/ Id-Extras Forum / FormMaker Cannot Export PDF

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  • #6871 Reply
    Kira Young

      Hi, my team and I all use FormMaker and it’s been a lifesaver for our forms process. Today, I went to export a form and I got the following error message(s):

      “Failed to export PDF” and then the only option is to click Ok and when you click that, a 2nd pop-up says “An error occurred trying to export the file to interactive PDF. The file may be open in another application, or check the file name, and try again”

      This is normally the type of message I receive when I’ve accidentally tried to save over a PDF that’s already open, but this was saving to a brand new PDF. Any idea what might be going wrong. This happened on 2 different documents for me, and my co-worker was thankfully able to export the PDF for me from FromMaker and I could run the acrobat script and that worked as normal.

      We are running FormMaker 3.0.8 and InDesign version 17.3


      #6872 Reply

        Hi Kira,
        Very happy to hear you’re finding it useful!
        Here’s a few things to try:
        (1) Apart from closing the document in Acrobat, perhaps try closing Acrobat itself.
        (2) When exporting the PDF with FormMaker, check the “Show export dialog” checkbox. In the export dialog box, disable (temporarily) “View PDF after Exporting”. Does that work?
        (3) Try exporting the file as an interactive PDF without using FormMaker. Does that work or does that also throw an error?
        (4) Try restarting InDesign and Acrobat.
        (5) Are you using OneDrive or Dropbox? I’ve noticed that sometimes if those apps are busy uploading files, those files are marked as “in use” and can’t be overwritten. Try temporarily pausing syncing in those apps, or disabling them.
        (6) If all else files, restart your computer (there might be some instance of Acrobat running in the background, and restarting the computer will kill that).

        I think one of those options should work. Let me know how it goes!


        #6874 Reply

          Oh, and also, does saving the PDF with a different name work?

          #6875 Reply
          Kira Young

            Thanks for the response, it seems to be working now.

            #7015 Reply
            Jeff Woodley

              Hi Ariel,

              I am Kira’s co-worker. I’m having a similar problem with FormMaker not exporting a pdf. Except it gives me no error. I click on the “Create Interactive PDF” button, it turns blue and then does nothing.

              I dont have Acrobat open, I have tried re-saving an IDML of the InDesign file as a regular INDD file, and also Copy/Pasting the content of the problematic form into a new INDD file. I’m not sure why it isn’t exporting this form now, as it has in the past, and I don’t have any problems with any other forms.

              I suspect it may have something to do with the form fields, but I can’t figure it out. Have you heard of this issue before? Any help is greatly appreciated.


              #7016 Reply

                Hi Jeff,

                Did you try restarting InDesign?

                Did you try all the steps I mentioned above in my answer to Kira?

                If none of that works, I’ll probably need you to send me the ID file so I can take a look and see what’s in it that is giving FormMaker trouble.


                #7212 Reply

                  I’ve tried all the steps you mentioned and still no first dialog when clicking Create Interactive PDF.
                  I’ve also removed the script in InDesign and reinstalled it, restarted InDesign, but still no dialog… just a button that stays blue.

                  I’m evaluating the free version.

                  Can somebody help please? It did look so promising yesterday when it worked.

                  I think I found the problem, when you have a textfield with a table in it, to create a comb of X characters then the dialog will not come up, although you can convert it to an interactive text field and assign form maker data to it. Removing the table from it will solve the export problem.
                  When exporting it from the Indesign Export Interactive PDF menu it will automatically delete the table from the object and create an empty interactive text field.

                  Just wanted to let you know this behaviour, so maybe you could solve this in a next version.

                  Keep up the good work.
                  / Luc

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