Saving Form Data in Adobe Reader, on a Mac … even if Adobe tries to keep me from doing it

So, for some reason, Adobe does not want users to fill in form data in PDF files and save the modified copies. Alright, fine, there may be a good reason for that (probably something to do with money) … but we wants it, anyway, precioussss.

Now, being on a Mac, my natural reflex was to go “Print->Save As PDF…”, but alas …

Can't Save As PDF

Can't Save As PDF

*sigh* … let’s try “Print->Save As PostScript…” …

Can't Save As PostScript

Can't Save As PostScript

OK, Adobe really means it, Google to the rescue? Well, almost, or kind of. Google knows this page, but unfortunately it suggests “Save As PostScript…”. Been there, done that. I’m guessing somebody at Adobe has read that blog, too, and decided to stop people from trying that. Now what?

People have suggested using a PDF printer or a printer the driver of which allows redirection to PDF. Of course, I didn’t see why I should have to go to that extra length, when printing the file must spool it somewhere. So, here’s an alternative solution which I considered simpler, as it requires no additional software/driver.

  1. Have a printer installed on your Mac with the generic PostScript driver
  2. Suspend the printer
  3. Print filled-out PDF to suspended printer
  4. Look at the contents of /var/spool/cups with administrative permissions (e. g. from a Terminal in a root shell … sudo, etc. … you know the routine)
  5. Copy the file starting with “d” (e. g. d00186-001) to somewhere the regular user can access it and make sure the user has permission
  6. As the regular user open the file with Preview and watch the file (that originally was a PostScript file) be converted to PDF (ref. here)
  7. Save at your discretion

And I’m fairly confident Adobe won’t be able to prohibit that *rolls eyes*

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