Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Thing 62: PDF Form-Topia: PDFEscape.com


Have you ever tried to fill out a non-editable PDF form? Frustrating, isn't it. Especially if the PDF form is an employment application and you've waited until the last day to submit it. Of course, YOU would never do such a thing. ;>) This post is to provide you with some tools you can use to fill in a non-editable form.

Let's say you've decided to work at the post office. Although you can now search and apply for post office positions online, you decide that you prefer to do it the old-fashioned way - with a paper application form. Log onto http://www.usps.com/. Click Forms. Click Employment Forms. Click PS Form 2591(PDF). In the Name box, type your first name. What's the matter? Allow me to introduce you to what is known as a non-editable PDF Form. In order to complete this form, you will have to print it, and write it out by hand or typewriter. If you can find a typewriter, that is. It's no secret that human resource types prefer not to have to decipher a job applicant's handwriting. What are the odds that your handwritten application will be read by a human? Especially if you have poor handwriting? What's a job applicant to do?

The following website offers a solution to this problem.

PDFescape.com is a free online pdf reader, editor, form filler and designer. You can open and edit pdf files from a URL or saved to a disk. The great thing about this site is that it will let you use it without registering first. Or is it great? More about that later.

To test it, I chose the Unregistered User option and opened Form 2591 from the website: http://www.usps.com/forms/_pdf/ps2591.pdf. I clicked on the Form Field tool; created the text box; moved the text box to the Name field on the form; doubled-clicked on the text box; and typed my name.


I found it simple to use, and easy to navigate. The text box reponded effortlessly to my resizing it to fit the Name field. It was so easy, and I was having so much fun, I decided to fill in a few more fields. There is even a check mark tool which makes it easy to check boxes on the application. Wow!


When I tried to save the form as a pdf file, a message box appeared informing me that a small logo and link for PDFescape would be added to the free PDF created. If I wanted to avoid having the logo and link added I would have to pay for one premium credit. Premium credits are sold on the website at $4.99 for 5 credits; $8.99 for 10 credits; $16.99 for 20 credits; $29.99 for 50 credits; and $49.99 for 100 credits.

So I thought to myself, maybe I should save it and see how it looks. When I opened the saved file, the following was emblazoned across the top of the form:





"This file was created, modified, or form filled with PDFescape. This marking will not be placed on files saved using the premium option in PDFescape."

Also, the following was emblazoned across the bottom of the form:





" PDFescape is an online web service that enables its users to create, open, edit, and fill in PDF form files. The basic service is free, however this small tag is added to files which use the service free of charge. This marking will not be placed on files saved using the premium option. For more information see www.pdfescape.com"


Then I thought to myself, maybe I should just print it out. When I tried to print it, I was informed that a small logo and link for PDFescape would be added to the free PDF printed. If I wanted to avoid having the logo and link added I would have to pay for one premium credit.


So I dedcided to just print it and see how egregious the logo and link looked on hard copy. Across the top of the form the following was printed in large letters: "Printed Using PDFescape (www.pdfescape.com)". Across the bottom was printed the full URL for the document. The addition of the logo and url on the printed application made the application unsuitable for submission to a prospective employer.

Bright idea! Why not become a Registered User and then fill out the PDF form? Suffice it to say: Registration has its privileges. When you register with PDFescape.com, you receive 2 premium credits as a welcome gift. So armed with a precious premium credit, I was able to save and print my completed form with no logos, tags or PDFescape messages. Success was mine, and can be yours, too if you save yourself some time and just register at the outset.

If you've enjoyed this post, take a look at the next chapter of Thing 63: PDF Form-Topia: PDF Form Filler Freeware. (What a tongue twister! I betcha can't say that three times fast!)

-Mary

2 comments:

Maria said...

But if you wanna add text www.pdffiller.com is a good tool to do it.

Reynaldo Rivas said...

Hi. This service here allows you to easily edit, upload or download and how to fill PDF forms.
http://goo.gl/RG3du2

You can fill out PDF form, save it, fax it, and email it.