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Can I refer to form fields' values in a PDF form created in LO?

asked 2012-06-14 04:40:12 +0200

bonbutter gravatar image

updated 2014-07-06 16:43:40 +0200

bencomp gravatar image

I've got an 8-page document that needs to be converted to PDF with form fields intact. I spent 4 hours creating these form fields via Adobe's BS form field function; but the document can never be edited without starting from form field scratch.

Once the file is PDF'd, every page will have the same 3 items on it: Loan Number, Loan Servicer, and Client Name. I don't want the client to have to re-type this information on every page. I moved away from Word because Adobe PDF couldn't recognize form fields inside of Word (and I was in Adobe hell earlier today). LibreOffice seems to be dealing with converting to PDF and maintaining form fields nicely, but I would like to be able to "bookmark" or "cross-reference" these 3 form fields on every page through the PDF file and have the client only fill in the information one time.

With Word, I can insert a form field and bookmark that field in other locations in the document... But you can't PDF the file and keep the form fields. Can this be done in LO and still be able to PDF into a form-fillable PDF file with those references in tact? Am I making any sense?

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answered 2012-10-23 08:47:50 +0200

ROSt52 gravatar image

in writer I would try the following:

when a field appears for the first time use a field to enter the information when the same information is needed in the text but should be entered again, try to make a reference to the first field and - if needed - set automatic update.

that's what I would give a try

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Indeed! On paper when the pages may get separated, it makes some sense to have the three fields repeated on each page, but when a form is a document, it's easy to fill out some fields and copy the values throughout the rest of the document. However, a little test suggests referring to a field value is not trivial in a document, and auto-updating references in PDF may be even harder to get right.

bencomp ( 2014-07-06 16:40:27 +0200 )edit
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answered 2012-10-21 22:59:09 +0200

updated 2012-10-21 23:03:22 +0200

The following works in some newer versions of Adobe Acrobat, but I haven't been able to test across different versions and found that it didn't work in version 5.0.

Give identical names for the fields (as seen in the Form Navigator) AND during export to PDF (File > Export as PDF...), check the box saying "Allow duplicate fields names".

I've tested with PDF readers such as Evince and Okular using Ubuntu 12.04, but here the above doesn't work. I've also posted a similar question at superuser.com.

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Asked: 2012-06-14 04:40:12 +0200

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Last updated: Jul 06