How to Create a PDF Form From Word
By Bailey Richert
A PDF, or "portable document format," is a proprietary document type associated with Adobe software. These file types are useful for mass distribution of fillable forms because the creator of the document can designate which areas of a form can be altered by the recipient and which parts cannot. You can create PDF forms as Microsoft Word documents, convert them to Adobe format and then format them accordingly using Adobe Designer.
Open Microsoft Word 2007 or 2010. Earlier versions do not have the capability of converting Word documents into PDFs. Create your form using legible font styles and sizes.
Click the "Microsoft Office" button and select "Save As." Choose a location and file name for your PDF. Under "File Type," select ".pdf" from the drop-down menu. Make sure that "Open After Publishing" is checked so that the PDF will open after you save it.
Select "Form" from the menu options in the new PDF window. Select "Make Form Fillable in Adobe Designer." Adobe Designer will start automatically.
Select "Import a PDF Document" from the list of choices given in the first window that appears. The title of this window is "New Form Assistant." Click "Next."
Click "Browse" in the next window and locate the PDF you previously saved. Double-click the file name to select it. Click "Next."
Select "Fill Then Submit/Print" from the list of options given in the next "Return Method" window. This option will give users the ability to put their information into the form electronically and then either submit it to you electronically or print it for manual return. Click "Next." Click "Finish."
Click on the tab "Body Pages" in the editing window to edit the form. Use the tools and command shortcuts outlined on the right-side menus to fix text or add more fields. Select the "PDF Preview" tab to see how your final PDF will look.
Click "File" then "Save As" from the top toolbar menu to save the final PDF form.
Bailey Richert is a 2010 graduate of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute with a dual bachelor's degree in environmental engineering and hydrogeology, as well as a master's degree in systems engineering. After several years in the environmental consulting industry, she is now attending MIT for graduate school. An accomplished traveler, she has visited 23 countries and published her first book about international travel in 2014.