PDF forms in DTTG

There appears to be an issue with PDF forms not displaying form-filled content in DTTG. I’ve trawled through the forum looking for some solutions/guidance, but many of the threads are ages old and I’m no closer to resolving the issue.

The issue:

  • A PDF tax return form was downloaded from Inland Revenue and stored in DT3 on my Mac
  • The form was completed online using PDF Expert and saved back into DT3 - no problems there
  • After syncing, I can view the completed form on my Macbook Air within DT3 - again no problem
  • When I go to DTTG either on my iPhone or iPad, the form is there but the form fields are completely empty.

I strongly suspect that the PDF engine performs differently in DTTG - would I be correct? If this is the case, then this presents me with a real problem since I really need the portability of DTTG.

Thoughts anyone?

Sorry but no, DEVONthink To Go doesn’t support PDF forms. That would require extending the license for the PDF framework it uses.

PS: PDF Expert doesn’t use the same framework so it’s not comparable in this case.

Thanks for the prompt response, Jim.

So that would mean additional cost to Devontechnologies, I’m guessing? If that’s the case, then perhaps the license extension could be added to the DTTG subscription as an optional extra as an “Add-in Purchase”? I’d certainly be happy to pay - depends on demand, I guess.

Interesting point about PDF Expert - I assumed all PDFs were constructed equally. Consistency in frameworks would be pretty key in product design I would have thought. But then again, I’m not a PDF expert :wink:

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They kind of are. There’s a standard, after all. Implementing it in a “reader” is a different thing, though. Apple’s PDFKit has a worse reputation than Adobe’s original implementation. I guess there’s no standard for that – if someone decides not to implement the form functionality, it is up to them. This can probably be explained by PDF’s history: It comes from the desire to provide a standardized format for the printing industry. Nobody thought of forms filled out interactively at that time.

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PDF Viewer from PSPDFKit uses the same PDF framework than DTTG. You could a) use the open with from DTTG, do the form fill and then from PDF Viewer return to DTTG or b) use the own PDF Viewer file manager to go into DTTG file system and fill the forms that way (don’t forget to open DTTG to make aware of changes).

Disclaimer: I ignore if PDF Viewer supports form editing… but at least they use the same PDF engine and are 100% compatible.

Yes, that would be an additional cost to extend our license, and yes, we’d need to pass that along to cover the expense.

Oddly, I thought we’d have many people clamoring for form support, but we really haven’t. I can see it’s usefulness in many scenarios with both DEVONthink and DEVONthink To Go, but we haven’t had enough interest to pursue it.

Not something needed here. In those rare instances where I fill in a PDF form, I simply use software that does it already. Support more cost of DEVONthink to provide this is not attractive, to me. Just my two bits.