Open a pdf form and 'fill' within Firefox?

User Help for Mozilla Firefox
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Joined: November 26th, 2005, 10:37 am

Post Posted November 8th, 2017, 6:53 am

I am totally confused now on something I thought that I had totally understood!

I thought that Adobe Acrobat Reader was just that, a reader with no editing capabilities. However, now I've found that (at least the free 'DC' version) the reader allows for superimposing text over the pdf image (Tools/Sign & Fill).

What I still don't get is why when Firefox opens a pdf file within a window, that window/screen bears no resemblance to opening the same document directly from the Adobe reader on the desktop. In Firefox (as opposed to directly from Adobe) there is no File, or Tools or... available as screen options--just a few, limited view options.

To use the reader's Sign & Fill option you have to (at least as far as I can determine) download the pdf and then open directly from the reader.




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Post Posted November 8th, 2017, 6:59 am

Moving to Firefox Support...
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Post Posted November 8th, 2017, 10:08 am

It was possible to run programs like full exe's in a browser, they were called plugins. An adobe reader plugin or other PDF reading plugins would run inside a browser window and could be virtually identical to the real program running standalone. However, running who knows what inside a browser, even when attempts were made to have some security, was a huge security risk. Almost all serious browser security flaws and ways you could get a virus without actually clicking yes I want to run this virus, were from plugins. So now, since Firefox release version 52, all plugins except Flash are dead. Flash support will change to click-to-play and then eventually to full removal, but that will take a while longer.

Instead of using plugins, webpages can use browser features which have gotten more advanced over the years to play video in HTML5 and emulate things like simple PDF viewing in javascript. But, no old code from the exe's could be used - all features had to be re-added from scratch. Eventually instead of using pdf-js (the firefox mini PDF viewer) Firefox may switch to using PDFium (chrome's mini PDF viewer) which has some more form filling. For the best experience though, just download the PDF and fill it using your favorite full software.

Short answer - browser plugins which were an insecure old way of making webpages interactive are being removed, from all browsers - including competitors to Firefox.

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Joined: November 26th, 2005, 10:37 am

Post Posted November 8th, 2017, 12:24 pm

This all started this am on my wife's machine with Chrome. After she left, being totally confused about what viewer was actually being used (I swear that viewing the same pdf on her Chrome and my Firefox were almost identical screens), I downloaded the pdf and opened it with Acrobat. Voila, now I had a real reader and now I see what you mean.

I have used PDFXchange Editor for years since it would allow me write on top of the pdf image. After opening the current version of Acrobat on her machine I see that same now has that ability and a lot more via plugins. I guess some are free and some not.

Then I gave Chrome's addons (or plugins or whatever they call it) a shot. Same will allow Acrobat to run as an exe in a window and I installed the addon. I'm not concerned about a virus for two reasons. I have to think between Google and Adobe they have that figured out. Secondly, and most important, we run both Norton and Webroot in real time.


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