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Reader Extensions & offline collaboration, annotations and commenting??

charis_dancer
Level 2
Level 2

I recently finished creating a first aid report in LiveCycle Designer.

The form includes a diagram of the human body (front and back), and we ask users to circle the body part affected or injured. This assumes that users will have access to annotations and commenting. However, I have discovered that, when opening this in Acrobat and exporting/saving the file as a Reader-enabled PDF (supposedly enabling Reader Extensions, in other words), this does not appear to have any effect: the annotation and commenting tools are not accessible in Reader.

It does appear, however, that users may still submit the form via email.

I do not fully understand usage rights and perhaps I'm also not fully understanding the [rather obfuscatory] Adobe documentation. Can these usage rights be enabled through Reader Extensions alone, or does our organization need to have some kind of special collaborative "magic" on the server in order to achieve this?

Can someone provide me with a detailed step-by-step that explains how this might be achieved?

Again, forgive my ignorance. [Offline] collaboration is not something I'm familiar with, being very new to the world of forms design in LiveCycle Designer. (We are using ES2, if that makes any difference...)

Thank you.

14 Replies
workflowuser
Employee
Employee

You need reader extensions on livecycle server

In other words you need to reader extend the document using live cycle reader extensions which is server software

charis_dancer
Level 2
Level 2

Thank you for your reply.

I would like to ensure that I have understood you correctly. This is an additional software piece resident on the server that would allow for this type of collaboration?

Can you explain how the presence of this on the server affects usability? How is serving a Reader-enabled form via a server different from a user's saving a PDF locally and using it client-side? What, specifically, is this software designed to do, and does it require a special web server to function as desired?

Jono_Moore
Level 10
Level 10

Acrobat's markup tools don't work with XFA forms.

For Reader Extensions, the server-based product allows for more things than extending in Acrobat; like file attachments and a couple of other things.

So Reader Extensions won't help for what you're trying to do.

workflowuser
Employee
Employee

There is a way to enable commenting on xfa forms

I think one way is to save the form as static PDF

workflowuser
Employee
Employee

Hi Chris

Can you send me your form?

I will try to reader extend it on the server and see if the commenting works

My email is mergeandfuse@gmail.com

George_Johnson
Level 6
Level 6

To clarify some of the answers you've received, commenting is not allowed with dynamic XFA forms, but it is with static XFA forms. You do not need to use LiveCycle Reader Extensions to Reader-enable the document since Acrobat is capable of enabling for commenting. The trouble with using Acrobat is the licensing restrictions, which may or may not apply to your intended usage. If your form does not need to be dynamic, try saving as static and enabling with Acrobat.

charis_dancer
Level 2
Level 2

Workflowuser - Because of confidentiality, I am uncertain whether sending you our internal form would be a violation of our organization's confidentiality and disclosure agreement. I will need to look into that.

George - I appreciate your reply; however, as I am still a neophyte, could you break it down even further for me? I will have to look further into our particular licensing agreement. If there is a way to achieve what we're after, would you be able to outline each of the steps in simple terms for us?

Many thanks for all the responses thus far.

George_Johnson
Level 6
Level 6

The licensing agreement I was referring to is the standard Acrobat license agreement. One of the restrictions  is you can use data from no more than 500 instances of an enabled form if you distribute it to more than 500 recipients. If you distribute an enabled form to fewer than 500 recipients, then there's no limit.

Regarding static vs. dynamic, is your form set up with any dynamic behavior such as adding new rows of fields to a table, autoexpanding text fields, or adding new pages? If not, you might be able to save it as a static form which will then allow commenting.

charis_dancer
Level 2
Level 2

Hello, George.

The form in question does collect the following information:

- witnesses' names (first and last) with the ability to add/remove rows

- button to allow the user to attach witness statements and other supporting documents (e.g., photo of location, hazards, wounds/injuries)

There are also autoexpanding textfields that ask for the user to describe the location, incident, injuries sustained, hazards/environmental conditions that caused the incident/injury, preventive/corrective actions to be taken, etc.

All of our forms include a "Submit by Email" button and this has not presented any problems, regardless of platform; the only challenge thus far is that those using Reader won't be able to attach anything using the button in the form itself; they must use Acrobat instead. The workaround for that is to attach a message to the button using the Action Builder that lets users know this and that, if uing Reader, they will need to save a local copy of the form and ensure that they attach all pertinent supporting documents to their outgoing email message.

We'd like our forms to remain flowed, if possible. WIth this one, it's the piece asking the user to circle the affected/injured body part(s) that is at the root problem, it seems.

George, could you tell me more about distribution and what this entails? We are a large organization (3000+). I'm not certain of the particulars of our particular license agreement; I'd have to look into that further.

Where else might we potentially run into difficulty?

Thanks again for your help and information.

workflowuser
Employee
Employee

Hi

If you want the end users to use Reader and be able to add attachments

To the form, you have to user LiveCycle Reader Extensions

Looking at your use case, I think your organization should consider Adobe Live

Cycle ES

You can find more info on adobe.com/products

If you want we can setup a call to explain the features of LC

Thanks

charis_dancer
Level 2
Level 2

Workflowuser: ALL of our forms are designed in Adobe LiveCycle ES2. We create them as dynamic, XFA forms. Once a form is complete, we then open it in Adobe Acrobat Professional and save it as a Reader-enabled PDF. I hope this clarifies.

workflowuser
Employee
Employee

Hi charis

Yes, your forms are designed in LC Designer

But to enable your users to interact with the forms

Using Reader you need to Use LiveCycle Reader Extensions

This is a server product which is different from LiveCycle Designer

You can add Usage Rights using Acrobat, but the usage rights applied from

Acrobat are limited and you can only distribute forms to limited number of people. There are license restrictions on distributing forms which have usage

Rights applied from Acrobat

You can email me your phone number and we we discuss more in detail

My email is mergeandfuse@gmail.com

George_Johnson
Level 6
Level 6

OK, so the form you're using is dynamic, which will preclude any sort of commenting.

Regarding file attachments, this is possible for dynamic XFAs, but only if the document is enabled with LiveCycle Reader Extensions (as opposed to Acrobat), as workflowuser mentioned. Static XFAs and regular PDFs can be Reader-enabled by Acrobat to allow file attachments as comments, but this is not an option for your type of form. Note that LiveCycle Reader Extensions is entirely separate from LiveCycle Designer and is not inexpensive.

Regarding the Acrobat licensing restrictions with respect to Reader-enabled forms, what matters is the number of people who have access to an enabled form, not necessarily the number of employees at your organization (unless they are the same).

charis_dancer
Level 2
Level 2

Thanks again for the information; I'll pass it on to the people to whom I report.