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Sunday, October 11, 2015

Use Google Chrome to fill in fields on a PDF with Linux

Pro tip: If you need to download PDF forms and fill them in, use Google Chrome with Linux. 


Someone I know uses Linux that I installed on their old laptop. The Linux distro was Zorin Core 9, derived from Ubuntu; but what I’m about to tell you works for many Linux distress. 


They needed to fill in court papers because they intend to sue someone in small claims court. The court forms comes as fillable PDF forms. But Firefox, the Web browser that comes with Zorin, doesn’t support filling in forms. 

Doing a quick Google search found someone who recommend Chrome for this. 

Now how to get Chrome installed on your computer if you don’t already have it.

From the other Web browser’s Web search box, just enter “google chrome” It’ll be the first or second item to come up.

Google Chrome first page 10 11 2015


This Web site for Google Chrome will automatically recognize that you are running Linux and put up four choices for you.


Google Chrome first page 10 11 2017


Those four choices are:


32 bit .deb for Debian or Ubuntu based distros

64 bit .deb for Debian or Ubuntu based distros

32 bit .rpm for Open Suse or Fedora based distros

64 bit .rpm for Open Suse or Fedora based distros.


Now if you use Ubuntu or any distro with ‘buntu in the name like Xubuntu or Ubuntu or Kubuntu, you want the .deb extension on your installer. Similarly if you use Fedora or Open SUSE, you want the .rpm. 


As for 32 bit or 64 bit, that depends on your computer’s CPU. Look it up, as my Dad would say.

Once you have downloaded the installer to your /home/downloads folder, you double click on it. The installer manager should pop up to guide you through installing Chrome. Give it time if  your system is slow, Google Chrome is a pretty big app.


Once it’s installed, use the Google Search window to get to your on-line forms. 

Bring them up on screen. 

Now start filling them in. 



I know I didn’t cover every possible situation, so use Google from Firefox to look it up. 

And if you do install Linux on a friend’s old windows laptop, I recommend you install Chrome as another browser besides Firefox. 

If you use Zorin Core 9, take advantage of the Zorin Web Browser Manager under the Internet section of the launch menu. This gives you four choices of browser: Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Midori, and makes it dead simple to install or uninstall one of these four browsers 

 Tom Briant

Editor, MacValley Blog










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