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Adobe Summit 2023 [19th to 23rd March, Las Vegas and Virtual] | Complete AEM Session & Lab list

Populate PDF template with data from another form


Level 4

Hi all, it's been a while since I've been here. I'm not a LC pro by any stretch, but I've been working on a personal project which I hope will someday result in a small business. The idea is simple: a client fills out a custom form in Acrobat Reader which I've created in LC Designer. Upon completion, they email the pdf (or XDF, or XML, or E4X or whatever might be possible, I'm not even sure!) back to my website.

On my end... and this is hopefully automated... the data would be injected into a template PDF the client needs. This would then be sent back via email for them to print.

It's been over a year since I worked on this. Both the front end forms and the pdf templates are built, but the interaction between receiving the client data and populating the template form never got worked out.

Could anyone provide me with a clue as to what this workflow might look like?

Just to be clear, this application would be waaay too small to even think about going the Enterprise route. I'm "thinking" the automation part of it would be handled by some custom PHP coding, but that's another story.


Graham Calhoun

4 Replies


Level 2

Hi Graham,

You will need to get LiveCycle Forms ES (Server component) to extract the data in case you receive the whole PDF back. However, if you get the XML you can then have any back end (JAVA/CF/PHP) code that receives the XML. You can then use open-source PDF creation tools to create the desired PDF for the client. LiveCycle Forms can perform this task but comes at a hefty price. So it will depend on your business model which way you go.

One thing to remember - there is no PDF like Adobe PDF! Adobe PDF is way more advanced than any other PDF technology out there.

Something completely different might be using a AIR application that you use to capture the data, and then on the client populate a PDF for printing..



Level 4

Thanks PMG.

Yes, I am wedded to the idea that I will only use Adobe PDF. The server component is a whole other story though. I understand the value of it, but as a small business, the idea of coughing up 60k is pretty much out of the question. Especially given that this form is a one of a kind, simple, time saver for my prospective clients.

From what I understand about LC, Acrobat and Reader, there are severe limitations imposed on saving form information in Reader. My clients need to be able to do that, as the form is quite extensive and needs to be revisited to be sure information is correct.

While any one user will probably not exceed the 500 submissions issue, hopefully there will be more than 500 users submitting 1 time!

We'll see if I can work around this issue.


Level 2


I dont know what region you are in, but I would suggest talking to your Adobe rep. They are always willing to try and accommodate clients. Also, there are several different licensing models that might be available to you...