Re: How to fill fillable PDF forms with NVDA


On Wed, Aug 3, 2022 at 02:03 PM, Sarah k Alawami wrote:

No, it was pdf, but the text was not written in form fields. It was just written:





Something like that. There were no form fields. You had to write the answers with a virtual pen.

And that's not a fillable form.  It's just a form, like a paper form, that allows you to fill it out with a virtual pen rather than printing it on paper and using a real pen.

And I'm not trying to be difficult or split-hairs, but "in the IT business" a fillable form is one that has form fields, checkboxes, etc., that can be traversed either by keyboard methods (Tabbing) or point and click and where you can type in edit boxes and do what's appropriate for checkboxes, radio buttons, etc.

Taking a paper form and typing it in a word processor, Acrobat, etc., but where the end result is simply an electronic version of the paper form is not considered to be a fillable form as the terminology has been used for as long as I've been in the IT business (and that's since 1985).  The electronic pen is a relatively new invention, but the fact that you can fill-in (non-accessibly) via the screen in a way that's exactly analogous to a paper form does not a "fillable form" make, at least not in the commonly construed way.  If that were considered to be a fillable form then a paper form should be considered "a fillable form," and it is not.

Fillable forms, although they can be fabulous accessibility tools, were not originally created with that express purpose in mind.  It was to allow you to fill them out entirely on a computer that had nothing but a keyboard (and mouse, for mouse users) and either save it once filled out or print it once it's filled out.  If you can't/couldn't do that it was simply a form that was to be printed and filled out by hand.  And heaven knows how many documents (regardless of file format) exist where that's exactly how they're set up and intended to be used.

Brian - Windows 10, 64-Bit, Version 21H2, Build 19044  

The difference between a top-flight creative man and the hack is his ability to express powerful meanings indirectly.

         ~ Vance Packard

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