moderated Re: Tutorials on Creating Accessible MS-Word Fillable Forms Plus Examples of Those Forms


On Wed, Nov 25, 2020 at 03:58 PM, mike mcglashon wrote:
Wouldn’t it be worth word to somehow take a pdf image and create a fillable form on the fly, resave the form as pdf and then we’d have pdf fillable forms?
It's only "worth it" if enough people or organizations want it.

But there's really not any point, to my way of thinking, in making Word handle PDFs in this manner.  The PDF format came into existence as a direct offshoot of professional publishing needs.  Word reading these in was an afterthought, and Word's ability to save PDFs is limited in many ways by design.  If you want fillable PDFs, then either design that in when creating them to begin with or retrofit it when you have to go back and edit an existing form that isn't.  If the form is an image scanned PDF then OCR it, save that text layer, then do the correct updates to the form in a PDF editor to make it as it needs to be.  An image scanned PDF read into word behaves no differently than it did in a PDF reader - it's still an image inserted into a Word document.  Word makes no attempt to figure out what that image might contain.

AI, of course, will likely come into the picture as time marches on for a lot of these functions.  But even when it does, I really believe that review by humans afterwards will always be required, as we still catch stuff that somehow gets overlooked by automation (or other humans who set up what the automation carried through).

Brian - Windows 10 Pro, 64-Bit, Version 20H2, Build 19042  

One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.

           ~ André Gide

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