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I want to edit the the fields of a PDF in Acrobat using Forms->Add or Edit Fields which I know how to use.

Unfortunately, a new form I want to edit seems to have been made in LiveCycle designer and so keeps trying to open it in LiveCycle.

Is there a way to change this behavior and make that form editable in Acrobat Pro?

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7 Answers 7

To be able to edit a Adobe Form in Adobe Acrobat (not Reader) you need to open it first in LiveCycle, and save it as a "static Adobe Form".

Next you need to use a public domain toolkit for Adobe forms (Download PDFTK http://www.pdflabs.com/tools/pdftk-the-pdf-toolkit/) and install it.

The for each form (or one form) you need to convert it to remove XML header information, so Adobe Acrobat (not Reader) will allow you to edit the form in it.

pdftk original.pdf output cleaned-original.pdf drop_xfa

Now open the cleaned form in Adobe acrobat, fix the variable names if needed (they may be renamed with a prefix form[0].) and save it as an Adobe Optimised PDF compatible as you see fit.

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This works well IF one has access to LiveCycle designer. –  depquid Aug 20 '13 at 16:43
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I was able to pull it off without performing the first step in LiveCycle. Pretty much ran the command line, then afterwards trying to edit the PDF in Acrobat says that you need to "Save As..." in order to edit the fields. Did that, and now my form is editable in Acrobat. –  enriquein Feb 7 at 20:21
    
Agreed with @enriquein - You don't need LiveCycle - this works with pdftk without it (at least for the PDFs I tried it on). –  Nate Murray Sep 3 at 22:48

Using Acrobat 10 Pro, I "print to PDF". This gives a flat copy of the form. Then when I go to edit I let Acrobat create all the fields for me. After that it's easy enough to just edit the fields the way I want them.

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I have now found a solution to this. I have downloaded the free version of CutePDF and have printed to PDF the old file using these instruction that are in the README.txt document that comes with the download:

Using CutePDF Writer to create PDF document:

DO NOT look for any application to run. Just print your document using CutePDF Writer (the printer) to get PDF output.

Open your original document and select Print command in File menu

of your application to bring up Print dialog box. Then select CutePDF Writer as the Printer to print (DO NOT select "Print to file" option). You will get a Save As dialog box prompted for saving created PDF file. Select a folder to Save in and enter a File name, then click on Save. Go to that folder to find your PDF file.

Hope that helps someone.

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Does this preserve the fields that are already in the document or do you have to add everything back again? –  EntropyWins Sep 12 '12 at 16:38
    
You have to add everything back in again. At least from what I found, which was fine. –  funkymushroom Dec 19 '12 at 22:47

At present a PDF Form created in LifeCycle are no longer able to be edited in latest versions of Adobe Acrobat Professional (not Reader) unless the Form was created in an older version of LifeCycle released with Adobe Acrobat 8.0 (and possibly 8.1)

In these versions of LifeCycle Adobe created and saved both a "new" style form and the "old" style form data in the same package.

If this is the case then you can use the situation described above to open the form in (old) version of LifeCycle, save it as a "static PDF Form" (rather than dynamic) and use the public domain pdf tool to strip the "XFA" header.

Then when you open the form in Adobe Acrobate (not reader) it will not complain about needing to open it in LifeCycle but also allow you to edit it and have access to scripts etc.

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While initially unable to edit a form that was created in Live Cycle using Adobe Acrobat XI Standard (ver 11.0.09), I discovered if I printed the Live Cycle version to pdf and then opened up the new pdf, I was able to edit the document. Now, when I did this I lost the fillable form fields, but that was ok for my purposes, since all I wanted to do was to add a footer indicating that it was a corrected version of a prior, filled-in, document.

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I'm assuming you are using a Windows machine since the question doesn't specify an OS. Why don't you right click the file and go to open with adobe Acrobat Pro.

If the program isn't listed you can choose a program to open it withenter image description here

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Hi. Thanks for your reply. I didn't make myself clear. I can open it in Acrobat of course, but I can't use the Forms->Add or Edit Fields option because it isn't there. –  Joe Sep 15 '11 at 15:20

Editing/creating form fields requires Acrobat (not reader). http://get.adobe.com/reader/

Then when installed, you can use wbeard52's suggestion to "Choose default program" and choose Acrobat, or simply open Acrobat and open the PDF.

Default programs are per computer and even though it tries to open in LiveCycle on your machine, it wouldn't necessarily try to open using the same program on another machine.

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3  
This is incorrect. Files created in Livecycle cannot be edited in Acrobat. You MUST use Livecycle to edit them in their current format. It's not a choice of using the right program to open the file but a design decision by Adobe to only allow LiveCycle to edit forms originally created in livecycle due to the "flowed" positioning that Acrobat cannot replicate. –  EntropyWins Sep 12 '12 at 16:36

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