Why can't my client open the PDF Questionnaire?

The PDF Questionnaire is a 'dynamic' PDF. It is the dynamic nature of the PDF which enables it to show and hide questions depending on the answers provided by the person filling it out. This dynamic functionality means that the PDF Questionnaire can only be opened by certain types of PDF Viewers such as Adobe Reader or Adobe Acrobat. If someone tries to open the PDF Questionnaire in a viewer that is not supported, they will receive an error. This issue accounts for 99.8% of all reported issues with the Questionnaire.

Why does this happen?

The reason this occurs is due to the person trying to open the Questionnaire not reading/following the instruction text which normally accompanies the Questionnaire. In particular point (b) of the instructions which points out that they need to use Adobe Reader to open the Questionnaire.

The usual course of action that results in the error occuring is that the person who is the receipient of the Questionnaire, having received the email via Gmail, Yahoo etc, will click the download button in their online email account, at which point the questionnaire will proceed to download on to their computer. In their browser, the downloaded item will usually appear as a icon/link across the bottom of the window.

The mistake that the receipient usually makes is that they will then double click this icon/link in the browser, and as a result, the PDF will proceed to be opened by the browsers in built PDF viewer, as oppossed to Adobe Reader. The end result is that they will receive an error or waiting message because the browser does not have sufficient capabilities to open a dynamic pdf.

What is the solution?

Instruct the receipient to do the following:

  1. find the downloaded PDF on their computer;
  2. right click the PDF;
  3. Select Open with > Adobe Reader

The Questionnaire will then open.

Can the PDF be programmed not to open in the browser?

No. How a browser downloads and opens attachments is entirely up to the developers of those browser i.e. Google and Microsoft.