Benefits of PDF Forms
Portable Document Format (PDF) is the best way to share forms across the Internet for many reasons. Two primary ones are:
1. PDF ensures uniformity of fonts and formatting across all computers, operating systems and browsers.
2. Adobe Acrobat, the free PDF-reading software compatible with just about all computers and platforms, makes it possible for anyone with an Internet connection to download and view PDF documents.
How to Insert a PDF Form Into a Web Page as a Link
The process to insert a PDF form into a web page as a link is simple.
The first step towards inserting a PDF Form into a web page is to store the PDF form as a file in a location accessible by the Internet. Options include
- Storing the PDF file on the web server through File Transfer Protocol (FTP). This requires access to the file hosting account with the web hosting server that hosts the website.
- Uploading the PDF file to any free file hosting service such as box.net, filefactory.com or others
The next step is modification of the HTML code of the web page by placing the following HTML code where the link needs to appear.
xyz.pdf represents the file name of the PDF file stored on the web server, and TITLE refers to the description or the anchor text.
The <p> and </p> denote a paragraph break, and is not required when the link appears in a running sentence.
To insert a PDF form into a web page as a link embedded on to an image, the HTML code needs modification as follows:
<img border="0" src="zzz.gif" alt="TEXT" width="32" height="32" />
zzz.gif refers to the image file that needs to be stored in the web server along with the PDF file.
If the files xyz.pdf and zzz.gif are not stored in the same location of the HTML code, then the full URL of the xyz.pdf and zzz.gif needs mention.
The display of the downloaded PDF file depends on the Internet browser. Creating a savable PDF file entails enabling the right click “Save As" option that allows the user to save the PDF file directly on to the computer and view the form through Adobe Acrobat Reader.
How to Embed a PDF Form to a Web Page
To embed a PDF form to a web page, the PDF file that contains the form first needs conversion into a Flash (SWF) file that displays on the website. pdf2swf performs such a conversion.
The next step is to upload the SWF file to the web server via FTP or to a free file hosting service. Next, the HTML code of the web page requires modification as follows:
<object width="595" height="842">
<param name="MOVIE" value="xyz.swf">
<param name="PLAY" value="true">
<param name="LOOP" value="true">
<param name="QUALITY" value="high">
<embed src="xyz.swf" width="595" height="842"
play="true" align="" loop="true" quality="high"
xyz.swf refers to the SWF file stored in the web server. If this file is in a different location then the web page code, the full URL needs mention in place of xyz.swf.
The popularity of Adobe Acrobat PDF forms is not just due to the ease of operations for both the web developer and the user alike. Adobe PDF forms offer a world of additional functionalities such as options to print forms, fill the forms using Adobe Writer, and so on.
- Image: cdharrison, flickr.com