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All official bankruptcy forms are available PDF forms, and fillable versions of the forms are available.
Unfortunately, the free Adobe Reader does not allow you to save the information you type in to fillable PDF forms. The full commercial version of Adobe Acrobat allows its users to save a PDF and the form field answers will remain entered within the form's fields. Users of the full version of Acrobat can save a form and its answers, close the form, and then return later to complete unanswered or incorrectly answered fields.
Adobe Acrobat ($299) (full program) which can be found at: www.adobe.com/acrofamily/main.htm
The following products let you actually save the data in your PDF file as fields.
PDFill, ($19.95) which can be found at: http://PDFill.com
CutePDF Filler, ($29.95) which can be found at: http://www.acrosoftware.com/Products/CutePDF/Filler.asp
FyTek PDF File Save, (free, recommended) which can be found at: http://www.fytek.com/products.php?pg=pdffilesave
This product allows Acrobat Reader users to save the content of completed forms using a work-around. Read the documentation that comes with this product to learn how to use it.
Other, products let you "print" to a PDF file but do not act as form-fillers:
pdfFactory, ($49.95) which can be found at: http://www.fineprint.com/products/pdffactory/index.html
pdf995, ($19.95) which can be found at: http://www.pdf995.com/
For Mac Users
A helpful LegalConsumer user sent along the following message about form-handling tools available for Mac users. We have not tested all of these options, but have no reason to assume they are inaccurate. As always, feel free email if you spot something that is incorrect.
I couldn't help but notice that the tools listed don't include any options for those of us who are using Macs instead of PC's. Since I recently had to find out this information for myself, I wanted to send a summary in the hopes that you will find it useful and can add this information to your website.
Adobe's products are available for OS X as well as Windows. I believe that the prices are probably similar -- this is the one option I didn't really look into.
Apple's OS X has some good built-in functionality for dealing with pdf files, including the ability to save any printable output to a file in pdf format using an option available from a button on the lower left of the print dialog box. The print dialog box is used whenever the print command is used, from any application on the system, so a filled-in form can be intercepted via the print dialog box and saved to a pdf format file, instead.
There is also software for viewing pdf files, called "Preview". It will allow you to view files, fill in forms if they are set up as fillable versions, but sometimes there are incompatibilities -- for example, some of the currently available fill-in forms have 3 buttons at the bottom for "print" "save" and "clear", which appear to be able to be activated when clicked on, but they don't actually do what the label indicates they are going to do. I assume that when used on a PC, they work, but it could be that these are still works in progress. Preview will allow you to annotate a non-fillable pdf form with text that is overlaid, but it is not particularly easy to use this feature, and there are some good shareware programs available that make this process a whole lot easier to do.
Here is a list of the shareware applications that I looked at and my impressions of them:
PDF Pen and PDF Pen Pro by Smile On My Mac
PDF Pen is $49.95 and can be used to fill in pdf forms, save them, print them etc.
PDF Pen Pro is $94.95, and can be used for all the above, plus you can create pdf files, including fill-in forms, that can be used on any platform.
The Pro version probably is unnecessary for most of your readers but it does contain some nice features and it is less costly than Acrobat. Both of these products appear to be very polished, professional and full featured applications. The main reason I personally chose a different product in the end was because I did not feel I could afford even as little as $30 extra for software, even though it was clear that I was going to have to find something to make the process of dealing with the forms a little easier, especially since, when I first started looking into this, the fill-in forms had not yet been made available.
FormMate by White Wolf Software (www.whitewolf.com) is a reasonable option if all you're going to do is fill in the forms, print them and sign them. It costs $20, and is easier to use than the other similar products I looked at. Plus, it will let you save frequently used items -- such as your name, for example -- which has turned out to be useful. In addition to my name, I have saved a text item that inserts an "X", another with "N/A", and so forth. My only complaint is that I don't think that the font size of the text that is inserted can be changed, but the size that is used is reasonable for filling in the documents.
These shareware applications can be downloaded from the author's websites as listed, and activated from the menu within the application. In all cases, a free trial is an option, but the demo product is limited in that it prints a watermark onto any document until a registration key is purchased and entered, so it can't be used except as a demo until it is unlocked with the reg. key.
There are a couple of other shareware packages available also, but they did not end up being particularly memorable, in my opinion, and so I have not included them here.
I hope this info will be useful to you and that you will add it for the many folks who use Macs. I appreciate the effort that has obviously gone into setting up this website. It's a good resource & I'm pleased to see things like this becoming available. There should be more people like you, committed to helping empower people with enough legal knowledge to act on their own behalf.
Thanks for the info for Mac users, and the kind words, CL,