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Adobe discontinued their PDF reader software for Linux several years ago (but continues to maintain the version for Android?!). If I need to fill in a "fillable" PDF form now, I have to load it onto my (old, slow) tablet, and fight with the onscreen keyboard or the 80% USB keyboard, deal with tapping a fat finger to place the cursor and Android's not-very-intuitive methods of selecting/copying/pasting text, and so forth. Last time I tried to install Adobe Reader for Windows, I found Wine wasn't really ready for it.

I haven't seen any PDF readers that run in Ubuntu that will fill forms -- is there a good form-filling PDF reader for Ubuntu, or a way to either run the Android version of Adobe Reader on an Ubuntu system or make the Windows Reader work well with Wine?

My primary concern is for my laptop, which is on 16.04 LTS Mate, but I'd secondarily prefer if the solution also works on my desktop machine, still on Kubuntu 14.04 LTS.

My search for an existing answer turned up this question -- but it's six years old. Is there a newer answer, or can anyone confirm that the answers there are still valid?

closed as unclear what you're asking by mikewhatever, user364819, pomsky, David Foerster, pa4080 Oct 24 '17 at 15:23

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question. If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • Two close votes for "unclear what you're asking" and no comment from either one? How is it unclear? – Zeiss Ikon Oct 22 '17 at 23:44
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    Both Evince and Okular can fill in PDF forms and save the form contents. What's wrong with those? – David Foerster Oct 23 '17 at 16:26
  • Last time I tried either one before being prompted by the answer below, neither one worked correctly for filling forms. That, however, was on Kubuntu 14.04 when it was fresh -- this isn't a need I run into frequently. It seems this function has been fixed in the last couple years. – Zeiss Ikon Oct 23 '17 at 16:35
  • This functions also tends to work worse with some PDF forms than with others. Probably some stuff Adobe added to a later standard that the GNOME and KDE devs haven't gotten around (or bothered) to implement yet. For those few instances I use a virtual machine with or remote desktop session on a Windows installation. – David Foerster Oct 23 '17 at 16:38
  • I may be the odd man out, but I literally don't have regular access to a Windows system. My laptop has Win10 on dual boot, but I don't want to have to reboot, twice, to fill in a form (and also don't know Win10 well enough to be sure I could install Adobe Reader). – Zeiss Ikon Oct 23 '17 at 16:42
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The Ubuntu Document Viewer program (also called Evince) does support filling fields. The catch seems to be that the document must be local (on your HDD) and the mechanism for saving the filled form data is to choose "Save a Copy as..."

  • I have Document Viewer already on my Kubuntu 14.04 system. Just tested it: I was able to fill in one field, then it wouldn't let me type characters in any other field. This is similar to behavior I've seen in older versions of Evince. However, I just tested Atril Document Viewer (apparently the MATE version) on my laptop, 16.04 LTS Mate, and it does allow filling and saving as a copy. I'd rather be able to just "save", but "save as" will work if nothing better turns up. – Zeiss Ikon Oct 22 '17 at 22:40
  • @ZeissIkon I wonder if that is just a problem local to Kubuntu. I'm using 17.10 and Evince, and do not have this problem. – Charles Green Oct 22 '17 at 22:59
  • To know if it's Kubuntu specific or related to 14.04, we'd need reports from newer Kubuntu and some other flavor of 14.04. However, I've seen this in Evince back as far as MEPIS 11 (which also used KDE, so not very specific to this case). – Zeiss Ikon Oct 22 '17 at 23:42

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