Automated Forms Conversion Service: Seamless transition from PDF forms to HTML forms

Khushwant Sehgal
Oct 17 · 6 min read

Are you looking to convert a PDF form or a printed form to a responsive digital form? What if I tell you, you can make the conversion within a span of a few minutes? And, automatically, without any manual intervention. Would you believe me? Yes, this is possible with Adobe Sensei.

Adobe Sensei’s Automated Forms Conversion Service (AFCS) can convert any PDF form or high-quality image of a form to a beautiful responsive form within a span of a few minutes.

The service runs on the Adobe AI and Machine Learning network. It works like magic. You can use any device — mobile, desktop, laptop — to start the conversion and convert any type of PDF form. The service automatically detects reusable form fragments, enables analytics, enables document of record, and sets validations for form fields while converting the form. The service is a boost for all the organizations looking to convert their paper-based processes to digital forms. Here the major reasons to use the service:

Save time

You can always use a DIY or proprietary forms solution tool to create a digital version of a form. These solutions are good if you have unlimited manpower and time. The Automated Forms Conversion Service (AFCS) eliminates the time required to create a form from scratch. It automatically converts the PDF form to a beautiful HTML5-based adaptive form. You can always customize the produced adaptive form in adaptive form editor to add more functionality such as Adobe Sign.

When you manually create a form, you can work only on a few forms at a time. The service can convert multiple forms for different users at any moment; saving you a large amount of time. It runs 24×7 and does not require any break; provides you a large working window. The service does all the heavy lifting for you. You can spend the saved time on your favorite game.

Time spent well results in, more money to spend, more money to save, and more time to learn something new. — Anurag Sharma, Product Manager, Adobe

You just need to provide a template and a theme before starting the conversion. The service provides some templates and themes out of the box. You can customize these for your organization or create new ones from scratch. It also saves you both time and effort.

Get consistent appearance

Generally, forms of a department or an organization have a standard look and feel. They all use the same header, footer, and color schemes. Adobe also ships some templates and themes with service to help you provide a consistent look and feel. You can also create custom themes and templates for your organization.

Templates help you apply the same header, footer, and structure across the forms. Automated Forms Conversion Service automatically replaces header and footer of source form with header and footer of the template during conversion. You have to just create a template with required header and footer and point to it during conversion.

Design is a funny word. Some people think design means how it looks. But of course, if you dig deeper, it’s really how it works. — Steve Jobs

Themes help to apply a consistent color scheme and styles across a set of forms. You can use or customize the themes provided out of the box or create a new theme from scratch. The service provides a powerful editor to create or modify the themes. Point the conversion service to a theme and wait for the conversion. After conversion, all the forms have consistent styling.

Automate addition of custom fields and validations

Validations are an important part of a form. These alert users when non-standard data is added to a field. For example, when alphabets are added to a numeric field. The service is smart. It recognizes all the common form fields and applies validations automatically. For example, validations for SSN, telephone, and email fields are applied automatically.

Your organization may have some custom fields repeated across the forms. For example, a custom tracking field repeated across all the forms of a financial organization. These custom fields can also have custom validations. You can use the of the conversion service to automatically identify such fields, convert it into an adaptive form field, and add validations on it without any manual intervention. The service provides meta-model feature to automatically map and apply validations to the field.

Meta-model allows you to define a validation before starting the conversion and automatically applies the validation to the field whenever it occurs in a form during conversion. It saves you the time required to manually apply the validation.

Automate document of record

Document of record allows you to archive both form and its data in PDF format. You can enable document of record feature automatically for all the forms during conversion.

The feature work similar to a normal adaptive form. The only difference is the interesting change Adobe has added for AcroForm based DOR’s. DOR PDFs are mostly read-only. Adobe has allowed using calculations in AcroForm based DORs. The scripts are stripped out in adaptive forms but work perfectly fine with AcroForm based DOR. Adobe Magic!!!

Track usage

Do you want to reduce the abandon rate of your forms? Do you want to make your form easy to fill? Do you want to know on which field customers have spent the most amount of time? How much time do customers spend on each page of form? Adobe Analytics has all the answers. The conversion service allows you to automatically enable Adobe Analytics for all the form.

Getting an audience is hard. Sustaining an audience is hard. It demands a consistency of thought, of purpose, and of action over a long period of time. — Bruce Springsteen

You can use Adobe Analytics to design easier to use forms. You can club Adobe Analytics with AB testing to find the best performing form variations.

Leverage existing investments

Apart from non-Adobe customers, many Adobe LiveCycle and AEM Forms on JEE customers have huge investments in XFA-based PDF forms. It is time-consuming for such customers to convert their existing XFA-based PDF forms to HTML5-based adaptive forms.

Even though markets incessantly evolve, the decision to invest in a good product always pays back. — Vishal Gupta , Manager, Product Documentation at Adobe

Automated Forms conversion service is a boom for such customers. The service specializes in converting XFA-based PDF forms to HTML5-based adaptive forms. It helps leverage existing investments. It also reduces the amount of time and effort requires in comparison to manual conversions. The service is going to save a lot of money while speeding up the process of converting existing PDF forms to HTML5-based adaptive forms.

Optimize digital forms inventory

Customers with investments in XFA-based PDF forms can convert the existing from fragments to adaptive form fragments and reuse these in other adaptive forms. You have to just provide path of existing fragments and the service automatically converts and uses these in adaptive forms, wherever applicable.

Automatically identify fragments

The service can automatically identify common fields as a fragment in a set of forms. Just tell the service before conversion if you are interested in finding fragments. You can reuse these fragments while designing new forms.

Integrate with Adobe Sign

You can integrate converted adaptive form with Adobe Sign to add easier e-signing to forms.

Are you ready to onboard the service, contact your Adobe Representative if you are an existing customer or contact Adobe Sales team if you are not an existing customer.

Happy converting. Reach me at @khushwantsehgal for any queries.

Adobe Tech Blog

News, updates, and thoughts related to Adobe, developers, and technology.

Khushwant Sehgal

Written by

Content & Community Lead at #Adobe for AEM Forms. Adobe Certified Expert in AEM Business Practices. Postings are my own and don’t represent views of Adobe.

Adobe Tech Blog

News, updates, and thoughts related to Adobe, developers, and technology.

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