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I've been leading my department towards going paperless for a little over a year now and we have figured out some great ways to save space and money while not using dead trees.

Everything is going swimmingly, except for one thing. Digital forms, E-forms, whatever you want to call them. My particular job (IT Auditor) requires a lot of forms to be filled in and we have a bunch of them made by someone else in Infopath, who converted our old paper forms for us. For reasons that would require a chapter here, Infopath is not the right solution for us. I've tried Word forms and they just don't look as professional as Infopath did.

So I'm looking for another solution where we can create a digital form that looks professional with minimal effort and can save the information within the form.

PDF would be the ideal solution, but I have not found a way to save the information within the form properly. I've looked at a couple of solutions, such as those presented here, but I just think someone must have thought of a more professional way to achieve this in the current age of paperless offices. Help me out Super Users! I'm willing to pay for the right software, so I want the best solution, not necessarily FOSS.

Edit: I have used Word and want a solution other than MS Office. I cannot store forms online, otherwise I'd just create a HTML form on our website and submit the information to a MySQL database, which would be the ideal solution. I am specifically looking for software that allows form creation and can save the form with the information filled out on it. I have found something that might work and answered below.

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3 Answers 3

Microsoft Word has had this functionality for a long time. :)

Some examples/how-to's:

OpenOffice will also let you create fillable forms, and additionally save them to PDF:

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I mentioned that I had tried word forms, so I'm looking for something other than MS Office, preferably that saves PDF with the information filled out. –  Paul Sep 7 '11 at 14:21
up vote 1 down vote accepted

I have looked at PhantomPDF by Foxit, which at first glance seems to do what I am wanting to do: Create a (PDF) form, fill it out and save the form with the information intact.

Alternative software seems to require Adobe LiveCycle Forms Designer to run

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I've been a LaTeX user for years, so this answer might be biased, but there are ways to make input boxes inside documents with LaTeX.

This particular feature was even discussed on Stackoverflow. It is part of the hyperref package.

The best documents I've ever seen were typeset with LaTeX, so even if it takes quite some work to get things done in the first place, the result is excellent.

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