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So you have a pdf form, and you want to fill it in on linux. You hate acrobat reader. Ok, so all six of you read on.
First install pdftk. If you are using debian,
apt-get install pdftk
If you are not using debian, first install debian :-).
Now you need a pdf file with form data. We suppose for the sake of
argument that your file is
pdftk foo.pdf dump_data_fields
Yes, the order of arguments is goofy. You should get some output that looks like
FieldType: Text FieldName: M3 FieldFlags: 4194304 FieldJustification: Left --- FieldType: Text FieldName: D3 FieldFlags: 4194304 FieldJustification: Left
M3 and D3 are your field names. Now get my script which can convert this output into something useful. At this point you may want to reconsider how much you hate acrobat. Or investigate okular. Assuming you are still here, run
pdftk foo.pdf dump_data_fields | perl fields2pl.pl > foo.pl
This will give you a template that you can fill in. If you have to
fill out the same form many times (e.g. an expense form), save this
template somewhere. Now to fill in your form, you need a
One way to make one is to edit the template I made you create above,
and then convert it to
FDF. First install the
apt-get install libpdf-fdf-simple-perl
Now use something like genfdf.pl to make an fdf file.
perl genfdf.pl foo.pl > foo.fdf
You are almost there. To actually fill in the form, you use the command
pdftk foo.pdf fill_form foo.fdf output filled.pdf
If you do this all many times, consider making a Makefile. Here is a fragment
.SUFFIXES: .pdf .fdf .csv .gnumeric .pl .fdf.pdf: pdftk Expenses.pdf fill_form $< output $@ .pl.fdf: genfdf.pl $< > $@ example.pdf: example.fdf example.fdf: example.pl