Hey there! I’m asking for help because I’ve got a job I’ve done a few times, and each time it’s been a slog - I’m hoping there’s a better way than what I’ve been doing so far.
One of our clients is a big fancy golf club, and this job in particular is handling their membership packets that contain all the info about pricing and benefits and whatnot. The base design hasn’t changed in forever, but over the last year I think they’ve sent through several changes - the last update was in late November of 2020, and I -just- got another one, to give you a sense of scale.
The changes themselves haven’t been huge headaches - the design is pretty simple, and the worst I’ve had to deal with in the base design is balancing out some weird line spacing. For the printed form, this is easy - I make the changes in InDesign and export them for print. Where I’m running into a huge, huge headache is that I’m simultaneously tasked with converting it to a fillable PDF for digital usage as well, and there are so many fields with special formatting, requirements, and settings that adding a single line or changing the space means I have to go through and re-set all of those.
While for small text updates I can often get away with making the edits both to the base InDesign document, Acrobat and Indesign do not handle their text and image boxes with the same integrity, so if I have image changes or any change to line spacing or structure then I either have to make a new PDF from the indesign document and re-set all the fillable fields -The auto recognize feature takes a lot of the pain out of positioning, but I still have to go through and check/change all the field names, settings, and make sure nothing was missed, which is very time consuming and difficult to make sure it’s a match for the last round; or I have to try to make the design changes in Acrobat to parallell the ones made in InDesign to the master document. This lets me keep the form formatting, but as mentioned above, Acrobat and Illustrator are not on the same page for design controls.
So right now I’ve got a pretty big workload with a pretty big chance to miss something for very small changes, no matter which route I take. I’m hoping someone out there can help me figure out a better approach to this - is there a better way to make changes to a fillable PDF in Acrobat, or preserve/transfer the fillable fields from one to another, or something else I’m not even thinking of? Or should I just tell my sales rep who’s sending me these jobs they’re going to have to accept that it’s not the minimum setup time they’re writing it up as?