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Fill in PDF forms easily using these programs

There are certain situations where we may be interested in creating and editing fillable PDF forms. For example, to have the opportunity to fill them out directly from the PC to send them by email or upload them to a server through a web page, especially in bureaucratic matters. That is why today we are going to see how we can carry out this work with different tools.

Fill in forms, the digital alternative to paper

A PDF form is a file that contains various areas where the user can fill in the necessary information, turning it into a digital version of the classic fillable paper document. These files are safe as they support encryption systems and digital signatures. In general, the forms are an important element of working life, allowing us to regulate processes and make summaries related to any management. In many cases they are used simply to prepare orders, delivery notes and estimates. In other cases they can be used to carry out procedures with the Administration, always from a PDF document.

Once we have created or converted an existing document into a PDF form, it will be possible to add different fields to convert it into an interactive form, which can be filled out directly from a computer and sent over the Internet. In this way we avoid having to print the form, fill it in and then scan it to be able to send it. Therefore, we are facing a much more comfortable process than the traditional one on paper and that every day has more importance within the labor and administrative world on the Internet.

How to create and fill out PDF forms

To create and fill out forms, we can use almost any program that is capable of later converting them to PDF. Therefore, today, we are going to see how to do the work with a word processor and a spreadsheet such as Word and Excel, as well as with an online tool called Soda PDF.

Use Microsoft Word to fill out forms

Without a doubt the most popular word processor on the market, as it has all kinds of functions that go beyond just writing text. For this reason, it also has the possibility of filling out forms in PDF.

To do this, what we must do is click on the “File” tab, select “New” and choose a template corresponding to the type of form that we need. Likewise, it will be possible to create a “Blank Document”, from where we can design ourselves the template we need at all times.

Now we must click on the “Programmer” tab at the top. In the event that we do not have it added, we must enter “Files”, then “More” and “Options”. This will open a new window where you can select «Customize Ribbon«. We look for the “Programmer” box and add it to the main tabs.

Word add Developer tab

Once with the Programmer tab we must click on «Design mode». From here we will be able to add all those controls that we will need to fill in our form, being able to add or change the different content controls to our liking.

Word Programmer and Design Mode

Once finished, we must click on the «Start» tab, and on the right side click on the «Select» button. Later we return to the tab of »Programmer» and click on the button “Restrict editing”. This will make a side menu appear where we must mark «Editing restriction» and inside look for the option «Fill in forms». In the “Start to apply” section, “Yes, apply protection” should appear.

Word restrict form editing

Now we only have to save the document. To do this, click on «File» and «Save as». Here we select as file type PDF format, the name, we choose the desired route and, finally, we click on «Save». In this way we will have our PDF form created with Microsoft Word.

Word save form as PDF

Excel, Microsoft’s spreadsheet also creates forms

We are facing the most used Spreadsheet worldwide and that is part of the Microsoft Office suite, with which to perform all kinds of mathematical calculations. Likewise, this powerful tool also offers us the possibility of creating interactive forms as we will see below.

To do this we open a new spreadsheet in Excel or add a new predefined form and select the “Developer” tab. If it is not activated, click on the “File” tab, then click on “More” and “Options”. This will open a new window where we select «Customize Ribbon«. We click on «Main tabs», we look for «Programmer» and we «add» it.

Excel Customize Ribbon add Scheduler

Next, click on the “Programmer” tab and then on the “Insert” button. From here we will be able to add all the Form controls we need like checkbox buttons, option button, Labels, List box, etc. Within the Insert tab we can also find the ActiveX controls. Here we can add images, text boxes, combo box, toggle button, among others.

Excel form controls and ActiveX controls

Once we have created our form we must protect the blade. To do this, we are going to click on the “Review” tab and then click on the “Protect sheet” button. This will make a new window appear where we must add a password. If at any time we need to edit the form, click again on “Review” and then on “Unprotect sheet”, being necessary that we enter the password that we established when protecting it.

Excel Review and Protect Sheet

Once finished we can save our form as a PDF file. To do this, click on the “Files” tab and then on “Save as”. We choose the desired location where the file will be saved, set a name and change the ttype of file to PDF format.

Excel save form as PDF

Fill in online forms with Soda PDF

It is a complete tool that will allow us to work with PDF documents either online or offline with its desktop version. This application has its own form creator, with which you can convert PDF documents into forms to fill out in a few simple steps, although to download the document it will be necessary to pay. In order to access it, we can click on this link.

To do this, it will only be necessary to select a file and load it or drag and drop the file into the corresponding box. It is also possible to click on the “Choose a file” button and upload the document from a cloud storage service, such as Dropbox or Google Drive.

Soda PDF Online add file

Once the document is loaded, a new window will appear from where we can fill in PDF online with the main functions that we will need. The «Forms«. From here we can fill in text fields, mark checkboxes, add form fields, select responses from option buttons, among others. All options are marked as items within your toolbar.

Soda PDF Online Forms tools

Once we have finished filling in the PDF form with all the elements that we have added, we can download it by clicking on the «Download» icon. Here we will have to pay a single payment of 4.90 euros or download unlimited files for 2.99 euros per month in annual billing.

Soda PDF Online Save Form

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