The Portable Document Format, known by its acronym “PDF”, is a format used to represent a document independently of the software and hardware of a computer. The PDF files stored text, graphics, styles, multimedia, links to websites and other special features.
It is a format developed by Adobe Systems, and allows users to share information between different applications without altering the content. By converting a document to PDF, you are supporting it on any platform. Since, normally, Word documents can be altered by the version of the program or the computer system.
In addition, the PDF format allows the creation of buttons, fill fields and automation programming for the creation of forms.
3 Ways to Create PDF Forms Like a Pro
The PDF format tool is essential when creating professional forms . Converting your documents to PDF allows the files to be kept up-to-date and unalterable. Adobe developed a software called Adobe Acrobat DC, with which you can create smart forms, and that is compatible with Word, Excel files and much more.
Point out the following software:
Acrobat software takes care of recognizing form fields, whether through a digital document or a scanned file. This creates new text fields to fill in. You can also add formulas, remove boxes and enable fields for digital signatures.
The steps to create forms with Acrobat are as follows:
- Open the Adobe Acrobat DC program . On the ribbon at the top, click “Tools . ” Select the “Prepare Form” icon .
- You have two options: Select a file or scan a document . You can convert any non-interactive Word or Excel document.
- In either case, Acrobat parses the selected document and creates form fields . If it is not what you are looking for, you can delete them and create other fields from the “Tools” tab .
- Within the toolbar of the upper menu, you can add new fields, add buttons, or append other elements.
- While, in the toolbar of the right side menu, you can adjust the design of the form.
- When you have finished building the form, you should test its functionality. Press “Preview” in the upper right corner. Try to fill in each of the fields.
- If you need any adjustments, go back to the “Edit” window in the upper right corner. When the document is complete, click on the “Distribute” button . In this way, you can also collect the data obtained.
Word is an office software belonging to Microsoft. Although its functions go beyond the office. Through this tool, it is also possible to create forms.
What you need to do to create PDF forms in Word is:
- Create a new document. You can go to “Files”, select “New” and choose the template corresponding to “Forms” in the menu that will appear next.
- Likewise, you can also press “File”, select “New” and click on “Blank document”, to be in charge of designing the template you need.
- Go to the “Developer” tab . If it is not active, right click on the ribbon, and click “Customize Ribbon” .
- You can also go to “Files” and select “Options . ” A new window will open, where you must click on “Customize Ribbon” .
- In both cases, then you must check the box for “Programmer” and then press “OK” .
- Click on the new “Developer” tab and select “Design Mode . ” With this tool, you must introduce in the text document, the controls that you need so that a participant can fill in the form.
- You can schedule participants to use a specific font format, or allow free text editing, through the “Text content control” buttons , located to the left of “Design mode” .
- Also, with the “Design mode” active, you can add or change the content controls you want. You can also attach an instructional text.
- Finally, it adds security so that participants cannot edit the content of the form. Select the document from “Start” on the “Select” button . Then, go to the “Developer” tab and click “Restrict Editing . “
- A menu will appear on the right side, and you must check both boxes, or skip the first. In the second, look for the option “Filling out forms” and press “Yes, apply protection . “
- Save the document. You can click “Save” to create a new Word document, or click “Save As” to change the document type to PDF.
You can also convert the document to PDF from an online tool, or specialized programs. The Word form is compatible with the Adobe Acrobat DC tool. You must enter the program, select “Prepare form” in “Tools” and finally select the corresponding file.
Excel is a program belonging to the Microsoft office suite. It is intended to perform administrative tasks, mathematical calculations, or record finances. However, it also allows you to create interactive forms to fill out on your computer or print.
The procedure is simple, as required. To build a simple PDF form in Excel, start with:
- Create a new spreadsheet in Excel. Since Word and Excel belong to the same package, their functionalities are similar. You must enable the “Developer” tab , which is normally disabled by default.
- From the “Files” tab , click “Options” and then “Customize Ribbon . ” Locate the “Developer” marker and check the box. Press “Accept” .
- Since Excel gives you the grids, you just have to design the form template . Add a header, texts, fill boxes, colors, borders, etc.
- Go to the developer tab . In the “Insert” option , you can add all the form controllers you need for the form. Among the main options are: Labels, buttons, check boxes, radio button and group boxes.
- You can also use ActiveX controls to add images, text boxes, among others.
- Arrange the controls on the form . If you want to create an interactive data collection form, you can create macros that allow you to append special functions to the added controls.
- When the form is complete, you must protect the sheet. In the “Review” tab , select “Protect sheet . ” You will have to add a password.
- In the event that you need to edit the form again, enter “Review” again and click “Unprotect sheet” . Enter the password you had previously set.
- Test the functionality of the form, and fill in the fields as if you were a participant. Save a copy of the document as “Excel Workbook . “
- You can also save the form sheet in PDF format . Go to “Files” and click “Save As . ” Change the document type to “PDF . ” The conversion can also be done from an online program or converter.
The Adobe Acrobat tool is compatible with Excel workbooks. Enter Acrobat, click “Tools” and select “Prepare forms.” Finally, select the file corresponding to the Excel form.
List of the best tools to create forms for anything
Acrobat, Word, and Excel aren’t the only tools available for creating forms. You can find a wide variety of platforms on the Internet. From the most popular like Google Form, to the most original like TypeForm.
For this reason, we present a list of the best tools to create forms on the Internet:
It is an online platform for designing forms . It has an easy-to-use interface and numerous customization functions. It has 400 types of templates to make the designs more attractive. Simply select the reason of your interest, drag and drop it on the document.
You can include online payment fields, which is convenient for purchase or order forms. Similarly, you can upload files that support images or attachments of the participants. Finally, the data obtained through the form is uploaded to the database, in real time.
With the free version, you can create up to 4 forms per month, with a capacity of 10 fields and receive only 100 monthly entries. The paid plan increases the figure to 10 forms and 500 entries.
Formdesk is a professional online form generator . Among its main features, it stands out the possibility of adding validation fields, files to upload attachments, create a database with the information obtained in real time, and append fields for online payments.
Through this tool, you can separate the form into different windows . Their tools are the best at the business level. It has a free version, with unlimited forms and 200 entries per month. While the paid version supports more than 40,000 monthly entries.
It is a tool for creating online forms . It offers an encryption system to protect the documents created, as well as the fields added in the form. In this way, any information provided by the participants will be safe.
Similarly, it stands out for having an anti-spam function, which prevents users from providing repeated responses. Another striking feature is the ability to generate QR codes .
Finally, it has 100 customizable templates and is compatible with other digital tools such as Google Sheets. Or Dropbox. Its free version allows you to create 5 forms and receive 100 entries on a monthly basis.
Formidable Forms is a WordPress plug-in tool . Through this platform, you can create online forms with HTML format. It is intended for blog owners who want to upload forms to their respective websites. The plug-in works almost the same as other websites: design customization, field editing, among others.
However, it has some advanced features, such as blocking spam, the possibility of adding payment fields through Paypal, or adding marketing services through email. It does not have a free version, but you can try the application for 14 days at no cost.
Last is 123 Form Builder . However, this does not detract from it. It is one of the most complete form generators on the Internet . Its free version offers 5 forms per month, and 100 monthly entries. It has multiple editing and analytical tools; in addition to integrated security systems.
It includes text encryption, two-step verification and payment services annex through Paypal. On the other hand, 123 Form Builder forms are compatible with Wix, WordPress and Google Drive .