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It is the era of electronic or digitized documents. Businesses are going paperless, and it's easy to see why. Electronic documents like PDFs are much easier to store and use. That said, you may want to adopt this system for your business. That means scanning your documents and creating PDF forms. Adobe Acrobat can help you with that. But what if you'd rather use another tool? How to make a fillable form without Acrobat?
In this article, we will teach you that and more. You will find useful information about PDF forms.
In this article
Part 1. What Is a Fillable Form?
A fillable form is what it says exactly. It is a form in a PDF - made with form fields, check boxes, radio buttons, etc. - made to be filled out by a person.
Why would you want to create a fillable form? Because they are extremely useful for your business. Suppose you have a client that's far away. They no longer have to travel to go to your office so that they can fill out a form. Instead, you can send them the PDF containing the PDF form, and they can send the file back once they have filled it out. It streamlines information collection.
Additionally, these digital forms are easier to manage and store. That's a huge plus for your business. Efficiency is always welcome.
To give you an idea, here are some documents that typically have fillable forms.
- Employment forms: Job application forms, Employee onboarding forms, W-4 tax withholding forms, Direct deposit authorization forms, and Employment agreements/contracts
- Government Forms: Tax forms (e.g., 1040, 1099), Passport application forms, Social security application forms, Immigration forms (e.g., I-9, N-400), and Voter registration forms
- Financial Forms: Loan application forms, Credit card application forms, Mortgage forms, Insurance claim forms, and Expense reimbursement forms
- Education Forms: Student enrollment forms, Scholarship application forms, Course registration forms, Consent forms for field trips or activities, and Student evaluation forms
- Healthcare Forms: Patient intake forms, Medical history forms, Consent forms for medical procedures, Health insurance claim forms, and Prescription order forms
Part 2. Best Way To Create Fillable PDF Forms Without Acrobat: Use Wondershare PDFelement
If you can't use Adobe Acrobat, the tool you should check out is 100% Wondershare PDFelement. Most of the tools Acrobat offers, Wondershare PDFelement also offers. The best thing is that Wondershare PDFelement is affordable. Furthermore, it boasts a very intuitive interface design, allowing anyone to use it very easily.
Wondershare PDFelement has form features. It lets you fill out PDF forms and even create your own. And creating forms with this tool is similar to drawing the form. You select the elements you want to add and click where you want to add them.
Allow us to teach you how to create a fillable form field without Acrobat using Wondershare PDFelement.
How To Create Interactive PDF Forms Automatically
Suppose you already have a PDF with a form in it. However, the form is not an interactive one. Wondershare PDFelement can automatically convert the tables and form fields into interactive forms. Here is how to do it.
- Open the PDF in question with Wondershare PDFelement.
- Click Form > Recognize Form.
- Wondershare PDFelement will convert the blanks and tables into form fields. Each one will be named automatically after the text near it.
- Hit CTRL + S to save the PDF with the now interactive form fields.
How To Make a Non-Interactive Form to an Interactive Form Manually
Wondershare PDFelement also allows you to create fillable forms from scratch. Just follow these steps to do so.
Step 1 Launch Wondershare PDFelement. Click Create PDF > Blank PDF.
Step 2 Go to the Form tab.
Step 3 You will see a variety of tools you can use to add form elements. This includes Text Field, Radio Button Field, Checkbox Field, and more. Click the one you want to use.
Step 4 Click on an area on the PDF where you want the form element to be.
Step 5 Repeat steps 3 & 4 until your form is complete.
Step 6 Click Preview to see how the form looks for the people who will fill it out.
Step 7 Hit CTRL + S when satisfied.
Part 3. 3 Online Tools You Can Use for Creating PDF Forms
Perhaps, you are not using Adobe Acrobat to create fillable forms because your computer does not have enough space for it. If that is the case, you should check out online PDF solutions. These allow you to create fillable PDF forms without product installation.
Here are your three best options.
DocHub is an online document solution that lets you process PDFs. It offers a reliable PDF form creator tool. Granted, DocHub allows you to add text fields only. But most of the time, that's all you'd need. So DocHub is serviceable.
Here is how to create fillable forms using this online tool:
- Open DocHub's website, create an account and sign in.
- Import your PDF or create a new document.
- Click the Manage Fields icon on the top toolbar.
- Select Text Field on the left toolbar.
- Drag your mouse and click where you want the form field to be.
- Click Download in the top right corner when you are done.
Jotform is a fantastic form creator because it can recognize and scratch the fillable areas in your PDF automatically. So you do not have to start from scratch or do drag and drop to create forms. Jotform instantly converts non-interactive forms to interactive ones.
Follow these steps to create fillable forms using Jotform:
- Open a web browser, go to Jotform, and sign up.
- In the Create a Form section, select Import Form.
- Upload your PDF with the non-interactive form.
- Jotform will automatically add form fields in the spaces where they should be. You can edit these as needed.
- Click PUBLISH when done, and then select a way to download your file.
PDFescape is a free online PDF solution. It is an amazing choice if you need more than just text fields. It allows you to add radio buttons, checkboxes, dropdown menus, and more! The catch is that since this is a free tool, you'll find ads in the interface. Also, there is a file size limit set to 10 MB and a page count limit set to 100 pages.
Here's what you need to do to make a fillable form using PDFescape.
- Visit PDFescape's website and upload your PDF. Remember that it can only be as large as 10 MB and have up to 100 pages.
- Click Insert > Form Field.
- From the pop-up window that will appear, select the form element that you want to add.
- Click Select.
- Add the form elements to your PDF.
- Click the Download button on the top toolbar when you are done.
Part 4. FAQs
Here are some FAQs about fillable forms.
Q1. What Features Should I Look for in Alternative Software for Creating Fillable Forms?
When considering alternative software for creating fillable forms, look for features such as form field creation and text formatting options. Besides those, look for other features that may come in handy, like PDF compression and conversion.
Q2. Can I Convert Existing PDFs Into Fillable Forms Without Adobe Acrobat?
Yes, you can. Wondershare PDFelement allows you to convert existing PDFs into fillable forms. It can automatically make non-interactive form fields interactive, or you can manually add form fields to the PDF. The best thing is that it gives you access to different form elements.
Q3. Do Alternative Software Options Support Advanced Form Features Like Electronic Signatures or Form Submission Notifications?
You should check out Wondershare PDFelement. It offers electronic signatures - handwritten or certified digital signatures - and other security features like encryption and password protection.
Q4. Can I Create Fillable Forms Using Online Platforms or Web-Based Tools?
Yes. You can check the three online solutions mentioned above to do so. However, please keep in mind that web-based tools are not as stable or powerful as desktop solutions.
Creating a fillable form without Adobe Acrobat has become very easy. There are a lot of alternative tools you can use. The best one is Wondershare PDFelement. It is available on Windows and Mac, so almost anyone can use it. Additionally, Wondershare PDFelement offers incredible processing power, a user-friendly interface, and a competitive price. Using this tool, you can create PDF forms or convert existing PDFs to fillable forms very easily.