Japanese government official documents Mac compatibility

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Japanese government official documents Mac compatibility

Post by TomRitch »

I am posting this here because it may be helpful to Mac users of Japanese government official documents. I have not other way of contacting such users. I figure some readers of this site may have such interest, or know how to pass this information along to those it may benefit.

This is copied from a posting on MacInTouch

http://www.macintouch.com/readerreports ... d13may2016
May. 11, 2016
Adobe and alternatives

Greg Glover

This is a story of Acrobat feature bloat, doing too much with the features available, and being too lazy to use those features properly. It's also a story of Mac marginalization.

My wife needed to renew her Japanese passport from here in Canada, and downloaded the PDF application form from the Japanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs. When she attempted to open it in the latest Acrobat Reader, it brought up a modal error window saying it can only be opened in Windows. Clicking OK caused the document to close. Apple Preview brings up a message that says "Please wait... If this message is not eventually replaced by the proper contents, your PDF viewer may not be able to display this type of document." It mentions upgrading to the latest Adobe Reader, and I think it is sort of a boilerplate message built into the PDF, not a Preview message.

We could find no "Mac-compatible" application forms online.

I decided to disable JavaScript in Acrobat and try again. The PDF did open, we were able to see the content but it prints with a watermark over it saying 申請不可 (inadmissible) even with all fields completed. So, after opening the document I re-enabled JavaScript. And what do you know, the embedded script kicked in to guide her along, making sure she used the correct formatting (full-width vs half-width characters, roman characters where required, etc.) and enabling the successful completion and printing of the form. While a simple set of instructions on how to fill out the form probably would have been enough, the creators thought a JavaScript would be more "helpful". At the same time, apparently the programmers would rather block Mac users than simply check for compatibility. The FAQ on the Japan Ministry of Foreign Affairs website tersely states the form is not Mac compatible.

She now has her new passport, but I wonder how many Mac-using Japanese expats are inconvenienced by this and don't have the technical know-how to circumvent these arbitrary and completely unnecessary limits.
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