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June 6th, 2010

Create a smart PDF document with Scribus

Office, by suvi.

Sometimes we need to create a document containing a form for a client to fill out. This form is shared either by email or by downloading from a web location. A lot of people will use a word processor, most often Microsoft Word, to create such a document. It’s the popularity and general availability of Microsoft Word that is the reason for using this tool in most of these cases. One issue with this approach is that using a word processor to create a form will more often than not cause you to make a compromise on your design as it is not a professional design application, but a word processor. A better approach to solving this problem would be to use a more standard file format, such as PDF. PDF documents work the same across all major operating systems, such as Windows, Mac OS, and Linux. Let’s take a look at how to use Scribus, an open source desktop publishing application available for all these three platforms, to create a smart PDF document containing a form which your client can fill out. In the end, she can hit the Submit button at the end of the document, and the data she just entered will be sent right back to you by the document.

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