[3 Ways] How to Create a Fillable PDF on Mac and Windows?

Jose Henline
October 26, 2023 Preview 21.5K Preview 1
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A fillable PDF is a PDF file that includes various interactive fields like text fields, check boxes, and list boxes.

Compared with PDF that is read-only. Fillable PDF allow users to view and fill out it easily without any software. One just need to entering information in these editable fields.

Creating a fillable PDF form is a great way to distributing PDF surveys, applications and share it with business partners to collect client data and information. Here we are going to cover 3 different ways to create and use Fillable PDF on Mac and Windows.


How to Create a Fillable PDF on Mac and Windows?

To create a fillable PDF, you’ll need to turn to a professional PDF editor. Among the numerous PDF editors, Cisdem PDFMaster proves to be a blessing for your workflow. It is a reliable PDF form creator and filler that can handle all kinds of forms, such as employment intention forms, medical examination forms, admission application forms, PDF surveys, and more. With Cisdem, you can handily add a variety of form fields, including text field, checkbox field, radio button field, list box field, combo box field and signature field.

In addition to the features mentioned above, Cisdem PDFMaster is still a productive tool featuring a full set of PDF handling tools you need to edit PDF files easily and efficiently. You can add comments, notes, or shapes (Rectangle, Oval, Polygon,) to the PDF, highlight, cross-out, underline text, and draw an arrow or a line. What’s more, you can use it to read, create, electronically sign, split, compress, encrypt, decrypt and convert PDF files to editable format with original formatting.

Main Features of Cisdem PDFMaster

  • Create PDF forms: Create PDF forms from existing flat PDF; fill out PDF forms; sign, email, print or submit PDF forms.
  • Edit PDF: Edit existing texts, images and links; change font type, size and color; edit PDF metadata.
  • Annotate PDF: Highlight, underline or strike through text; add comments and markups; calculate the dimensions and distances of object.
  • Convert PDF: Convert PDF to/from multiple formats.
  • OCR PDF: Turn scanned PDF and images to searchable PDF.
  • Protect PDF: Set password; add digital signature or watermark; redact sensitive information in PDF.
  • Organize PDF pages: Delete, rotate, extract, insert, split, replace, crop PDF pages.
  • More additional tools: Compress PDF; decrypt and encrypt PDF; compare PDF files; create PDF outline.

How to Create Fillable PDF Form on Mac and Windows?

  1. Download and launch Cisdem PDFMaster on your PC.
    Free Download macOS 10.13 or later Free Download Windows 11/10/8/7
  2. Go to Open Files to open the PDF file that you want to create as fillable PDF form in the program.     
  3. When your file is upload, click Form tab and choose the the form fields that you want to insert. You can choose from the following types:
    ►Text Field
    ►Check Box
    ►Radio Button
    ►List Box 
    ►Combo Box 

Create Fillable Text Field

You can easily add text field to your document by using the Text Field tool. To do so, Click on the Text Field from the toolbar, and drag a rectangle on the page to place the text field. You can drag the border to change it’s size.

You can also define properties like field name, alignment, appearance, preferences in the right side of the interface.

Create Checkbox Field

You can also create interactive check box field with Cisdem PDFMaster. To do so, Click on the Checkbox from the toolbar, drag to set the place of the checkbox field.

In the right panel, you can set properties like alignment, appearance and whether to make the button checked by default.

Create Radio Button

If you need to add interactive sections like radio button, you can click on Radio Button from the toolbar, and change the style and other settings in the right panel. Just like check box you can set to make the radio button checked by default.

Create List Box

If you need to add list box for users to select and submit the form, you can click List Box in the toolbar and set the list content, sizes, etc. 

Create Combo Box

If you need users to type a value to the list or directly select a value from a list, you can click the Combo Box in the toolbar, and set options, filed name, appearances, etc. 

Create Submit Button

You can click Button in the toolbar to insert submit or print button to make it easy for users to click a button and submit what they enter. You can set submit to email or submit to url.

Create Fillable Signature Field

You can click Signature in the toolbar to insert a signature field to make it easy for users to sign. You can to make the signature field visible or hidden, printable or not. 

Now, you can choose to send your forms by email or you can also choose to embed them on your website, so that users can fill it easily. 


How to Create a Fillable PDF in Adobe?

Adobe, creator of PDF format, always equip its users with the most powerful solution to manage PDFs. As a robust PDF editor with a wealth of functionality, Adobe makes it easy-peasy to create a fillable PDF form from an existing flat form in PDF. It has a feature that can automatically detect the form fields in the PDF, and then add interactive fields in the corresponding positions. To make the recognition more accurate, you need to make sure that all horizontal lines or blank spaces in the PDF are in the right place.

Here Is the Step-by-Step Tutorial to Create a Fillable PDF with Adobe

  1. Run Adobe Acrobat DC on your computer.
  2. Go to Tools > Prepare Form.create fillable pdf form with adobe 01
  3. Then select the file you want to create as fillable PDF form. Adobe will automatically detect and create form fields. If Adobe doesn’t detect a particular form field, manually add according to your needs by using the toolbars above the interface, or adjust the layout with tools on the right panel. If you want to tweak the properties of text field, right click on the text field and tweak as needed.create fillable PDF form with adobe 02
  4. To make sure all the fillable text fields can work properly, you need to preview before saving. If OK, save the fillable PDF form.

The Downsides of Using Adobe to Create Fillable PDF: Adobe is a very large software that takes up a lot of storage space on computer, which requires you to clean out your computer storage regularly. Also, if you're just creating fillable PDF forms, it's not worth paying a fortune for Adobe. What’s more, it is not always perfect when creating a fillable PDF, with problems such as inaccurate recognition, mismatched fonts, and disordered layout.


How to Create a Fillable PDF Free?

Are you looking for a free way to make a fillable PDF? If yes, some online PDF tools will be your preferred choices. Compared to offline PDF editors, free online tools tend to put a lot of limits on PDF task, for example, Sejda online PDF editor only allows 3 tasks per hour, and no more than 200 pages per file for free. But for occasional use, it's enough.

How to Create a Fillable PDF Free Online

  1. Go to Sejda > Create Fillable PDF Online.
  2. Click Upload PDF file to import your PDF form.create fillable form free01
  3. Add fillable form fields where necessary. You can choose from the following field types: Text Field, Text area, Radio, Checkbox, Drop-down.create fillable form free02
  4. Here we take text field as an example. Click text field from the menu, and place a new text field by clicking on the page.create fillable form free03
  5. In the toolbar above the text field, you can change the border color, text alignment, font size and field name at your will.
  6. Click Apply changes and download the fillable PDF on your computer.


Fillable PDF Form VS Flat PDF Form

A fillable PDF Form, also called as interactive PDF, is a collect of PDF form fields for collecting information from form users, it contains form fields, comments, or other interactive elements that you can select or fill in. When you open it in a PDF reader, there would be a cursor pointer flashing in the form fields after you click the field, you can directly fill in.

what is fillable pdf

A flat PDF Form, also called as non-interactive PDF, has no form fields, comments or any other interactive elements to select or fill in. When you open it in a PDF reader, there would be no cursor pointer flashing, you cannot fill the form.

But very often, we need to take a flat PDF or a Word doc as the template for a fillable PDF form.


Can MS Word Create Fillable PDF?

The short answer is No. Though we can use Microsoft Word to create PDF files, but Word does not save the output PDF in a interactive form which means the PDF will be flat and not fillable without using a PDF editor.


What's Your Next Move?

Creating fillable PDF or convert normal PDF to fillable PDF may seem difficult at first glance. But, with the right tool even beginners can easily create fillable PDF forms or surveys. 

It is highly recommended to use program like Cisdem PDFMaster create fillable PDFs and fill out PDF forms. It can easily add fillable text fields, lists, checkboxes, radio buttons, signature field etc.

Free Download macOS 10.11 or later Free Download Windows 11/10/8/7

Jose Henline
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Jose specializes in reviews, how-to guides, top lists, etc. on PDF, data recovery and multi-media. On his spare time, he likes to travel or challenge some extreme sports.

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  • frank

    thanks for sharing the tips, i am not good at creating interactive PDF forms.

    7 years ago commonReply

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