Recovering a Non-Editable PDF file

Yeah, so there’s always more than one way to skin a cat. So to speak. I love cats, so rather NOT a fan of that statement, but it gets the point across.

A client asked me to modify a Acrobat PDF document – add an editable field into a PDF document for online fill-in. No biggie. Download the document, Edit Text – and WHAT? A password? Seriously? OMFG. NOW what. Nothing simple is ever easy.

Tried a local solution – renaming it, saving it “as”, nada.  Nothing. This was getting more suckful by the moment. Hold it – wasn’t there something that I used to do with an alternate program? There was. Took a bit of mental reflection and I remember being able to use a virtual printer…

It seems to me that I had used Ghost something or other back in my prior life as a PC guru to get through these things somehow. Now that I run MAC, that was going to be an issue – and I really didn’t want to go on a wild goose chase and turn a 2 minute project into a day-long escapade on GitHub.

I saw a recommendation to open it with Foxit. Foxit has no such program for Mac.

Hey – this might be good! – No. Not so much. “There is no security on this document” – I see. That’s why every time I click on “Edit” I GET A FRIGGING POPUP ASKING ME FOR A PASSWORD ON THIS GOD-FORSAKEN ACROBAT DOCUMENT.  Would have been beautiful as far as a solution. Looks like others had luck with this, but not me. Glad I didn’t buy a version.

FINALLY, while it is more labor intensive than I wanted, I found THIS little site –  It won’t keep the form fields and all, but it will NOT force me into recreating the whole 6 page document with underlines and everything. NOW, I just need to add new text boxes. I can live with that.  Uploaded the document, and even though I had tried this locally – and again been presented with a password box – the online program was able to successfully convert the document to Word and allow me to download it. Yay.

And just create text boxes for about 50 text fields. Sad when I have to consider this a win.