How To: Create an Editable and Savable Forest Practices Application

Hello good readers of the SFLO Newsletter! As the compiler and publisher of this here newsletter, I’ve been too busy wrangling articles from our foresters, biologists and assorted specialists to write an article of my own. But lately several small forest landowners have made me aware of some of the various technical issues they encounter using our DNR webpage, software and tools related to forest practices. Starting now, I intend to write an intermittent series describing how to best utilize some of the tools found through our DNR webpage. First up is a discussion on creating a Forest Practices Application in PDF format that you can edit and save to your computer.

Many folks have called lately with issues related to adding their information to a Forest Practices Application on our website, saving it but then finding that their edits didn’t actually save. There’s nothing worse than working on something for a few hours, just to find out that it didn’t save properly and you lost everything. Here’s how to get around that issue:

  1. First and most crucial: Ensure you have Adobe Reader, a free downloadable program that allows you to open, read and save PDF (portable document format) files. Note: DNR makes no attestations to the validity of software you download. Make sure you’re getting a legit copy of the software by downloading and don’t download anything suspicious).
  2. Open the FPA/N (we’ve selected the form for Western Washington) by clicking on this link.
  3. DON’T ADD ANY TEXT TO THIS FPA YET! You first need to save the PDF to your computer, and then open it through Adobe Reader.
  4. If you’re using the Google Chrome browser: In the upper right corner of the screen (see image below), there’s a tiny arrow with a line under it. Click that, and a box will open asking you where you want to save the document. Save it to your computer’s desktop or wherever else is most convenient for you.
    Download" control in the Google Chrome browser
    Red arrow (upper right corner) points to the document “Download” control in the Google Chrome browser.

     

  5. If you’re using the Internet Explorer browser (see below): Look in the upper left corner of the screen for a small button image that looks like a computer floppy disk. Click that, and a box will open asking you where you want to save the document. Save it to your computer’s desktop or wherever else is most convenient for you.
     "Download" control in the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser.
    Red arrow (upper left corner) points to the document “Download and Save” control in the Microsoft Internet Explorer browser.

     

  6. Next, look in your computer’s list of programs (the example below shows a Windows 10 display). Find and open the Adobe Reader program that you installed on your computer.

    The free Adobe Reader program
    The free Adobe Reader software.
  7. Now that Adobe is open, you need to open your recently saved FPA document. To do this, click “File” in the upper left hand corner of the screen (see below) and then click “Open.” Navigate to where you saved the FPA and click “Open.”
  8. You should now see the blank FPA open in Adobe Reader. Having the document open in the Adobe Reader program instead of your internet browser allows you to edit and save the PDF to your computer.
  9. Give it a try. Type your name into the FPA’s “Landowner” box as a test. Then save the document: in the upper right corner of the screen, click “File” and then “Save As.” Save with a different name than what you called it as a blank document. An example might be “Blank FPA YourLastName.”
  10. Once it saves, close the document, and then reopen it. Your name should still be on the document and you should feel like a huge success for successfully navigating DNR’s online forms! You’re good to continue the rest of the FPA with the knowledge that you won’t lose all of your work.
  11. If this doesn’t work for you and you’re still wildly frustrated, feel free to email me or call at 360-902-1849. Additionally, if you have further ideas for topics of future how-to articles, please let me know. Thanks for reading.

By Josh Meek – Technical Assistance Forester, DNR Small Forest Landowner Office, joshua.meek@dnr.wa.gov