Adobe Acrobat Guide: Creating & Editing PDF Forms
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. What is Adobe Acrobat?
  2. How to create a PDF form
  3. How to add fields to a PDF form
  4. How to edit a PDF form
  5. How to save and distribute a PDF form
  6. How to fill out a PDF form
  7. How to convert other files into PDF form
  8. How to protect a PDF form

If you've ever found yourself struggling with the task of creating and editing PDF forms, you're not alone. Adobe Acrobat, a powerful tool for handling PDFs, comes to the rescue. This guide aims to demystify Adobe Acrobat PDF creation and form editing, transforming what might seem like a daunting task into an achievable skill. Let's dive in.

What is Adobe Acrobat?

Before we delve into the specifics of Adobe Acrobat PDF creation and form editing, it's good to get a handle on what Adobe Acrobat is, exactly. Adobe Acrobat is a software application developed by Adobe Systems. It's used to create, edit, manage, and print Portable Document Format (PDF) files. But why is it so important? Let's break it down:

  • Universality: Adobe Acrobat PDF files can be opened on virtually any device—PC, Mac, smartphone, or tablet—without any loss in quality or format.
  • Security: With Adobe Acrobat, you can secure your documents with passwords and permissions, keeping sensitive information protected.
  • Accessibility: Adobe Acrobat PDF files are accessible for those with disabilities, ensuring everyone can access your content.
  • Versatility: With Adobe Acrobat, you're not just limited to text. You can include images, hyperlinks, and even multimedia elements like audio and video in your PDFs.
  • Adobe Acrobat PDF Creation and Form Editing: One of the standout features of Adobe Acrobat is its ability to create interactive forms that can be filled out digitally. No more printing, filling out by hand, and scanning back in!

In the following sections, we'll guide you through the process of creating and editing these fillable forms using Adobe Acrobat, making your digital documents more dynamic and user-friendly.

How to create a PDF form

Now that you know what Adobe Acrobat is, let's get started with creating a PDF form. Here's a step-by-step guide:

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat: Launch Adobe Acrobat on your device. If you don't have it installed, you can download it from Adobe's official website.
  2. Start with a new document: Click on "File" in the top menu, then select "Create" and "Form". This will open a new window.
  3. Select your base: You can either start with a blank document or use an existing file. If you're just starting with Adobe Acrobat PDF creation, a blank document might be easier.
  4. Design your form: Using the toolbar at the top, you can add various fields to your form. These could include text boxes, checkboxes, radio buttons, and more. You can also adjust the size and placement of these elements.
  5. Preview your form: Click on the "Preview" button in the top right corner. This allows you to see your form as users will see it, and you can test the functionality of your fields.
  6. Save your form: When you're satisfied with your form, click on "File", then "Save As" to save your new PDF form.

And there you have it—you've created your first PDF form using Adobe Acrobat! Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you use these tools, the more comfortable you'll become with Adobe Acrobat PDF creation and form editing.

How to add fields to a PDF form

Adding fields to your PDF form is a critical part of Adobe Acrobat PDF creation and form editing. Fields allow for user interaction, making your PDFs more dynamic and engaging. Let's look at how you can add different types of fields to your PDF form.

  1. Open your form: To begin, open your PDF form in Adobe Acrobat. Navigate to the "Prepare Form" tool located on the right pane.
  2. Add a text field: On the toolbar at the top, click on the "Add Text Field" button. Your cursor will change into a crosshair. Click and drag on your form where you want the text field to appear.
  3. Add a checkbox: If you need to add a checkbox, select the "Add Checkbox" button from the toolbar. Click on your form where you want the checkbox to be. This is handy when you're creating surveys or forms that require a yes or no response.
  4. Add a dropdown list: To create a dropdown list, select the "Add Dropdown" button. On your form, click and drag to create the dropdown list. You can then add items to the list in the properties dialog box.
  5. Customize your fields: After adding a field, you can customize it by right-clicking on the field and selecting "Properties". Here, you can change the appearance, add a tooltip, alter the font, and more.
  6. Save your work: After adding and customizing all your fields, don't forget to save your form!

And there you have it! With these steps, adding fields to your PDF form is a breeze. Remember, the goal is to make your form user-friendly, so consider the type of information you're asking for when choosing which fields to add. Happy Adobe Acrobat PDF creation and form editing!

How to edit a PDF form

Once you've created your PDF form and added fields, you might find that you need to make some changes. Don't worry, Adobe Acrobat makes editing your PDF form a cinch. Let's dive into how you can edit your PDF form.

  1. Select the form: First, open the PDF form you want to edit in Adobe Acrobat. Head over to the right pane and click on the "Prepare Form" tool.
  2. Edit text: If you need to change the text in your form, click on the "Edit Text & Images" button on the toolbar. Then, click on the text you want to change and start typing your new text.
  3. Move fields: To move a field, simply click on it and drag it to its new location. This feature is useful when you're rearranging your form's layout.
  4. Delete fields: Decided you don't need a field? No problem. Click on the field to select it, then hit the "Delete" key on your keyboard.
  5. Resize fields: If a field is too small or too large, you can easily resize it. Click on the field to select it, then drag the handles on the corners or sides of the field to resize it.
  6. Save your changes: After making your edits, make sure to save your form to keep all your hard work!

As you can see, Adobe Acrobat gives you loads of flexibility when it comes to editing your PDF forms. With these handy features, you can make sure your form is just right. Keep practicing your adobe acrobat pdf creation and form editing skills, and you'll be a pro in no time!

How to save and distribute a PDF form

Now that you've created and edited your form, it's time to save your masterpiece and share it with the world. Adobe Acrobat makes this process straightforward. Here's how you can save and distribute your PDF form.

  1. Save the form: First, after you've made all the necessary changes, click on the "File" option in the top menu. Then, select "Save As" and choose where you want to save your form on your computer. Make sure to give it a name that makes sense to you!
  2. Check the form: After saving, open the form to ensure that everything looks good. This step is crucial because it allows you to catch any errors before sharing your form with others. If there are any issues, go back to the editing stage and fix them.
  3. Distribute the form: Once you're happy with your form, it's time to send it out. You can do this by attaching the PDF form to an email, or sharing a link to the form if it's stored in a shared location like Google Drive or Dropbox.
  4. Inform your audience: When you share your PDF form, make sure to let the recipients know that they'll need Adobe Acrobat or another PDF viewer to fill out the form. It's also helpful to provide any necessary instructions for completing the form.

Saving and distributing a PDF form doesn't have to be complicated. With Adobe Acrobat and these simple steps, you can easily share your forms with others. Keep honing your adobe acrobat pdf creation and form editing abilities, and soon you'll be the go-to person for all things PDF!

How to fill out a PDF form

So, you've received a PDF form and you're wondering how to fill it out using Adobe Acrobat. No worries, follow these easy steps and you'll complete it in no time.

  1. Open the PDF form: The first step is to open the form. You can do this by double-clicking on the PDF file. If Adobe Acrobat is your default PDF viewer, the form should open automatically in this program.
  2. Start filling out the form: Once you've got the form open, you can start filling it out. Click on the first field you want to fill in. Type your information in the field. After you've entered your info, simply press Tab on your keyboard to move to the next field.
  3. Save your progress: As you're working on the form, it's a good idea to save your progress regularly. You don't want to lose your work if your computer crashes or shuts down unexpectedly. You can save your work by clicking on "File" and then "Save".
  4. Finish and share: Once you've filled in all the fields and you're happy with your responses, save a final version of the completed form. Then you can share the form back to the sender via email or another preferred method.

And there you have it! Filling out a PDF form in Adobe Acrobat is as simple as that. Remember, practice makes perfect, so the more you work with Adobe Acrobat and PDF forms, the better you'll get at it. Soon, you'll be a pro at Adobe Acrobat PDF creation and form editing!

How to convert other files into PDF form

Let's suppose you have a Word document or an Excel spreadsheet that you want to convert into a PDF form using Adobe Acrobat. You might think it's complex, but it's actually pretty straightforward. Let's go through the steps:

  1. Open Adobe Acrobat: The first thing you need to do is open Adobe Acrobat. You can do this by finding the Adobe Acrobat icon and double-clicking on it.
  2. Choose the file: Once you're in Adobe Acrobat, click on the "File" menu and then "Create". You'll see an option that says "PDF from File". Click on this, and a window will open that lets you browse your computer's files.
  3. Select the file: Find the Word document, Excel spreadsheet, or other file that you want to convert into a PDF. Click on the file to highlight it and then click "Open".
  4. Convert the file: After you've chosen your file, Adobe Acrobat will do the rest. It will convert your document into a PDF form, preserving all of your original formatting and content.
  5. Save the PDF form: Now, you can save your new PDF form. Go to the "File" menu, click "Save As", and choose where you want to save the PDF. Give it a name, click "Save", and voila! You have your PDF form.

See, it's not so hard, is it? With a few clicks, you've mastered the Adobe Acrobat PDF creation from other file formats. Practice this a few times, and you'll be converting files into PDFs like a pro!

How to protect a PDF form

Now, let's explore another side of Adobe Acrobat PDF creation and form editing—protecting your PDF form. We all have sensitive documents that we want to keep safe from prying eyes. So, how do you add an extra layer of security to your PDF form? Here's the step-by-step guide:

  1. Open the PDF form: Start by opening the PDF form that you want to protect. You can do this by clicking on the "File" menu, then "Open" and selecting the PDF form from your files.
  2. Access the protection settings: Once the form is open, go to the "Tools" menu. You'll see an option for "Protect." Click on this, and a new toolbar will appear at the top of the screen.
  3. Set a password: In the "Protect" toolbar, click on "Encrypt" and then "Encrypt with Password". Adobe Acrobat will ask if you're sure you want to change the security settings. Click "Yes" to proceed. You will then see a "Password Security Settings" window.
  4. Configure the security settings: Here, you can set a password for opening the PDF form and another password for editing and printing the form. Be sure to choose strong passwords that are hard for others to guess. You can also select the compatibility and encryption level.
  5. Save the changes: After you've set your passwords and adjusted your settings, click "OK" to apply the changes. Adobe Acrobat will ask you to confirm your password. Once confirmed, remember to save your document to keep these security settings.

And there you have it! With these steps, you've added an extra layer of protection to your PDF form. Remember, while Adobe Acrobat's protection features are strong, they're not invincible. Keep your passwords safe and consider additional security measures if you're dealing with highly sensitive information.

If you found this Adobe Acrobat Guide helpful and want to explore more Adobe tools, check out the workshop 'Introduction to Adobe Fresco' by Agamsujenkins. This workshop will help you dive into the world of digital art and illustration using Adobe Fresco, allowing you to expand your creative skills further.