Tim Plumer November 15, 2010
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In this tutorial, learn how to distribute an HTML form to your intended recipients and also gather data back from those recipients using Acrobat.com.
Tim Plumer November 15, 2010
Hello and welcome.
This is Tim Plumer back for another Acrobat X Pro video tutorial.
In this episode, I'm going to take a look at a way you can distribute a form to your intended recipients and also gather data back from those recipients, using Acrobat.com.
Now you may know that you can take a file and you can convert it to a PDF file and then distribute that as a form.
In fact, you may also know that you can convert that into a document that someone can complete on their computer using Acrobat or the free Adobe Reader.
But, how do I get this form into the hands of the people I'd like to have fill it out?
Better yet, how do I then get the data back from them?
There are a couple of ways that I can do that, and they can be found under the tools menu in the Forms category, under Distribute.
Now, I'm going to click on the Distribute button and that's going to allow me to access the Distribute Forms functionality.
There are actually three different options here that I can use.
I can automatically collect responses on my own internal server, but I may not have access to an IT department who can help me with that process or if I do I may not have the budget to pay them.
I can also manually collect responses in my e-mail inbox, but with that I may end up with an e-mail inbox filled with PDF files and that's not quite automated enough for me.
So I'm going to choose "Automatically download and organize responses with Acrobat.com." We'll go ahead and click on next and what Acrobat is going to do is it's going to authenticate me into Acrobat.com using my Adobe ID(That's just my e-mail and password).
Now, I'm going to go ahead and address the document to the people that I'd like to have recieve it.
So, we'll go with Akira Tanaka at local-mag.com, and her colleague, Kara Bowman.
At this point, I'll click on Send and what Acrobat will do is it will create two more versions of this file and upload the file to Acrobat.com.
And then finally, it will send Akira and Kara a link so that they can download the file from Acrobat.com.
And that's great, because that means if I have a particularly-large form, I won't clog their e-mail inbox with the form, they can go ahead and grab it as a link at their convenience.
So, what I'm going to do is shift gears a little bit and I'm going to play the role of a recipient of this form.
So, I'm going to go ahead and open up the distributed version which is one of the two other versions of the form that Acrobat creates.
Now, the distributed version, when I double click on it, looks exactly like the form that I started with except that it has this Submit Form button built in.
Now I've already begun filling out the form as Marta Robinson and I did that to point out that you can actually take this form and send it to anyone even if you didn't already use their e-mail address to send the link them using Acrobat.com, so it's a very flexible solution.
So, as Marta, I've filled out the form.
I'm going to go ahead and click on Submit the form and as Marta I'll come in here and add my e-mail address, and put my full name in.
And then I'll go ahead and click Send.
What Acrobat will do is it will queue the response and then send it.
Now this actually works in both Acrobat and the free Reader so you don't have to have Acrobat to complete the form and send data.
The last file that Acrobat creates as a part of this process is the responses file.
So, we'll go ahead and take a look at that.
I double-click on the responses file here, Acrobat will open it, and Acrobat will, from time to time while the file is open, check with the server on Acrobat.com to see if there are any, new responses.
And, if I want, I can also ask Acrobat to do that by simply clicking on Update.
What the update will do is it will go ahead and check and you can see that it found the response from Marta and added it to my data set.
The final step in the process is simply to export this data out because it's unlikely that I want a set of PDF files as my final data type.
What I'm probably looking for is spreadsheet or something to put in a database.
So, I can select Export, Export All and Acrobat will create a comma delimited or a comma separated values file that I can use with just about any spreadsheet software product or database solution.
And there you go.
A completely desktop-driven automated process for delivering a form to people as a link that they can download, complete and send the data data directly back and Acrobat even gives me a great tool for collecting that data and converting it into a spreadsheet.