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Using the New Adobe Forms Central to Distribute PDF Forms

Article Description

Looking to create a form for a website, but don't know where to start? Adobe FormsCentral is a service that allows you to create, distribute, and analyze online forms. Adobe Certified Instructor Brian Wood shows you how you can create a good-looking form from either a template or from scratch, put it on a web page via a link or embed it directly, send it out via Twitter or other methods, collect responses, and save those responses as a PDF, Excel, or CSV (comma-separated text file).

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A vast majority of us want our own website and/or blog. And with that web presence, we invariably want some way to create a form to collect user information. In the past, you’d have to attempt to create a PDF form you could post on your site, but that has its issues. You could also try and learn about CGI-bins and Perl scripts, or hire a developer to “help you out.”

Well, those days are behind us. If you want to create a form and collect user information, you can use Adobe FormsCentral. This service allows you to “easily create, distribute, and analyze online forms.” That means that you can create a good-looking form from either a template or from scratch, put it on a web page via a link or embedding it directly, send it out via Twitter or other methods, collect responses, and save those responses as a PDF, Excel, or CSV (comma-separated text file) (see Figure 1). Pretty easy. You can even create a form for free or pay a monthly or annual fee and unlock some of the other options on FormsCentral like multi-page forms, redirecting users to a different page of your choice, collecting data from more than 50 users (that’s the free account’s limit), and more.

Figure 1 The Adobe FormsCentral website

Sound interesting? Well, lets get started creating your first form! While we can’t cover every feature and option in FormsCentral, I want to give you an overview of the features possible.

Signing Up for Adobe FormsCentral

Signing up for a FormsCentral account is easy. Simply visit https://http://www.acrobat.com/formscentral/en/home.html and sign up (see Figure 2). What’s great is that you can sign up for the free account at first, then upgrade later!

Figure 2 Create your Adobe FormsCentral account

2. Creating a Form from a Template | Next Section