Filling out pdf forms in Preview

Discussion in 'macOS' started by gnortenjones, Feb 10, 2008.

  1. gnortenjones macrumors regular

    Jan 16, 2008
    I'm a newbie, so this may be a stupid question.

    I downloaded the latest tax forms from the IRS in pdf form, and filled out all my tax information using preview. When I finished, I saved the form, but all the data I entered was lost. Can you not fill out pdf forms in preview?

    I did find a workaround. I filled in some data, then "printed" to a pdf file, and that saved all the entered data.

    Any insight into this issue?

  2. Spritey macrumors regular


    Sep 22, 2006
    Form settings?

    I've had the same experience with other types of pdf forms, both on Windows and Macs, when dealing with student visa documents. It turned out that you weren't supposed to be able to actually save the forms with your own input, butit just let you fill it out so that you could print the forms and mail them in as usual.

    I'm guessing it's the same with tax forms then maybe.

    Edit: To clarify: there are also forms that you can fill out and save, but some forms like my student visa forms plus other ones I've experienced, cannot and is not intended to be saved because you don't want that information saved in case someone accidentally saves it on a public or shared computer for instance.
  3. MisterMe macrumors G4


    Jul 17, 2002
    Adobe Acrobat Pro will save the data entered by the user in PDF forms.
  4. skd macrumors 6502

    Aug 27, 2006
    carmel, ca
    is there anything cheaper than Adobe Acrobat Pro?
  5. Spaceboy88 macrumors member


    Apr 2, 2005
    New York, NY
    The only way I found to save it is to go to print-->save as PDF and rename it something else.
  6. HLdan macrumors 603


    Aug 22, 2007
    Preview will save filled out documents however if the original developer of the PDF sets the document to not allow modification you won't be able to save it even with Adobe Acrobat Pro.
  7. rsstroud macrumors newbie

    Mar 7, 2009
    Strange Ways

    It has been my experience that Acrobat Reader 9 will not allow me to save my work in fill-in forms. Preview will, but to preserve all features, Preview wants a "Save As".

    Now here is the strange part...when I open that saved document with Acrobat, the filled-in data does not show at all. But opening in Preview...there it is, and I can edit it again.

    Not sure, but I may need to do another Save As to keep modifying it.

    Good luck.

  8. needsomecoffee macrumors regular


    May 6, 2008
    I just did my corp taxes. This is what I found using Preview and Leopard. All text and numeric entries will save after filling them out in Preview. Some check boxes (those with the smaller checks) will also save. Some check boxes (those with the larger font) are lost upon saving. Not sure if my experience about which checks are lost is right -- just happened that way on my form.

    I simply printed the pages before saving as the effort to re-enter the missing checks was pretty minimal. For an digital archive the Print to PDF suggestion is also good.

    So be careful when filling out the form. You may lose data after saving. Need to be sure to print before saving, and double-check to printout. Still beats writing everything in by hand IMHO.

    Not sure what the HELL Adobe is doing with Acrobat. Only allowing users of paid versions to fill out and save form files is really stupid. Makes people miserable, and few if any will purchase Acrobat for once-in-a-while needs. Not at all sure where that company is going these days.
  9. babybone macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2011

    There's an easy way to deal with this: you can save it as a different file (under a different name). The next time you save, a different name again. You can kind of alternate two names. Yeah, stupid but it works.

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