Prepare a Fillable Form

A fillable form is a form that can automatically be filled out by any individual.

Fillable forms make life so much easier because individuals do not have to manually download and edit it themselves to fill it out. They can simply enter any required information in the textbox. It also secures the file so only the parts of the form that are fillable can be edited.

Notes about preparing fillable forms

  • Before we learn how to create a fillable form, you must select a form document.
  • If you are creating a brand new form, then we recommend to use Microsoft Word to download a form template, and edit it as you see fit.
  • If you already have the form, then just make sure the form is downloaded to your computer for quick access.
  • If your form is a not in PDF format, then you must convert it to PDF before you can prepare a form.


  • You cannot create fillable forms online.
  • If you plan to use this form for Adobe Sign, do not require signatures at this point. You will do that separately in Adobe Sign.

Preparing a fillable form

  1. Open up Adobe Acrobat via desktop application.
  1. Go to Acrobat All Tools.
  2. Under Edit, select Prepare a form.
  3. Click on the Open button.
  1. You can choose to Select a file or Start from blank Page.
  1. If you chose Select a file, select the file you wish to turn into a fillable form.
  1. If the document requires signatures, check the box that states "This document requires signatures". If you plan to use this form for Adobe Sign, do not check the box at this point. You will do that separately in Adobe Sign.
  2. Click Create form button.

Notice the Form Components on the left side of the screen. Here, you can add different types of text fields, check boxes, and radio buttons.

Typically, Acrobat automatically creates fields for you when it detects a form, but as you can see in the example, sometimes it misses fields or has fields that are incorrect, so you have to manually input them.

Manually input a text field
  1. Select the text field icon in the tool bar
  2. Place the text box field where you would like to create a fillable box. Just click the screen where you want to place any field down.
  3. Once you place the text field down, you will be prompted to edit the title. For your title, make it the same name as whatever the requirement for the line is. For example, if this is where the signer should put their full name, then title it Full Name.

Optional Signature fields:

  • You can also select who needs to sign or input this field.
  • If there are multiple signers, choose a signer number.
  • If there is only one signer, or if anyone can fill it out, then choose Signer or Anyone.
Editing text fields
  1. Adjust the size of the text box by dragging the edges in either direction.
  2. To edit the title, appearance, position, or other options, double click the text field.
  3. The Text Field Properties will appear.
  4. Enter the field name, and click close when finished.
  5. For namesaddressesemails, or any other field that could be a large amount of text, it's important that you enable multi-line.
  6. Simply click Options > Check multi-line.

This will prevent the user from getting cut off, or not being able to input all the text they need. It's really important for anyone with long names, addresses, or emails.

  1. Click Close when finished.
Checkboxes vs Radio buttons

You may add checkboxes or radio buttons to a document. The two are not the same and it's essential that you know what the differences are:

  • Checkboxes allow you to select one or more options, and are shaped like a square.
  • Radio buttons allow you to choose only one option from a list or selection of choices. You cannot select multiple options.

For yes or no questions add radio buttons to allow the user to choose one or the other.

To add a radio button:

  1. Click the radio button icon. Just click on the screen where you would like to place your radio button.

You can also move the fields in the navigation bar by dragging them up or down to ensure that all the fields are in the correct order.

Save your fillable form
  1. Preview your document to ensure that everything looks correct.
  2. When ready, click Save.
  3. Save to Adobe cloud storage or to your computer.
  4. You can now preview your fillable form.