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Create Fillable PDF Forms Easily

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Gone are the days where you were forced to print a PDF and manually fill out form fields with your pencil. The PDF form has matured, and there are lots of tools out there such as Acrobat.com, Adobe ConnectNow, and Adobe FormsCentral to help you distribute the form to the masses and get the information into a usable form. Adobe expert Brian Wood shows you the different ways to create and edit a fillable form, with a few tips and tricks as well.

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The Different Ways to Start a Form

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For several versions of Adobe Acrobat, we’ve been able to open a PDF file in Acrobat X Pro or Standard and “detect” where form fields should go (Acrobat automatically creates fillable form fields for you), create fields by hand, or use a combination of the two.

Opening a PDF and “detecting” form fields requires that the PDF you created contains placeholder blank lines, boxes, circles, etc., where the form fields should go (see Figure 1). These placeholder items are added to the document in the originating application, such as Adobe InDesign or Microsoft Word, before the file is converted into a PDF. You don’t have to add these placeholder items, but it can make your job easier in Acrobat when it comes to creating the fields.

Figure 1 A PDF file with blank areas where the fields will be

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