Create Pdf Files With Editable Acrobat Fillable Fields

Creating interactive forms is easy with PDF software.

Electronic PDF forms offer many advantages that make them preferable to traditional paper-based forms. Unlike paper forms that cost money to print, PDF forms can be downloaded for free over the Internet. Online PDF forms can be filled out and submitted instantly. When submitting data with PDF forms, users can edit and correct entries an unlimited number of times without having to get a new form each time. Make PDF forms easily with Adobe Acrobat Standard or Professional.


1. Start Adobe Acrobat. Click the “Create” button and select “PDF from File.” If you do not see the button, go to the “File” menu, select “Create PDF” and then choose “From File.” A dialog box will open. Browse your computer folders to locate a document, and click it. Acrobat will convert it to a PDF document instantly.

2. Click the “Forms” button and select “Start from Wizard.” Or choose the same option from the “Forms” menu. This launches the form wizard.

3. Select what type of document to use as a PDF form. You can create a PDF from an existing PDF file, from paper that will be scanned, or (if you have Acrobat Pro or Pro Extended) a template. Choose “Existing Electronic Document” for this example.

4. Select “Current Document” in the screen that follows, and then click “Next.” Acrobat will automatically create form fields for the current file and display them in the “Fields” panel. Click the arrow beside “Sort” and enable “Alphabetical Order” to make it easier to locate a field. Otherwise, the fields are sorted in tab order.

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5. Edit the fields that Acrobat has generated. To rename a field, click inside a field in the “Document” panel. To move or resize a field, select it, click and drag one of the blue control points. (The mouse cursor should change to indicate it is properly selected.)

6. Add form fields manually, if Acrobat missed any areas. Click the “Add New Field” button and choose from the type of form field you wish to add, such as a text field, a radio button or checkbox. Click anywhere on the PDF where you would like the new field to appear, and type in a name for it. (The name will be invisible to users.)

7. Customize each form field‘s settings. The available options will depend on the type of field you create. Use appropriate formatting whenever possible to restrict the type of data that can be entered. Example: For telephone numbers in a text field, right-click it and go to “Properties.” Click the “Format” tab and choose “Special” from the list of formats. In the “Special Options” area, click “Phone Number.” Close the button.

8. Click “Close Form Editing” to see how the form will appear to users. Acrobat will prompt you to save the form. Save the PDF form as a new document. Choose a unique file name in the “Save As” dialog box. The fillable fields will appear with a pale-blue background, indicating the reader may input data into them.