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Can Reader users Save Form and Preserve data?

I designed a form with Livecycle Designer and sent it to a few people who have Reader only. They are able to fill in the form but when they try to save it they get a message stating: "Data typed into this form will not be saved. Adobe Reader can only save a blank copy of this form."

This product seems absolutely useless if users cannot save their forms. I have to believe I've made a mistake or placed some restrictions on the form that is forcing this error. I've read in other posts that people are indeed sending forms to customers to fill out and email back. So saving from Reader must be possible right?

Can anyone tell me what I've done wrong? Thanks.
6 Replies


Level 2
You have to have Adobe Livecycle Reader Extensions. It is additional software from adobe that you purchase and install, it gives you the ability to enable a form filler to save the form data as entered.


Level 2
let me specify a bit more, it is software you buy and install on a machine, then you use the web interface of the software to enable features for your form. then when you distribute it to users they will have the ability to save the form with the data they entered. Hope that helps you.
I read in another post that Acrobat Pro comes with 500 uses of this feature? I'm still a bit confused, but I do have Pro and wondered how to go about saving my form so that it can be used by anyone with Reader to save the form with their data.

Thanks for the reply.



Level 2
You are correct. I have not tried that method nor read much about but i do now recall reading about the feature being available through acrobat pro somehow. I am not sure if it will work for reader users? Im not sure also which book i have that discussed that option, it might be the book by j.p. Terry - creating dynamic form with adobe livecycle designer
I have same issue, very frustrating. This product eludes it can provide such easy functionality but its does not


Level 10
Reader does not allow a local save by default. You can Reader Extend the form to allow (just that form) to be saved. This can be done in two ways.

1. You can Reader Extend the form in Acrobat

2. You can apply the Reader Extensions right sin LiveCycle Reader Extensions Server.
Thanks for the response Paul Guerette. I've read several of your replies to other similar topics but couldn't extract my answer from them. Please allow me to make an observation on your reply. First, let me preface my comment with praise for you for making the effort to reply to forum posts and share your brain. The difficulty I have with your replies are that you assume we know as much as you and share your vocabulary for this product.

It's as though I asked "How do I get to Virginia"

and you reply:

1. You could drive a car; or

2. You could drive a motorbike.

Both are technically correct but you assume I know how to drive and have the directions.

Fortunately, I do know how to drive so in this case I just got in my car and figured out how to Reader Extend the form in Acrobat Pro. I could NOT figure out how to do it in LCD. For future readers here's what you can find in the Acrobat Pro Help file:

Enable Reader users to save form data:

Ordinarily, Reader users cant save filled-in copies of forms that they complete. However, you can extend rights to Reader users so they have the ability to do so. These extended rights also include the ability to add comments, use the Typewriter tool, and digitally sign the PDF.

Open a single PDF, or select one or more PDFs in a PDF Portfolio.

Choose Advanced > Extend Features In Adobe Reader.

These extended privileges are limited to the current PDF. When you create a different PDF form, you must perform this task again if you want to enable Reader users to save their own filled-in copies of that PDF.


Level 1

I would add that one cannot be in field-editing mode to enable the extended features....

Hi... you can create a pdf form with live cycle as in acrobat professional and then allow users to fill in and save a copy of the form in reader... you do not need reader extensions to do this.

what you must do is open the form in professional and then click on the "advanced" menu and select "enable user rights in adobe reader" from the list. a window will ask for your ok to save the form... when you click " Save Now" you will have the option of renaming the pdf or leaving it the same. WHen the saved form is opened in reader 8 or above... the user will be able to fill in the form, and save the form and print it with the data they entered intact.


Level 1
In CS4 the menu item is:

Advanced>> Extend Features in Adobe Reader
I used acrobat pro to enalbe user rights in reader. But when I then open the form via my web application it says:

"This ducument enabled extended features in Adobe Reader. The document has been changed since it was created and use of extended features is no longer available. Please contact the author for the original version of this document."

I'm confused. More than I used to be.


Level 1

I am having the same issue as Tony.  I have enabled the usage rights using Adobe Acrobat Professional.  The users are able to fill out the form and save a copy.  However, after a few times of adding/editing data and saving the following message appears and does not allow the user to continue editing the form:



Level 10


I came across this error before, under the following conditions:

  1. The form was Reader Enabled using Acrobat Professional on one computer (with the correct date and time);
  2. When the same form was subsequently opened on a second computer (with an incorrect date and time), the error occurred as the form opened.

My conclusions at the time were that if you are opening a Reader Enabled form on a computer which has the date/time set to a date that is earlier than the enabled date/time, then Acrobat throws the error.

For example,

Form enabled on first computer on 30/06/2009 at 2:13pm; but then opened on the second computer who's clock is set to 28/06/2009 at 10:34am, then Acrobat gets confused.

I found that once the second computer's clock goes past the enabled date/time then the form opens no problem.

Best solution is to have all computers working off the same (correct) time.

Hope that helps,



Level 1

Thanks for your quick response.  Both the computer the form was originated/enabled on and the user's computer have the exact same date and time.  Our computers are synchronized using a central server.  Any other suggestions?


Level 10

No, sorry!!

I was just checking back through records and I came across it last March. Correcting the clocks resolved the problem straight away. I had not come across this error before that or since.

Might be worth a try taking your form outside of your network and test it on a standalone PC.

Good luck,



Level 3


Here's my simplistic summary.

I have been using LCD for about 18 months and I NEVER had this problem.

Now with Adobe X, it is a constant bother.

Yes, there are various ways to cope with it, but before Adobe X, my Saveas and Send buttons always worked in Preview PDF mode...long before I applied the Advanced permissions to the final PDF.

So...something has changed. Adobe has done something wrong/differently in Adobe X and failed to explain it.

But thanks for all the posts. At least I know I can live with this problem. (And that it's not just me.)


Level 6

If you have both Reader and Pro on the same machine, it will cause problems.

James Houghtaling, is there any reason you could not have looked at Paul's response, decided you don't have Reader Extension server, don't want to buy it and asked "How do I Reader Extend the form in Acrobat?".


Level 3

You need to open the pdf in Acrobat X and save a copy like I show in this image: