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I've created a form in a PDF with Adobe Acrobat Pro. When empy, I want to use it as a template which the user opens, fills in, and saves as a copy to preserve the blank state of the template.

Here's the trick : I found both ways to

  • make the document read only - the user can't save the form value, only print them
  • make the document writeable, but in this case the document acting as a template can be modified too.

Any ideas? Thanks.

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Depending on your exact use case - you can do it from outside - just put the template in a place the user can't write to (can only read).

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Precisely, I have to put it on a shared directory where everyone has read/write access. I guess I'll just have to trust user not saving data in the original. – gregseth Jun 7 '10 at 10:31
Please never trust Users to do what you want them to. They'll screw it up every time. They not mean to but they just will. – Joe Taylor Dec 1 '10 at 16:50

I'm not sure if this is what you want to do, but If your trying to do a web survey template then...

If you are loading it to a website, script a download from the template copy to load a new web page with a script button to submit and "changes" to the template to a mySQL log to record the information

Or create each web page with the template over laying user interface fields, in this way recording the information is easier and the user will never know they are typing into a field.

or upon opening have a script which auto renames the temple as "template00001" and so on increasing by one each time to have unique file names, or you can insert the time and date after each... "templateMay-3-2010"

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Does it have to be a PDF? If not you could do it in a Word Document and use a macro to name the document something else straight away doing a save as. You could combine this with a pop up asking for a variable - e.g user name and combine this with a date to give you a truly unique filename each time the form was filled in.

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Can't you just make it "read only" in the filesystem? If your users try to save the document with the same name, it should prevent it, but it will allow them to save-as with any other name.

Just make sure you're extending the PDF to reader in Adobe Acrobat so your users without Acrobat Pro can still save the document.

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