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How Do I Get Adobe Forms to Return the Whole PDF to Me, Not Just the Data?

If you are creating digital forms with Adobe Acrobat, you probably are including a submit button that returns the form to you via e-mail. By default, when an end-user clicks that button, only the form data is returned as an XML file. This is fine if you are also using Acrobat to collect the forms, but there are situations where you might want the whole form (original PDF with the end-users data) returned. For example, when creating a form but having it returned to a different person who does not have Adobe Acrobat. Here’s how to do it:

The trick is to not use the default “Email Submit Button.” This button will only allow the data to be returned as an XML file. Instead:

  1. Insert a regular button.
  2. Open the object’s properties.
  3. Under the “Field” tab, click the “Submit” bubble. You should now see a new “Submit” tab.
  4. Click the new “Submit” tab.
  5. In the “Submit to URL” enter mailto:address@mysite.com. Replace the email address with the address you want the forms returned to, but be sure to leave the “mailto:”.
  6. Change the “Submit as” to “PDF.”

Now, when someone clicks that button it will behave just as the default “Email Submit Button” except the attachment will be a PDF file instead of the XML file.