Fillable PDF forms give organizations the ability to gather and organize data efficiently and streamline their administrative processes. With Adobe Reader XI and other third-party programs now allowing users to save completed forms, it is now truly possible to eliminate the need for printed forms.
Whether you already have a PDF form, a Word file or are starting from paper, our forms development services save time and allow you to take advantage of all of the great features available in fillable and interactive PDF forms.
From fillable electronic forms that look and work the same way on every computer to special tricks that only PDF can do with ease, we’re here to help. Click on the tabs above to learn more or get in touch today with description of your needs, and we’ll take it from there.
Features of PDF Forms
While the vast majority of PDF files are intended for viewing and printing, PDF is a superb environment for dynamic data display, collection and manipulation.
What PDF forms can do:
- Take existing paper or electronic forms and make them fillable.
- Retaining the exact look and feel of your original form or allow you to easily move forward with a new, current design.
- Data Validation including data formats (i.e. phone numbers, social security numbers, etc.) and required fields.
- Control User Entry by providing selections in drop down boxes and filtering the options based on previous selections.
- Allow users to return completed forms and data via email or submission to a server.
- Apply custom buttons for printing, resetting, submission and other functions.
- Perform calculations from simple sums to complex custom formulas and display the results.
- Collect large amounts of data using a dynamic, single page front end.
- Implement pop-up dialogs to facilitate data entry on complex forms.
- Use PDF fields and annotations for dynamic graphics displays such as line/bar graphs, flow charts, dynamic tables, etc.
Automate and Manage Data Entry
Drop down fields may be used to filter other fields so that only options applicable to the user’s selection are available to be filled. In this instance Bed/Bath combinations, options and rental terms available are set based upon the unit type selection and once final selections are made the rates are loaded automatically.
Data entered into the fillable fields is calculated and the results formatted for clarity:
Custom buttons can be used to submit to a specific server, print a required page range or any custom function available in Adobe Reader.
Easier Data Entry for Complex Forms
Bar and line graphs can be used to make comparisons among sets of user entered data or to compare user data to a stored average value.
Forms Design & Development Services
Appligent provides a variety of services related to PDF Forms. From the simple task of making a form fillable to building batch processes and workflows for existing forms.
- Prepare existing forms maintaining the current look and feel
- Designing new PDF forms based upon your needs and specifications
- Updating existing designs so they feel current and creating custom header or other branding elements to make your forms stand out
- Making forms fully functional as PDF including calculations, data formatting, pop-up calendars and validation
- Adding advanced features to forms such as auto-populating data, dynamic graphics, ability to gather multiple sets of data in one form, the possibilities are endless, just let us know what you want to do and we’ll let you know if it can be done
- Adapt existing printable forms for optimal use on tablets without losing the “real” form’s layout
- Ensure accessibility for disabled users and guarantee compliance with the Federal Section 508 regulations
- Develop custom applications, batch processes or server implementations to build an efficient workflow for your PDF forms.
- Host and support PDF server implementations
Static vs. Dynamic Forms
There are two distinct styles of PDF forms to choose from. Forms created with Adobe Acrobat are static forms, often referred to as flat forms or “AcroForms.” When a form implementation requires the ability to expand tables, adjust field sizes to accommodate additional text and even add pages, Adobe provides a dynamic format known as XFA.
Appligent’s services department is proficient in both technologies, and more importantly, can help you decide which is right for you. For more information about the pros and cons of each, keep reading or contact us today to learn more.
Acroforms are static, fillable and retain all of the elements of traditional PDF. They can be created and edited by a number of products including Adobe Acrobat, Adobe FormsCentral and a variety of third-party applications. These forms can be manipulated using all of the editing capabilities in Adobe Acrobat and will function as a normal PDF file in batch or server processes intended for PDF. Appligent server products work with this original form technology and you’ll find that it is more widely supported and understood.
If your implementation calls for dynamic forms, Adobe provides an option in LiveCycle or XFA forms. These forms must be created and edited using Adobe’s LiveCycle Designer. This format is useful for implementations requiring a form to expand to accommodate more data, but they are based on the XML Forms Architecture and some of the features of standard PDF are lost. XFA forms cannot be edited using the standard tools in Adobe Acrobat, pages cannot be extracted and they cannot be manipulated by most third-party plug-ins and applications including Appligent products. Adobe included LiveCycle Designer with earlier versions of Acrobat, but with the release of Acrobat XI, this software must be purchased separately.
How to Choose
The primary advantages of Dynamic/XFA forms are the ability to have your form expand to accommodate user input and to manage both form design and content with XML. While providing these advantages, this format no longer allows for some features standard to PDF.
If any of the following items are critical to your form implementation, standard AcroForms provide them all:
- Accessibility/508 Compliance
- Backwards Compatibility
- Multiple support/development options
If you still have questions, check out this article on choosing between traditional PDF and Designer/XFA forms or consult with an Appligent Services specialist to get an authoritative perspective and recommendation on this important decision.
Dynamic Data and Custom Calculations
Set up invoices, expense reports and other complex forms that require calculations to automatically generate results as the user enters data. PDF forms can be used to administer tests or surveys, then calculate a score and display the results.
Desktop Form Filling
In this case, tab delimited data files were imported and the output generated a printout for each data record.
When clicked, a non-printable button in the top left hand corner prompts the user to select the desired data.
To let the user know what’s going on, a progress bar shows in the lower right hand corner of the screen while the data is merged and the output PDF files are generated.
Graphing Data in the Field
When pouring concrete, it’s vital to maintain specific records of measurements and choices made for each pour. Reliable server connections aren’t necessarily available at construction sites, and Excel wasn’t in the cards – users wanted a bulletproof document-based approach that didn’t require the MS Office to read and use.
Why Appligent Document Solutions?
Many organizations lack the technical knowledge and experience to quickly and effectively produce PDF forms internally. Our customers prefer to focus on their primary business and its needs instead of form technology.
Appligent Document Solutions provides all the necessary skills at industry-leading levels of expertise in both original PDF forms and Designer/XFA forms technologies.
- Experience We’ve developed dynamic, interactive fillable PDF forms for government agencies, contractors, supply-chain managers, auditors, insurance organizations and scores of other applications, literally millions of form-fields added to tens of thousands of PDF forms.
- Lots of good ideas and suggestions. We’ve seen it all, so we can help you define and articulate your development objectives in both operational and technical terms. Call us, let us prove it to you.
- Enterprise class support. We support the code we develop, or assist our clients in developing. We’ll update or upgrade your files with new features on your request.
- Server software solutions for PDF forms, including FDFMerge, the original server-side PDF forms processor.
- Cost Effective Outcomes Outsourcing forms development is a one-time expense that allows internal resources to be focused on business processes – as it should be. Come back to us only as (or if) needed.
- Future-Proof Investment Once developed, our PDF forms may be used stand-alone or integrated directly into a server-managed application with little or no additional work required.
- All work performed in the USA. For the best-possible responsiveness and support, we do not outsource any Acrobat development work overseas.
You probably already use PDF files, or else use a format that’s easily converted to PDF such as Word, Excel or InDesign. PDF offers key advantages for document automation applications.
Cross-Platform, Cross-Version Portability
Cost Effective Development
Read some of the case studies, or simply contact us today to get a quote on your project! We’ll ask to see your current form or an outline of your needs, and we’ll be happy to consult with you to find the right solution.
iCiX, the “International Compliance Information Exchange”, is bringing the advantages of PDF forms technology to supply chain management (SCM) with an emphasis on solutions for vendor compliance.
iCiX serves diverse communities of quality assurance and regulatory professionals within industry and government. Assuring vendor compliance with purchaser specifications for quality control, transportation, personnel management and other issues demands a sophisticated understanding of business processes. At the same time, the application must be very simple to use, since compliance forms may be completed only occasionally by far-flung vendors.
“Partnering with Appligent Document Solutions gives iCiX a powerful edge in bringing our compliance solutions to our customers in a timely manner,” says iCiX’s Paul Horan. “Their deep experience with PDF allows us to service our client’s demanding requirements better and faster than ever.” [Learn More…]
MedWiz Technologies provides cost-effective solutions for adult homes and large scale pharmacies, and they do it using PDF expertise from Appligent Document Solutions.
“The team at Appligent was instrumental in solving some of our biggest headaches,” said Jonathan Grier, Senior Software Architect for MedWiz. [Learn More…]
Solving Payroll Processing can be one of the largest headaches for employers. Pay ’n Time Payroll Services, a regional payroll processing company, routinely eliminates this issue for many companies, but had a large headache of its own – meeting a client desire to send individual pay stubs to those companies’ employees using secure email.
“Our new system is designed in such a way that it is impossible for private information to be sent to the wrong person,” says Bucter. “The lynchpin of our automated pay stub delivery system is the script that Appligent created.” [Learn More…]
The Olsen Group in Portland, OR, trains sales teams for medium-sized and larger corporations in a wide variety of industries. Olsen’s model emphasizes a systematic approach to collecting, structuring and managing all the significant information that can help a sales team get prospects to a close. The Opportunity Strategy Sheet (OSS) is the vehicle Olsen uses to define their approach in the field.