How to Make Forms in Adobe Acrobat (Pre-CS4)
Add Interactive Forms to Your PDF Documents
Acrobat is packed with a lot of useful features for electronic use. Little functions that many of us take for granted – bookmarks, for instance, that jump us right to a page in the document we’re reading without having to scroll for years – have really made the PDF format so popular.
One of the greatest and least understood functions we can add to our PDF documents are forms. With an interactive form, the PDF user can fill out a survey, questionnaire, registration, or forms like the ones the IRS allows tax payers to download and use. Once filled out, very nice and
Neat (no handwriting to decipher), the user can print it out or submit it online if you give them that option.
Adding an interactive form to your PDF document is extremely easy once you learn the process, and adds a whole new dimension of user friendliness to your files. The number of uses are endless, and having this skill in your arsenal can be invaluable.
Preparing a PDF for Forms
When you’re creating a document that will end up as a form in PDF format, you need to follow two important guidelines to make your life (and the user’s) easier.
- Leave Plenty of Space: Areas of the document where you’ll add a form field (a text box, a radio or check button, etc.) should have more space between it and the next line of text than usual. In general, adding an extra hard return (hit your Enter key twice) is enough.
- Use Clean Text: Remember that a PDF is delivered electronically, and that everyone’s monitor will display just a little bit differently based on how they’ve configured (or not) their settings. Add to that the fact that some of your users might not see very well, and you’ll understand the need to compensate. Use a very clean font – a sans serif font like Verdana or Arial is usually best – so that the largest audience will be able to read and use your form.
Keeping both of these guidelines in mind, type your document up in a word processor. Other than form fields, the document should look as close to the end product as possible. Any text that you want included needs to be there and ready to go. Once finished, print or convert your document to .pdf format.
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