Good accessible Word to PDF primer


Poppa Bear <heavens4real@...>
 

I am thinking about converting some MS word report forms at my job into PDF’s with form fields in order to make them quicker to fill out, but I want to get it right the first time. Can anyone point me to a good resource to start cutting my teath on?

Thank you


 

Is there a particular reason that you want the final version to be a PDF?

I ask because I have created many MS-Word document templates whose sole purpose is to create new "fill-in-the-blank" form fields, checkboxes, etc., while ensuring that the remainder of the form either cannot be modified at all, which requires text fields to have some fixed maximum length, or such that the remainder of the form can move down the page as lengthy text is added in a text form field, but remain unchanged otherwise.

The fact that you can put both alternate text and help text (often the same thing, but not always) means that screen readers will read the alternate text when you land in a text box, checkbox, etc., and also allow you to hit F1 if you were in the middle of filling it out, got distracted by something else, and need to pick up where you left off but aren't sure exactly where you did leave off.

I use legacy form fields, not the newer Active X ones, to create these because I like the behavior (and, to be honest, ease) of these.

If you'd like a copy of one or two of these as examples I'd be happy to send them along.

Brian


 

It occurred to me that I should just put these out on my Google Drive in case anyone wants to take a look and play with these.  The one for a business sized #10 envelope is even useful at home.  The other two are examples, anonymized, that I did for two different clients for actual work use.  The one that is the client intake form I did not put in all of the checkboxes that would be necessary under the section regarding prior health conditions, only the first two, for abdominal pain an allergies, because this was a draft, not final, copy.  Activating any of the below listed links will immediately download the noted Word document template that employs fill-in only text fields and/or checkboxes to your computer.  If you have Protected Mode enabled in MS-Word you will have to unprotect the template before you can use it.  After it is saved, and unprotected if necessary, opening the template creates a new document ready for filling in and printing and/or saving.  If you want to actually edit a form template you must open MS-Word, choose the Open File option, navigate to the template file (dot dotx file), and open it then go to the Developer Ribbon to the Restrict Editing button then remove the editing restriction.  You have to put the editing restriction back on when you're done if you don't want anything other than the various text fields and checkboxes to be able to be filled in or checked/unchecked when a new instance of a document is created using the document template file (dot dotx file).

Business Sized Commercial #10 Envelope Template

Bus Note Form Template

Massage School Client Intake Template

Brian


 

And, finally, if anyone wants to read tutorials on how to work with forms in MS-Word using the legacy form fields such as those used in this document,  activate this link for a DuckDuckGo search on doing so and peruse the tutorial or tutorials that suit you best.

Brian


Poppa Bear <heavens4real@...>
 

Thank you for the resources Brian.

 

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io [mailto:main@jfw.groups.io] On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Monday, January 9, 2017 8:03 AM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Good accessible Word to PDF primer

 

It occurred to me that I should just put these out on my Google Drive in case anyone wants to take a look and play with these.  The one for a business sized #10 envelope is even useful at home.  The other two are examples, anonymized, that I did for two different clients for actual work use.  The one that is the client intake form I did not put in all of the checkboxes that would be necessary under the section regarding prior health conditions, only the first two, for abdominal pain an allergies, because this was a draft, not final, copy.  Activating any of the below listed links will immediately download the noted Word document template that employs fill-in only text fields and/or checkboxes to your computer.  If you have Protected Mode enabled in MS-Word you will have to unprotect the template before you can use it.  After it is saved, and unprotected if necessary, opening the template creates a new document ready for filling in and printing and/or saving.  If you want to actually edit a form template you must open MS-Word, choose the Open File option, navigate to the template file (dot dotx file), and open it then go to the Developer Ribbon to the Restrict Editing button then remove the editing restriction.  You have to put the editing restriction back on when you're done if you don't want anything other than the various text fields and checkboxes to be able to be filled in or checked/unchecked when a new instance of a document is created using the document template file (dot dotx file).

Business Sized Commercial #10 Envelope Template

Bus Note Form Template

Massage School Client Intake Template

Brian


Lisle, Ted (CHFS DMS)
 

Every version since Office 2013 has been able to do this for  you; just save as.

 

Ted

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io [mailto:main@jfw.groups.io] On Behalf Of Poppa Bear
Sent: Monday, January 09, 2017 2:00 AM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Good accessible Word to PDF primer

 

I am thinking about converting some MS word report forms at my job into PDF’s with form fields in order to make them quicker to fill out, but I want to get it right the first time. Can anyone point me to a good resource to start cutting my teath on?

Thank you


 

Ted,

        While MS-Word has been able to "save as PDF" since even before 2013, I'm curious as to whether 2013 and later actually maintain what are essentially edit box form fields in an MS-Word document in the PDF created from it?

         I've never been impressed with Microsoft's "Save as PDF" capabilities in earlier versions of Word simply because the PDFs they create are routinely much larger files than other converters create, with no obvious difference in the end result.

          Word 2010's save as PDF does not maintain the edit box form fields in the PDF for fill in using Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat.  None of the other PDF conversion utilities I have at my disposal do, either.   If Word 2013 does then this is a major leap forward.
--
Brian

     Is it progress if a cannibal uses knife and fork?  ~ Stanislaw J. Lec


Lisle, Ted (CHFS DMS)
 

I know what you mean. I’ll never forget the first one I tried. Thank goodness it was only a free trial version; it created files in computer language, suitable for printing!

 

Ted

 

From: main@jfw.groups.io [mailto:main@jfw.groups.io] On Behalf Of Brian Vogel
Sent: Friday, January 13, 2017 10:51 AM
To: main@jfw.groups.io
Subject: Re: Good accessible Word to PDF primer

 

Ted,

        While MS-Word has been able to "save as PDF" since even before 2013, I'm curious as to whether 2013 and later actually maintain what are essentially edit box form fields in an MS-Word document in the PDF created from it?

         I've never been impressed with Microsoft's "Save as PDF" capabilities in earlier versions of Word simply because the PDFs they create are routinely much larger files than other converters create, with no obvious difference in the end result.

          Word 2010's save as PDF does not maintain the edit box form fields in the PDF for fill in using Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat.  None of the other PDF conversion utilities I have at my disposal do, either.   If Word 2013 does then this is a major leap forward.
--
Brian

     Is it progress if a cannibal uses knife and fork?  ~ Stanislaw J. Lec