Parsing data from PDF form

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by Blue Velvet, Apr 2, 2006.

  1. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    I've created a form in a combination of InDesign and Acrobat Pro 6 with a dozen or so fields, some radio buttons and a submit button.

    This file will be sitting on the server at work and will accessible through the intranet. People will be able to fill out and submit the form locally using Acrobat Reader.

    Problem is that the data that comes out of the form is not in an immediately user-friendly form... the people opening these attachments need a simple and quick way of converting the resulting data into something more recognisable, preferably in Office 2000 (PC).

    As well as FDF and XFDF, the most promising export format seems to be HTML but that's still loaded with a bunch of characters that complicate things... e.g. every space is converted to a '+' symbol.

    Would one solution be to write a macro for Word to reformat everything? Or is there something more straightforward I can do or ask the IT or web guys to do for me?

  2. Applespider macrumors G4


    Jan 20, 2004
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    Wouldn't it be easier to have it as a webpage on the intranet where when the user hits submit, their replies get written to a database behind the scenes?

    Those looking at the results can then use SQL Analyser to work through them or export them into any other format they want.

    If you're concerned about what the quality of data going in, could some of the information be drop-downs so that you don't end up with miskeys? With a few freetext fields for details?
  3. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    Problem is no-one will create the form for us, not IT or the web-dudes... the data is for our use (Design & Production) and the responsibilty for creating the form and altering it is mine, unfortunately.

    I haven't got the time or patience to brush up on HTML and do the level of work necessary to integrate it with something else, especially if it involves databases.

    I have to have it up and running for our test group this week. The form is complete and working now... I'm just working on how to get the results into a user-friendly form to drop into a Word or Excel document.

    I'm not concerned with the quality of data from the form. Acrobat has setting for field formats and most of it will be pretty open. There are two fields with radio buttons so they have to make a choice there...

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