Dynamic Form Help

We’re sorry you’re having difficulty using our forms. These forms contain some dynamic form fields and are best viewed and filled out using Adobe Reader.  There are two reasons problems occur:

  1. The form is opening in a viewer other than Adobe Reader. Such third party (unofficial) PDF reader software is not always compatible with the Dynamic Form functionality used in the forms.
  2. Adobe Reader is out of date (we require Version 9.1 or later, which was released in 2009).

While PDF documents can be safely opened in third party software, dynamic PDF Forms require the official Adobe Software.  Third Party programs do not support advanced Form features.  For example, the New England Journal of Medicine uses the same PDF features (with the same software requirements) in their Author Conflicts and Disclosures Form. Clicking on the link for the forms in our web site will cause your browser to download and open the form in the default .PDF viewer configured on your system. If you are having trouble, use the following directions to force your computer to open the form with the Official Adobe Reader software.

Windows OS

To force your Microsoft Windows XP/Vista/7 OS computer to open PDF forms in the Official Adobe Reader software:

  1. Download and install the latest official Adobe Reader software.
  2. Right click the link to the PDF form in the browser and select “save link as.”
  3. Save the PDF form to your hard drive, wherever is convenient (for example, the desktop).
  4. Open a file browser and find the file you just saved in step 3. Right click on the file and select “Open With” -> “Adobe Reader.” If “Adobe Reader” is not an option, you need to install it (see link in Step 1).

Once the form is open in Adobe Reader, please fill out the fields with your computer in Adobe Reader.  You will notice that form fields either appear or disapper in the form based on the logic of your responses, improving clarity and saving everyone time.

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Apple OS

It is not uncommon for some Apple computers (especially those running Safari internet browsers) to open all PDFs in Apple’s third-party PDF program “Preview.” However, you must open them with official Adobe software for them to work correctly.

In order to force your Apple OS to open these types of forms in Adobe Reader:

  1. Install the latest version of the official Adobe Reader software.
  2. To open in Adobe Reader, Control + click (right click) the link to the PDF form and select “save link as.” (If this does not work, please see Alternate Steps for Apple OS below)
  3. Save the PDF to wherever is convenient (for example, the desktop).
  4. Control+click (right click) the PDF File you just saved on your computer (for example, the file on the desktop if you followed the suggestion in step 2) and select “Open With” then “Adobe Reader”
    -or-
    You can also click the file, then select “Open With”->”Adobe Reader” from the “File” menu at the top of your screen.

Alternate Steps for Apple OS

Sometimes, it is not possible to download and save the .pdf file on Macintosh and other Apple devices. In this case, we also provide links to zipped (.zip) versions of the forms on the same page as the .PDF form links. If you were unable to download the .PDF version using the right click and “save link as” option, please try downloading the .zip file to the hard drive. If this works, you will then need to open the .zip file on your computer and extract the .PDF file from the .zip archive and save the .PDF locally. Once this is completed, you can proceed from step 3 above.

Once the form is open in Adobe Reader, please fill out the fields with your computer in Adobe Reader.  This allows us to intelligently ask questions in the form based on the logic of your responses, improving clarity and saving everyone time.

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