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Re: A new type of PDF

Hi Jim,

There are a couple of angles to Acrobat form fields. First, you can use
Acrobat Professional to create the form fields in the PDF document. There
are tools for creating text fields, radio buttons, checkboxes, combo boxes,
and other field types. Acrobat has a robust JavaScript environment for
creating and manipulating the forms and resultant data.

The main problem is that if you have to recreate or make changes to your
originating document (FrameMaker, Word, etc.), you may have to redo your
forms in the resulting PDF document. If you use "Replace Pages", you can
"slide" the new content underneath the form fields, but you still may have
to reposition the form fields.

The second approach is to embed codes in your originating document that will
create the form fields automatically when the document is distilled. This
can be accomplished through "pdfmark" programming. pdfmark is an extension
to the PostScript language that allows you to create PDF items, including
form fields, during the distillation process. This eliminates the
post-processing step of creating or moving the form fields every time the
document is converted to PDF. (You can download the pdfmark Reference Manual
from http://partners.adobe.com/links/acrobat.)

Embedding pdfmark codes in FrameMaker can be accomplished in two ways: 1) By
placing pdfmark statements in FrameMaker PostScript text frames; 2) By
putting pdfmark codes in FrameMaker Hypertext markers. The second method,
which is preferable, is made possible by using MicroType's SP TimeSavers
(www.microtype.com). TimeSavers works with Acrobat Distiller to convert the
marker syntax to Acrobat form fields (and other PDF items) "on the fly" when
the FrameMaker document is distilled.

I am not sure how this would work on the Solaris platform, but you could
check with MicroType's Shlomo Perets. I have been successfully using
TimeSavers since 1997 on a wide variety of projects. I have been very happy
with it and have recommended it to many of my clients. If you have any
questions, please let me know. Thanks.

Rick Quatro
Carmen Publishing

> Hi, I am a longtime lurker in this group, but find that I now need to
> ask a question. I recently ran intoa PDF file about a week or 2 ago that
> away my whole perception of what PDF is. The PDF file in question I
happened to
> download from the Massachusetts Secretary of State home page. I needed to
> out some forms, sign them and fax them back to the SoS's office.
> SoI download the PDF file and to my astonishment, there were text fields
> to fill out tyat I could actually type into, save, and email the PDF file
> to them. Which I did, happily.
> I have always thought PDF was a static 'viewing' type of format. I was
> blown away by these dynamic fields that I could enter text into from a
> and then save the PDF file when done.
> So my question is this:
> How can I create a PDF file like this?
> I currently use Framemaker 7.1 on Solaris. Was this form I used even
> created with Framemaker? If so, how do I do that? If not, then what tools
> what platform do I need to goto to be able to create PDF files like this.
> Sorry if this might be out of place in this newsgroup, but I don't know
> where else to turn. I'm a software developer who uses Framemmaker on
> for dicumentation.
> Thanks, Jim
> -----------------------
> Jim
> balson AT comcast DOT net

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