[nSLUG] Editable PDFs: what Linux software?

George N. White III gnwiii at gmail.com
Sat Jun 27 09:29:12 ADT 2020

On Sat, 27 Jun 2020 at 09:06, Dave Flogeras <dflogeras2 at gmail.com> wrote:

> On Sat, Jun 27, 2020 at 2:03 AM Mike Spencer <mspencer at tallships.ca>
> wrote:
>> Windoes users can fetch forms (such as gov't tax forms) in PDF format,
>> edit them to the extent of filling in the requested data and save or
>> email them.
> I just went down this rabbit hole in Feb with a form I needed to fill out
> to contract with DFO.  I couldn't open on my usual goto PDF software (KDE's
> okular, which is quite full featured otherwise).  I _believe_ I also tried
> libreoffice to no avail.  This form had some sort of "security/protected"
> feature set, so that you can't even open it read-only to print unless using
> the official Adobe software.  Yours may or may not be set up like this.
> I waited until I had access to a win machine, and even then got
> railroaded.  IIRC, after you've edited the document, Adobe software wants
> to automatically take over and handle emailing it (like it wouldn't just
> save it).  Since this wasn't my machine, I wasn't about to set up my email
> on it.  Also, with their history of security vulnerabilities I didn't feel
> comfortable trusting my SIN and other personal financial info to a black
> box.
> In the end, I just used the windows machine to print it, and filled it in
> by hand.  I'm sure it angered the people on the other end, but they
> accepted it.

I retired from DFO.   All employees are supposed to get a "corporate
standard" windows system, so there isn't much incentive to find some open
standard way to deal with forms.   At least with Gov't of Canada your data
probably didn't get scanned at processed offshore, but large multinational
corporations not so.

> Isn't technology great?  I'd also be interested to hear if any other
> opensource package can work around this "feature".
> D
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George N. White III
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