PDF form fields black with California tax forms in evince & xpdf in Ubuntu-14.04

Bug #1672043 reported by Randall Whitman on 2017-03-11
This bug affects 1 person
Affects Status Importance Assigned to Milestone
evince (Ubuntu)

Bug Description

https://www.ftb.ca.gov/forms/2016/16_540.pdf (5844d712b8addc1f89d13ff7c2e40210)

Firefox PDF viewer: displays normally - form fields are blank, white or clear background. This is the expected behavior.

Evince & xpdf: California tax form field backgrounds are black. Filling in the form in evince results in unreadable blue on black in the form entries. When I fill in some fields in evince, print-to-file, and file-open in Firefox, the form fields are blue on black. (By contrast, evince & xpdf both display IRS f1040 correctly.)

evince 3.10.3-0ubuntu10.2, Ubuntu 14.04.5 LTS, Unity, i915 video, 32-bit kernel on i86-64 hardware.

ProblemType: Bug
DistroRelease: Ubuntu 14.04
Package: evince 3.10.3-0ubuntu10.2
ProcVersionSignature: Ubuntu 3.13.0-106.153-generic 3.13.11-ckt39
Uname: Linux 3.13.0-106-generic i686
ApportVersion: 2.14.1-0ubuntu3.23
Architecture: i386
CurrentDesktop: Unity
Date: Sat Mar 11 07:25:49 2017
EcryptfsInUse: Yes
ExecutablePath: /usr/bin/evince
InstallationDate: Installed on 2016-05-27 (288 days ago)
InstallationMedia: Ubuntu 12.04.1 LTS "Precise Pangolin" - Release i386 (20120817.3)
SourcePackage: evince
UpgradeStatus: Upgraded to trusty on 2016-05-27 (288 days ago)

Okular is not an adequate workaround - after Save or Print, likewise the fields are blue on black.

Acroread from partner repository is minimally functional, but does not allow saving partially-filled form, does not integrate with CUPS enough to offer the CUPS-PDF printer as a printer choice [note I have no physical printer onsite - workaround is to save to PS file], and does not make source code available.

Sebastien Bacher (seb128) wrote :

The pdf displays fine in 16.04 so considering it fixed in the current series

Changed in evince (Ubuntu):
importance: Undecided → High
status: New → Fix Released

Good to see that it is fixed in Ubuntu-16.04-LTS.
Unfortunately, when I had tried to upgrade to 16.04, the kernel did not work with my i915 video card (I can search to see if there is any updated info about that).
For bug of High importance, would have liked to see a fix for 14.04 as it is LTS.
I did find info on another interesting potential workaround: PdfChain (https://www.hecticgeek.com/2011/12/pdf-manipulator-for-ubuntu-linux/) / pdftk (http://www.cs.unb.ca/~bremner/blog/posts/filling_in_forms_with_pdftk/) can apply FDF data - however unfortunately that appears to be more work than writing with a pen on a printed blank form.
[It's tax season again.]

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