.

Even if you can get away with printing to PDF, and then sending your form, it is still worth trying to save your form data to that directory, because you might need to edit the form later on.

That being said, you have to be careful, and be willing to try save the form data in different ways to figure out exactly how to do it, because I have not been able to do it consistently. I just know that I have been able to do it.

If you have any tips on how to do it easily, and consistently, then please do comment below.

The end. Thank you for reading!

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