The Annoying PDF form that prevent editing after you fill it…

I ran into this bandit a few days back and was wondering what was wrong with my machine or the PDF I received it from.

Symptoms:

  • Open PDF, everything is editable.
  • After filling and saving it, the PDF form fields become NO LONGER EDITABLE, even in Adobe Acrobat.
  • Telltale sign: field of the Acrobat becomes GRAY instead of LIGHT BLUE.
    See below. The company name was previously fillable but no longer fillable. Regular fillable fields appear blue below. that.
  • Even going into Prepare Form Option to manipulate the field, they are not directly editable there short of deleting and redefine a form field.
  • Edit permission of the PDF is normal. You have full access to the PDF.

Fix:

  • Something triggered automatically 1) lock the fields of the form 2) set them to read only. I suspect it might be either LifeCycle at form design stage or a signature insertion during the form fill stage. Something caused it and I am not sure which one yet.
  • To fix it, unchceck the boxes in the right order in form preparation view (form editing view)

Screw whoever thought it was nice to make form “once fillable”. I had to Google some crazy crap people do to get around whoever blessed us with this cursed setting in the initial form design.

I should vote this to the /r/badUIbattles/