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How to Create a Fillable PDF on Mac (macOS 14 Included)

A lot is going around on the internet about how to create a fillable PDF on a Mac. But no content is up to their mark. There are many ways to create PDF forms on Mac, i.e., the free and the paid ones. As we all know, free versions don't always have the richness of features to assist you. That's why we've decided to write a review on how to create a fillable PDF on Mac alongside three different applications. At the end of the article, you will find a comparison between the three methods.

Method 1. How to Create a Fillable PDF on Mac with UPDF

Let's start with the best tool first. UPDF for Mac is a highly recommended PDF editor and form creator for Mac that allows you to create a fillable PDF on Mac from scratch as well as recognize fields of a non-fillable PDF and make it fillable with ease. Download UPDF and create fillable PDFs on your Mac within minutes!

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pdf form creation in updf

To create a fillable PDF on Mac with UPDF, you can:

  • Easily create form fields with six given options.
  • Customize properties of form fields, including changing field colors and alignment, and adding interactions.
  • Duplicate form fields across pages.
  • Create multiple copies of the created form fields.
  • Freely import and export data.

Scenario 1. Steps to Turn a PDF into a Fillable Form on Mac

If your PDF form is created from a Word document, or it is just a non-fillable PDF document, you can use UPDF's "Form Field Recognition" feature to turn it into fillable.

Step 1: Download UPDF and Go to "Prepare Form"

You can download UPDF via the below button, launch it, then, open the PDF document. After opening the PDF form, click the "Prepare Form" icon from the left toolbar.

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prepare form on mac

Step 2. Recognition Form Fields Automatically

Now you can click the settings icon on the top menu and choose the "Form Fields Recognition" option. Once you click on it, it will remind you that "The operation cannot be undone. Do you want to continue". Click "Continue" if you are ok with it.

Once you confirm, it will recognize the form fields automatically and turn them into fillable. After the recognition, you can save the document and fill it accordingly.

form field recognition

Scenario 2. Steps to Create a Fillable PDF on Mac from the Scratch

If you want to create a fillable PDF form from scratch, UPDF also allows you to add and customize all kinds of form fields easily.

Step 1: Create Fillable Form Fields on Mac

Open the PDF that you want to create forms in it. After that, head to "Prepare Form" mode and add form fields with the six given options. You can add text fields, ok buttons, radio buttons, checkboxes, dropdown lists, etc.

add form fields with updf mac

Step 2. Customize the Form Fields Properties

Double-click on the fields that you added before. You can change the field color, and font, and use the calculate feature as you desire.

Cutomize properties

After successfully creating the form fields, you can switch to the Reader, or Comment mode to fill out the PDF form on Mac.

Fill out fillable form with UPDF Mac

Now, you know how to use UPDF to create a fillable PDF form. If you do not have UPDF, you can click the below button to download it.

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Video guide on How to Create a Fillable Form on Mac

Also Read: How to Create a Fillable Form in Word


Method 2. How to Make a PDF Fillable on Mac with Adobe Acrobat

Adobe Acrobat is another demanding tool for Portable Document Format (PDF). The features of Acrobat are pretty much similar to UPDF. You can also view, edit, share, convert, etc., using Adobe Acrobat. Follow the below steps to build fillable PDFs on Mac:

  • Step 1: Open Adobe Acrobat on your device and click on the "Tools" button at the top of the page.
  • Step 2: Now, select "Prepare Form" then "Create New" and click the "Start" button.
  • Step 3: Click on the "Add Text" icon in the toolbar and add the text or information you want to your PDF form.
  • Step 4: You can also add images or logos to your form. Select "Add Image" from the toolbar and import the photo from your computer. Then place it wherever you want.
  • Step 5: Click on the "Edit" tool to change the existing images or text boxes.
  • Step 6: To add fillable content, select your desired field from the right toolbar and place it on the form. After placing the fields on the form, now, you can now set the properties.
  • Step 7: After completing the form, press the "Command + S" keys to save your form.
how to create a fillable form in word for mac

Adobe Acrobat would perform perfectly in other scenarios but has some disadvantages while creating fillable PDF forms.

Disadvantages of Adobe Acrobat

  • It only works on Adobe environment.
  • Sometimes fonts don't match while creating or editing the forms.
  • Inconsistent layout problems occur.
  • It's expensive from the perspective of a fillable form.
  • You can't edit fields in LifeCycle Designer.
  • No support for hand-held devices.

Considering that this tool is very expensive, many users search for a good Adobe Acrobat alternative to achieve the same goal. Among all the cheaper alternatives, UPDF is the best choice, as it offers comprehensive features with a delightful user experience. You can learn more about Adobe Acrobat vs UPDF.


Method 3. How to Make PDF Fillable on Mac Preview

Mac Preview is a free way to fill out PDF forms on Mac. However, you can use it to create a fillable PDF form on Mac as it doesn't support this feature. Since it's a free application and only supports the Mac platform, it doesn't have the luxury of advanced features compared to Adobe Acrobat and UPDF. You won't see any flourish interface and features whatsoever.

Here are the steps to fill out PDF forms on Mac Preview:

  • Step 1: Open the Preview app on your Mac and select the PDF form from your device.
  • Step 2: Click the "Form Filling" button in the toolbar above.
  • Step 3: Place the cursor on the empty field and click to add text to the form.
  • Step 4: Once finished, export the file to your desired location.
how to create a fillable form in pages for mac

Note: You can't create a fillable PDF on Mac with Preview, as it only offers the feature to fill in, but does not offer tools to create one.


FAQs about Making PDF Fillable on Mac

Q1. How to Create a Fillable Form in Word for Mac?

Turn on the Developer option to create a fillable form in Word for Mac. In the Developer Tab, click the "Check Box", "Text Box", or "Combo Box" to insert fillable blank fields into the document.

However, the Word format PDF form is not popular anymore, as the layout may look different when opening on different devices. PDF is a better format to create PDF forms on Mac and you can use UPDF to help you edit, annotate, convert, OCR, and organize PDF documents.

Q2. How to Create a Fillable Form in Pages for Mac?

No, you can't create fillable forms in Pages for Mac. It doesn't provide a form designer in the Mac version. You have to use other applications that support built-in form design tools.

Q3. How Do I Create a Fillable PDF without Acrobat on Mac?

Use UPDF to create or fill out PDF forms quickly. It's the best alternative choice to Adobe Acrobat and has plenty of advanced features that allow you to view, edit, convert, OCR, organize, annotate, and much more.


Comparing the Three Methods

Stuck between the thoughts of choosing which tool? That's why we've prepared a comparison chart to help you find the right tool.

 UPDFAdobe AcrobatPreview
Pricing$35.99/Year$239.88/YearFree
PlatformsWindows, Mac, Android, iOSWindows, Mac, Android, iOSMac
InterfaceFriendly and easy to useA little complicatedMedium
Add Text to PDF
Edit PDF Text
Annotate PDF
OCR
Convert PDF to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint
Convert PDF to BMP and GIF
Add Password to PDF
Rating4.84.74.0

Conclusion

For the sake of filling out forms or creating new ones, don't fall for the expensive tools. So many cheap options are available to create a PDF form on Mac. In fact, there are many online PDF applications that provide the same functionality. However, online applications are not reliable when it comes to security and accuracy. Use UPDF if you want to avoid expensive tools. It's cost-effective and highly reliable regarding security and accuracy reasons. Upgrade to Pro now with an exclusive discount.

It is also the best tool for you to work on all PDF documents. You can read PDF documents with a delightful experience, and you can add bookmarks to PDF, switch to dark mode, etc. You can annotate PDFs with many amazing tools, and you can edit all the text, images, links, and other content in your PDF document with ease. What are you waiting for? Try it now.

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