This document provides instructions for Acrobat DC and Acrobat 2017. If you’re using Acrobat XI, see Acrobat XI Help.
Not all forms are fillable. Sometimes form creators don’t convert their PDFs to interactive fillable forms. Or, they intentionally design a form that you can fill in only by hand or with the Fill & Sign tool. These non-interactive forms are called flat forms.
A. Purple message bar indicates presence of fillable fields. B. When clicked, shows where fillable fields exist.
If necessary, right-click the document, and select either the Hand Tool or the Select Tool from the pop-up menu.
The pointer changes to a different icon as you move it over a field. For example, the Hand tool changes to an I-beam when you can type text into the form field. Some text fields are dynamic, meaning that they automatically resize to accommodate the amount of data you enter and can span across pages.
Fill in flat forms with the Fill & Sign tools
A flat form does not have interactive fields. However, you can use the Fill & Sign tools to add text and other symbols anywhere on the form.
A common way to view a PDF form is in a web browser, for example, when you click a link on a website. If the form does not contain interactive fields, you can use the Fill & Sign tools to fill out the form. Save the form on your computer, and then open it directly in Acrobat or Acrobat Reader.
|Tab or Shift+Tab||Accepts typing and moves to next field|
|Up/Left Arrow||Selects previous radio button in a group|
|Down/Right Arrow||Selects next radio button|
|Esc||Reject and deselect form field.|
|Esc (press twice)||Exits Full Screen mode|
|Enter or Return (single-line text field)||Accepts typing and deselects field|
|Enter or Return (multiline text field)||Creates paragraph return in same form field|
|Enter or Return (check box)||Turns check box on or off|
|Enter (keypad)||Accepts typing and deselects current form field|
|(Windows) Ctrl+Tab||Inserts tab into text field|
|(Mac) Alt+Tab||Inserts tab into text field|
The Auto-Complete feature stores any entries that you type in an interactive form field. Auto-Complete then suggests or even automatically enters responses that match your typing in other form fields. The suggestions appear in a pop-up menu, from which you can select a match. The Auto-Complete feature is off by default, so you must enable it in the forms preferences if you want to use it.
To remove an entry from the Auto-Complete memory, such as a misspelled entry that you found and corrected later, edit the list in the preferences.
The forms preferences apply to the way the application handles open forms as you work. The preferences aren’t saved with the PDF forms themselves.
When you select an option in the Auto-Complete menu, a description of how it affects the Auto-Complete behavior appears in the text area below.
You can change a flat form to fillable by either using the Prepare Form tool or by simply enabling the Fill & Signtools. Acrobat and Acrobat Reader users can use the Fill & Sign tool to fill in flat forms.
To enable the Fill & Sign tools, choose File > Save As Other > Reader Extended PDF > Enable More Tools (includes Form Fill-in & Save).
The tools are enabled for the current form only. When you create a different form, redo this task to enable Acrobat Reader users to use the tools.
- To save the completed form, choose File > Save As and rename the file.
- To remove extended Reader features, choose File > Save A Copy.
- To allow Reader users to save the data they typed, choose File > Save As Other > Reader Extended PDF > Enable More Tools (Includes Form Fill-in & Save).
In the Comments And Forms menu in the upper-right area of the Print dialog box, choose one of the following, and then click OK:
- (Interactive or flat form) To print the form and the typed entries, choose Document. This option prints text you’ve typed using the Add Text tool.
- (Interactive or flat form) To print the form, the typed entries, and any comments on the form, choose Document And Markups. This option prints text you’ve typed using the Add Text tool.
- (Interactive form only) To print only the typed entries and not the form itself, choose Form Fields Only.