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How to Create a Fillable PDF and More: 10 Tips & Tricks

Reproducing the experience of filling out a paper form is essential for a digital space. Forms provide structure and guidance so that even unfamiliar users can understand how to provide the requested information. The PDF is the ideal format for this process, offering a user-friendly but robust solution. Even if you understand how to create a fillable PDF, you might not know everything about making the most of this functionality. Here are some key things to know.

1. You Can Automatically Convert a Static Form to a Fillable Field

A form scanned into a PDF format might be a static page, but it doesn't have to stay that way. With Kofax Power PDF, you can use a simple tool to identify form fields and make them instantly interactive automatically. Then you can customize the form to your liking.

2. Verify That Your Fields Were Defined Correctly

Make sure you've set form fields correctly before sending out a document. Double-check that the correct form field type was set so users can enter the correct data type. Verify that boxes are where they should be, for example.

3. Set Tab Order to Make Form Navigation Easy

Using the Tab button is a simple way to browse between form fields that many users prefer. You can manually define the order in which the cursor should move between fields when a user presses Tab.

4. Add More Fields to Existing Forms

Power PDF's form creation tool makes it easy to edit a fillable PDF any-time. Add new form fields or additional content when needed or use the editing tools in the software to alter the name or size of an existing field.

5. Create Drop-Down Lists for User Convenience

You can include drop-down lists in PDF files to make it easier for users to select from multiple options. Power PDF consists of this functionality, too, so you can easily add a dropdown field and define all the items you need to include.

6. Lock Fields to Prevent Users from Tampering with Data

You might not want every field on a form to be user-accessible. Maybe only certain back office users should be able to set specific forms for administrative purposes. You can use security settings to lock down these fields so they aren't editable by all users.

7. Integrate Automated E-Signature Workflows

Power PDF includes robust integration for multiple signing workflows, and a PDF form is a perfect application. Provide users with a unified way to sign and fill PDFs. You can even send the signed document directly from Power PDF to a recipient.

8. Make Forms Legible and Easy for Machines to Read

When creating forms, be careful about font sizing and spacing. Don't group information too closely together if a software robot or OCR tool needs to read a hard copy of the PDF later or extract data from the PDF itself; a clear and consistent format yields better results.

9. Use Different Form Field Types Consistently

Ensure you collect the data you need and not random junk by using similar form fields for the same data types. For example, don't use a free-form text box instead of a dropdown menu when there are a limited number of acceptable responses for the form.

10. Use Security on Important Digital Forms

Password-protect documents with 256-bit encryption to prevent sensitive forms with personally identifiable information from falling into the wrong hands. Securing a PDF form with these solutions ensures you can store them more safely in locations such as the cloud.

Make the Most of Fillable Forms with Power PDF

Tapping into all the features PDF forms offer requires the right software. With Kofax Power PDF, you can master form creation and management with all the tools available in one familiarly-designed user interface. Explore how to create a fillable PDF and try out some of these tips and tricks when you download your free trial of Power PDF now.

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