Need a completely readonly viewable version of form (not a text conversion)

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    Asked on December 28, 2014 at 03:40 PM

    I am using Jotform in the following way ...


    Having a form editable by one person ... but want this populated form to be readonly viewable by multiple persons.   


    Also would like to view this populated readonly version as an embedded window.  


    If there were a pdf equivalent that looked EXACTLY like the form, that would be good, but pdf template generation is blank.

    Submission turns it into a new type of format with everything left justified etc ... .


    Any ideas for workarounds if this is not supported would be greatly appreciated.  Am I missing something?



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    Answered on December 28, 2014 at 06:58 PM

    Hi Deborah,

    Can you please provide more details on the requirement.

    At the moment, there is no means to edit the PDF-submission result of the form.

    But it is not clear if you were referring to the submission result as the viewable version or the pre-populated form itself.

    You can also use the customize email submission to provide read only view of submission results.



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    Answered on December 28, 2014 at 10:53 PM

    Here is the scenario I am trying to achieve or approximate.


    One person has the privilege of being able to update a form (in my case our Dance Director).  She populates the fields etc ...  within the actual form.


    I would like the remainder of the target audience to have the ability to look at the populated form in FORM VIEW - just as someone filling it out would see - without the ability to actually alter the fields.


    Does this help?

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    Answered on December 29, 2014 at 04:57 AM

    Hello guineapigme,

    Unfortunately there is no automated feature to display the submission data in read only mode.

    You can create a report of your form's submission page. You can then embed this report in your web page or form. The following guide should help you create report:  Please be noted that report cannot be created for specific submission but it will display all the submissions you have received in your form.

    Can you please explain your requirement a bit more in detail on how you want to share the form with your users and we will take a look if there is any possibility.

    We will wait for your response.

    Thank you!

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    Answered on December 29, 2014 at 11:45 AM

    Thank you for thinking about this.


    Here is my scenario.   The head of our department is currently hand-generating dance programs (the content of my form).   I would like to give her a forms based way to input this data.  Jotforms provides this very well with available tools.  And the edit link provides a way for the one editor to update the form as needed.

    There is an audience for this form data.  It is the rest of the group.  However, their need is to just look at the populated form.   They should not have edit capabilities.

    Therefore, in this scenario, there is one person who updates the form, and many who need to view it.


    Ideally, a populated read-only version of form (that did not allow editing) would be the best visual representation as it is laid out, colorized etc ... and arranged to best communicate the data within.

    The pdf version of the form is all right, but the information is left justified and not as visually appealing (also, a lot of the form attributes in terms of color and font seem to go away).


    I would have used the pdf version of the form, but I am stuck right now because google drive used to allow embeddable viewing of pdf files but has recently discontinued this feature.

    I have not been able to convert the pdf form to a google docs version that is not messed up.  

    Opening the pdf version of the file with google docs (one of their supported files) results in a very messed up document.   Lots of fields and pages repeated etc ... .  Very wacky.


    Hope this helps describe my need.  Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.


    Also, I am exhibiting and managing all this from within a Wix website which has html/iframe and google drive viewer which are the only ways to display an open file within the website.


    An embeddable pdf viewer would be ideal for a workaround, but I haven't found one that works yet



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    Answered on December 29, 2014 at 12:19 PM

    Hello Deborah,

    What about embedding the PDF in JotForm? You can create a new form and then add "PDF Embedder" widget in your form. This will display any PDF file with an URL.

    Apart form creating report of your submission and displaying the submission data, you may also like to take a look at "Submission View" app as well which will allow you to customize on how you want the submissions to be displayed.

    There is an alternative way to achieve your requirement but it will require every submission record of your form to be edited from your form's submission page and also the "Edit Link" of submissions also needs to be saved to share it with users. This will require more than one step to achieve your requirement but you will be able to display the same form with users.

    Please take a look at the following demo form which I have created for you where the submit button is hidden in the edit link but for new submissions it will be displayed:

    Form direct URL: 

    Submission edit link: 

    Do get back to us if you like this solution and I will explain you the steps involved to achieve this.

    Thank you!

  • Profile Image
    Answered on December 29, 2014 at 12:40 PM

    Thank you for these ideas.  I am trying out the embeddable pdf viewer idea first.


    I have created another (blank form) and added the embedded pdf viewer.  I have supplied the following google drive shared link

  (which is a jotform pdf version)


    but I do not see this file showing up.    Will the form only show up "live"?   I added a embed link to the new form and tried it on my website, but I did not see the target pdf file show up in the embedder.


    This might be a good solution for me.  


    Please advise as to what I am doing wrong currently.

    Thanks very much,


  • Profile Image
    Answered on December 29, 2014 at 01:36 PM

    Hi Deborah,

    The reason why it is not working is because Google is trying to display their own frames in order to show the PDF and since this is being loaded over our iframe as well (which are 2 different domains) there is an error.

    Now this is a built in browser safety feature, so you can not use the link like that.

    What you need is the direct URL of the file in order to be shown.

    I would suggest uploading the file to your server instead and then add the link to it in the widget.

    Best Regards,

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    Answered on December 29, 2014 at 02:24 PM

    Perhaps I don't understand the issue, but I'm not sure this would work for me.  Since my website is viewed by many people, the file would not be local to them.  


    If I reference the link, I would have to reference it locally?  

    This is google's shared public link that supposedly anyone can view.   

    So if I understand this clearly, the pdf viewer will only work with someone's local files?  When Ashwin answered, the only requirement I thought was a valid URL. 


    And Ashwin, if I understand from your prior response, your other suggestion is to basically provide a form view without the submission button showing - that is, people could actually alter the fields, but could not submit.


    Is this correct?   

    Question.  If I was able to download the form data (from a submission) and reupload the data and repopulate it (AND disable the form) would that yield what I want?

    Very disappointed in the pdf viewer issues.  Would this be a problem for all embeddable viewers?  How could this be?






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    Answered on December 29, 2014 at 03:45 PM

    Please take a look at this demo form: I was able to embed your PDF file in the form using an iframe and a Text field.

    Please note that for the link that is provided by Google Drive you need to change the word "view" to "preview". So the iframe code will look like this:

    <iframe src="" width="650" height="500"></iframe>

    Feel free to clone the demo form to your account.

    Question.  If I was able to download the form data (from a submission) and reupload the data and repopulate it (AND disable the form) would that yield what I want?

    I'm sorry but don't understand this question, when you download your submission in PDF and upload it to Google Drive. The data will be viewable even if you disable to form since the PDF would not have any relation with the submitted data. Actually, you need to consider that when the submission data is modified you'll need to update the pdf file and reupload it to your Google Drive folder. Let us know if this is what you're referring to or I misunderstood your question.


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    Answered on October 02, 2016 at 04:44 AM

    a reply for ashwin_d


    I'm really interested on your form

    I've copied it but I can't understand how it works!


    thank you



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    Answered on October 02, 2016 at 07:37 AM

    Hello Tiziano,

    I have moved your question to a new thread and you will be answered here: 

    Thank you!