PDF - forms for reporting of data is outdated - HTML5 is ready to take over.

Thomas Ottosen

Based on our work with digital applications we see several foundations and organizations gather data via forms in PDF. The solution is for several reasons not optimal.

PDF forms do not work on mobile devices

There are a number of problems with PDF forms, as most PDF documents are made in A4 format. A format which works fine on the desktop, but on the mobile allows the user problems:

  • To view the entire document should be zooming out - and that means that the text is readable.
  • Zooms in on the fields, the user looses overview of the form.
  • It is not possible to enter data into the form, unless installed third-party program.

PDF-form does not work properly on desktops

Appears a PDF file via a browser - this is done via a plugin. Google Chrome and Edge, however, due to security chosen not to support Plugins more. one is therefore not possible to store the entries.

Our solution for data collection. We have developed a module for OpenFlow as the following:

  • Importing PDF forms and transform them into HTML5. We "read" and translate into HTML5 form.
  • Create form fields in the data model (OpenFlow gives the opportunity to work with data fields, for example. Validation, texts / labels and help text)
  • Complete and submit the form data to OpenFlow. Integration with existing systems is also possible.

We have tested our solution in selected PDF forms with a fine result.

There will always be after processing, but it is our assessment that our engine will save businesses and organizations time and money on conversion. 

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