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Programmatically fill PDF forms from Excel data

Posted by: admin April 23, 2020 Leave a comment

Questions:

I am seeking to implement PDF form filling in Windows. The data is in Excel 2010. I prefer to do this programmatically from Excel VBA. The target PDFs are IRS tax forms, which are PDF versions 1.6 and 1.7. What is an automated form filling method?

How to&Answers:

There is a company out there called Foxit Software that seems to have some pretty good PDF tools. I currently use their Reader instead of Adobe’s and have found it be faster, less resource intensive and crash less. The do have some SDK options:

http://www.foxitsoftware.com/pdf/sdk/

It seems like there should be a way to use ActiveX with Excel. The big unknown is that they do not list any SDK pricing on their website, but it might be worth the time to contact them and find out what they have to offer?

Answer:

Maybe my open source tool BulkPDF could do what you want.

What is BulkPDF?

BulkPDF is a free and easy to use freeware software (Open Source), which allows to automatically fill an existing PDF form with different values. Only a spreadsheet (Microsoft Excel 2007/2010/2013, LibreOffice or OpenOffice Calc) with the desired values is required.

How does it work?

BulkPDF automatically recognizes the values in the selected table. Then the column names must be manually assigned to the form fields. After the fill progress have started, BulkPDF will go through line by line and write the cell value into the form.

Functions

  • Supports text fields, checkboxes, radio buttons, combo boxes, and list boxes
  • Individual configuration for each form field
  • Filename freely configurable with automatic value
  • Setable write protection for individual form fields as well as for the entire document
  • Save and load the configuration
  • Configuration manually adjustable (XML)
  • Relative paths in the configuration file possible
  • Command line tool available
  • Compatible with Acroform and XFA

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