Tips for Acrobat: Part 6 - Creating Forms

Adobe Acrobat makes it easy to create a fillable electronic form and distribute it to users. The form could include digital signatures and you can enable security to protect the form, if required.  
Acrobat provides three options to create an electronic form:  

  • Select a file – Allows you to select an existing file to convert to a form, and Acrobat will automatically detect any form fields available in the current document.
  • Scan a document – Converts the static fields in a printed form into fillable fields in an electronic form.
  • Start from blank page – Builds an electronic form from scratch. (You can also leverage the Adobe-provided form templates to create new forms.) 

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Let’s explore how you can build a form in Acrobat. 
 
Create a form 

  1. Select All Tools>Prepare Form
  2. To create a form from scratch, click Start from blank page (as shown below). Select This document requires signatures if you need to add e-signatures. Click the Create form button to start the process of building the form.  

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Note: If you have an existing file (a scanned document, a Word or Excel file, etc.) that you want to convert to a form, click Select a file. Notice how a message automatically displays saying “Auto-detect form field is ON” when you select the Select a file option. Browse to the required file and select it. Acrobat automatically detects any form fields available in the file and converts it into fillable fields when creating the form.  

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3. Click Change (next to the “Auto-detect form field is ON” message) and change any preference settings for the Forms category. 

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4. Now that Acrobat has created a form (either from scratch or using an existing file), you can add, modify, or delete the form fields using a variety of tools, as shown below. You can add different types of fields, such as text, number, radio buttons, checkboxes, and drop-down lists to your form. You can also add fields for a signature, initials, name, company, email, and date. The icons are self-explanatory.  

 

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  1. To add any field, click on its icon, move your cursor to where you want to place it, and click. Click outside the field/block that you just placed and save the form. You can resize the fields or arrange them however you want in the form and make any layout adjustments required.  

  1. Once you have finalized the layout, save the form again. Make a copy and test it to verify that all the fields are working as expected.  

  1. To test your form, you can select the Preview button (on the bottom left). Previewing allows you to view the form and verify the fields. To return to Edit mode, click the Exit preview button (on the top right). 

 

Now that you have completed the form, you can share it with users who need to fill in the details.  

Follow my next blog to learn about sharing and tracking electronic forms.  

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NOTE: This blog is part of a series with tips for those using Acrobat PDFs. 
See below for the other topics:

Part 1 Adobe PDF Basics
Part 2Extracting Pages
Part 3 PDF Security
Part 4 Managing Security Policies
Part 5Title Bar Display
Part 6Creating Forms
Part 7Sharing and Tracking Electronic Forms
Part 8 Five Useful Features
Part 9 – Combining Files (An Introduction) - coming soon
Part 10 Steps for Combining Files - coming soon

 

About the Author

Surya Nair

Technical Writer and Editor<br><br>Surya has been writing and editing technical content for over two decades in multiple industries. How do you transform complex technical content into an easy-to-understand document? Ask Surya - technical writing is her passion! She has been with ASCENT since 2018. She holds a master’s degree in English Literature, and a diploma in Journalism, and is a certified Technical Writer.

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