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Home / Needed: Convert a PDF with fill-in fields to read-only text


I’m a volunteer mediator in small claims court. As mediators (now working virtually) who write binding agreements, we need a means under Windows to convert PDF files with fill-in fields to files with read-only text using a freeware or donation-ware app.

The Problem: Adobe Reader is everywhere and free, but Adobe Reader on the Mac
disallows print-to-pdf by creating its own print interface. I assume Windows Adobe Reader behaves in the same obnoxious manner. No time yet to virtualize and test. Sorry :-(.

On the Mac, it’s trivial: Read the PDF with Preview and send the file to the standard Mac print chain:
File->Print->PDF->Save-As PDF
which replaces the modifiable fields with read-only text.

I don’t know what Windows “print-to-pdf” does with fields. If it behaves like the Mac, I’m mostly home free.

What I need: A Windows PDF reader app that either uses Windows print-to-pdf if that interface removes fill-in fields, or a free or donation-ware app that can do the same. (We are all volunteers.)

The Question: Can Sumatra in its present form accomplish this end ? ? ?

With much appreciation,



This is a tricky question without any samples and thousands of outcomes where you want a yes answer. So logic dictates the answer would most likely be no, not always. but similar to Mac ?.

There are real “PDF” acroforms and there are thousands af similar call-alikes and there are Xtended forms which are not PDF but an XFA just waiting to bite you like a wolf in a wool blanket.

IF SumatraPDF can display them, and print them as PDF, using MS printer, then modifiable fields will automatically be “read only” since you get image only output.
However they will not be searchable as the MS print to PDF will have generated image PDFs without any forms

I always have to ask what are your expectations for making the changes the forms are modifiable for a reason

ALL binary that starts 001 can be changed to 101 so dont think swaping formats will make a document secure (far be it)