STEP 5: LOTUS FORMS IS THE FORMS PROGRAM CURRENTLY IN USE BY THE ARMY AND AIR FORCE
(The CHESS website has scheduled outages: Saturdays between 0200-0500 EST and the 2nd & 4th Tuesday of the month between 0700-1200 EST)
If you are having problems accessing the Lotus Forms software download link outside of the hours listed above, please contact CHESS for support.
NOTE: If you currently have Pure Edge viewer and ApproveIt installed, I recommend you uninstall both programs and restart your computer before proceeding. It will drastically speed up the install process below. The Lotus Forms program has the ability to uninstall Pure Edge automatically, but in my experience with others, it can take several hours.
NEWS: Update to the Army migrating to Adobe fillable forms. Army Publishing Directorate plans to no longer support Lotus Forms and eSign software after 1 October 2014. 1 October 2014 is also the date when the new PDF-F forms will replace the former .xfdl type forms. I hope these forms will work for Mac users since Lotus and ApproveIt has never worked for them. Please know that the current EES system requires Lotus Forms and eSign to allow signing of OERs (currently) and NCOERs (in the future).
1. Go to the Army CHESS website at: https://chess.army.mil
2. Click the Login button (located on the black bar across the top of the page)
NOTE: If you are CAC enabled through CHESS you will see your information displayed. Click the Login button to fully access the website. If you are NOT CAC enabled on the Army CHESS website you will prompted for your email address and password. This is the email address and password you used when you registered at the CHESS website. If you have not registered you need to click the Registration (button) on the black bar on the top of the page.
3. Once logged in (verified by it saying Welcome your name in
the upper right corner) you can to to Army Software Downloads
(button) listed under the green Software
3. Once logged in (verified by it saying Welcome your name in the upper right corner) you can to to Army Software Downloads (button) listed under the green Software (tab).
4. Click the link titled: Forms Viewer 4.0
5. Click the upper right corner link titled: Download Lotus Forms 4
You may be prompted at the bottom of your screen asking if you want to run or save Viewer-EN-4-0-0-477.exe, select Save or Save As.
Alternate download location: https://www.us.army.mil/suite/doc/41910103 (81.5MB)
6. Once the download is complete, double click the file titled: Viewer-EN-4-0-0-477.exe (or LotusFormsViewer4.exe)
NOTE: Once the little box closes, it has finished installing. This program does not tell you it completed.
Download Lotus Forms 3.5.1: https://www.us.army.mil/suite/doc/42640405 (21.92 MB)
Video Installation Instructions (new version coming soon)
PROCEED TO STEP 6 - INSTALL eSIGN (formerly APPROVE IT)
LOTUS FORMS INSTALLATION PROBLEMS AND SOLUTIONS
The ideas on this website are from my personal experience. I have been told by Army Publishing Directorate (APD) to send all users to their help desk so they become aware of the problems with this program. 703-692-1306 / DSN: 312-222-1306, Webform, or
If you are having problems accessing the CHESS website, contact the CHESS help desk at: firstname.lastname@example.org or 888-232-4405 / 703-806-1019 / DSN: 312-656-1019 (Monday - Friday 0800-1700 Eastern).
To download DA forms, go to the Army Publishing Directorate website http://www.apd.army.mil/ , click on the Forms (tab), DA Forms button. Find the form you want (in the range of form numbers). Right click the XFDL link to the right of the form you want, Select Save Target As. Save it to your computer and you will have the form for later. You can also click the link, it will open up your Lotus Forms or Pure Edge software automatically (only if using Internet Explorer 6, 7, or 8). All other browsers will have to use the Right click, Save As option to save your form.
Digitally signing a form is simple when following these instructions
With your form open and your CAC inserted in the card reader
Single click the button with the slanted pen with "Click to Approve" typed after it (see image)
Read the Electronic Signature Notice, then OK
Click the word Sign (not OK)
Select your name (the one without the word email in it), then OK
You should see your name, once you do, click the word Sign
It will prompt you to type in your PIN, then select OK
Once you see Signature is valid, select OK
You have now signed your form
If the word Sign is GRAY, please look here for some known cures
Are you curious how to change the check marks to X's on forms?
Open Lotus Forms, click the Preferences button (blue and red O + on it)
Select Advanced Settings
Select the box next to: Use "X" Style Check Boxes
If you are interested in knowing how to digitally sign an Excel or Word 2003 or 2007 file, this is how to do it
"In regards to your email, As I am sure you are well aware APD is the Enterprise provider of Lotus Forms Viewer and Silanis ApproveIt software. There are only two channels that are authorized to be the authoritative distributor of the fore mentioned software, 1. AGM (Army Gold Master) for GFE (Government Funded Equipment) installation / use and 2. CHESS (Computer Hardware, Enterprise Software Solutions) for PFE (Personal Funded Equipment) installation / use. APD does not authorize any other body (i.e. AKO files) to distribute its Enterprise Software. Your request to have this software hosted in your files has been dually noted. At this time your request to host / provide the Lotus Forms Viewer and Silanis ApproveIt software is Denied. You will be advised if APD's stance on this request changes in the future."
For issues obtaining the software from the CHESS website, utilize the Official Army channels listed below.
The ideas on this website are from my personal experience. I have been told by Army Publishing Directorate (APD) to send users to their help desk so they become aware of the problems with this program. 703-692-1306 / DSN: 312-222-1306 , Webform, or
If you are having problems accessing the CHESS website, contact the CHESS help desk at: email@example.com or 888-232-4405 / 703-806-1019 / DSN: 312-656-1019 (Monday - Friday 0800-1700 Eastern).
Follow instructions at top of this page to install Lotus Forms 188.8.131.527.
Air Force users, download your version of Lotus forms:
Click on: "IBM Lotus Viewer 184.108.40.206 Fixpack 3" under Download link:
If you have questions or suggestions for this site, contact Michael J. Danberry
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Last Update or Review: Tuesday, 14 October 2014 17:35 hrs
The following domain
names all resolve to the same website: ChiefsCACSite.com,
CommonAccessCard.us, CommonAccessCard.info, & ChiefGeek.us
The following domain names all resolve to the same website: ChiefsCACSite.com, CommonAccessCard.us, CommonAccessCard.info, & ChiefGeek.us