How to Convert a PDF to a Data Entry Form

by Dan Howard
Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

Adobe Acrobat is the application to use for creating documents in Adobe's popular PDF file format. Standard Adobe Acrobat PDF documents are not editable outside of the Acrobat application. You can use Acrobat's form creation wizard to automatically change a standard PDF into an editable PDF data entry form. Once Acrobat has convert the form automatically then you can use the program's Form Edit mode to add additional data entry fields and customize existing fields.

Convert PDF to Form

Step 1

Run the Adobe Acrobat application and open the PDF that you wish to turn into a data entry form.

Step 2

Click the "Create" button and click "PDF Form" in the drop down menu.

Step 3

Click the "Next" button twice to create a data entry form from the current PDF document. Acrobat determines the locations in your PDF that appear to be data entry fields and automatically converts them into form fields. Acrobat will also automatically enter "Form Edit" mode which opens "Tasks" and "Fields" panels on the right side of the program window.

Click "File" in the menu bar and click "Save As." Click "Reader Extended PDF" then click "Enable Additional Features in Adobe Reader." Click the "Save Now" button to allow Adobe Reader users to save data that they type in to your PDF form.

Add Additional Form Fields

Step 1

Click the location in the form where you would like to add a new field. Alternately, you can click and drag to select a rectangular area if you want to specify the exact size of the field.

Step 2

Click "Add New Field" in the Tasks pane.

Step 3

Click the type of field that you would like to create. You can create a text field, check box, radio button, list box, dropdown menu, button, digital signature field, or barcode.

Step 4

Type a name for the field in the "Field Name" box. Each field in your form must have a unique name.

Click a location in your document that is away from the field to save your changes.


Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Goodshoot/Getty Images

About the Author

Dan Howard is a sports and fitness aficionado who holds a master's degree in psychology. Howard's postgraduate research on the brain and learning has appeared in several academic books and peer-reviewed psychology journals.

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