Adobe LiveCycle - PDF Forms
by Paul Perrin

Adobe LiveCycle is an extension to the PDF Forms system that is in common use throughout the internet.

PDF Forms allow intelligence to be added to fields - so (for instance) totals can be automatically calculated and field values can be validated.

Despite this intelligence, users originally considered PDF Forms rather unfriendly, in particular because completed forms could not be saved by the user(!). A user would have to complete a form and print it off in one go, and even then have to print a second copy for their own records.

However, with more recent versions of Acrobat (the program users view PDF files with) users can be allowed to save completed (or partially completed) PDF Forms. This is a much better experience for the user.

In fact, in addition to allowing saving and printing, LiveCycle PDF Forms can even be set up so they can be emailed directly to the issuing organisation or send their data to the organisations website directly.

For the organisation issuing LiveCycle Forms, these are major benefits. When a form is sent in by a user, customer or client it can be automatically collated with all other submissions. This makes LiveCycle PDF Forms a professional off the shelf data collection system.

The addition that LiveCycle makes to PDF Forms make it an excellent option to replace or support existing web forms. The use of PDF, means that a user can complete the form even if not connected to the internet, and save their data to be submitted or emailed at their own convenience.

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