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Step-by-Step Guide to Creating a Fillable PDF in Adobe

Fillable PDFs are becoming increasingly popular with the digitalization of the world. Today, contracts, surveys, invoices, and other forms that require user input are based on fillable PDFs. It eradicates the need to use paper to fill forms and makes it easy to extract data. Since Adobe is one of the most widely used PDF tools, many users are in search of steps for creating a fillable PDF in Adobe. Therefore, this guide is going to discuss in detail how to crete a fillable PDF in Adobe. So, let's begin our discussion!

Part 1. Important Tips to Know Before Creating a Fillable PDF in Adobe

Creating a fillable or interactive PDF can be easy and free with a cost-effective alternative, UPDF. UPDF is also a PDF tool like Adobe, but it offers an easy and free way to create fillable PDFs.

creating a fillable pdf in adobe updf

UPDF's click-based interface empowers you to insert six types of form fields, including checkboxes, dropdown lists, radio buttons, etc. It even allows you to customize the field properties instantly. In short, you get the simplest yet powerful tool for creating a fillable PDF. Additionally, UPDF enables you to convert fillable PDF to regular PDF seamlessly, providing flexibility for your document needs. Therefore, simply download UPDF and create your fillable PDF right away.

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Part 2. Steps to Create a Fillable PDF Form in Adobe

Adobe is a PDF tool known for decades to view and edit PDFs. So, if you intend to make a fillable PDF form in Adobe, follow the below steps:

Step 1. Launch Adobe Acrobat on your PC and click the "Tools" tab from the top. Afterward, tap the "Prepare Form" option.

creating a fillable pdf in adobe tools

Step 2. In the next window, either select a file or scan a document and then click the "Start" button.

creating a fillable pdf in adobe select file

Step 3. Once the PDF launches, Adobe will highlight the fillable fields. You can use the toolbar from the top to adjust/insert fields the way you want. Besides, you can preview this fillable PDF form through the Preview button on the top-right corner.

creating a fillable pdf in adobe click on preview on adobe acrobat

Step 4. Once done, click the "Save" button.

This way, you can use the above steps for creating a fillable PDF in Adobe. However, there are a few shortcomings of this method that you must know about:

  • Cost: Adobe does not allow you to make fillable PDFs in Adobe for free. You have to subscribe to its costly premium subscription plan, starting from $22.99/month.
  • Compatibility: Adobe may not be compatible with some PDF forms. This can lead to formatting or other issues.
  • Complexity: Adobe offers an extensive set of PDF-related features, which makes it overwhelming or complex for new users.
  • Security Issues: Filling or creating a PDF form with Adobe may raise security issues, as Adobe may extract data from the form, such as form fields, metadata, etc. Moreover, Adobe is a widely used tool, so hackers can target security vulnerabilities in it.
  • Ineffective Collaboration: Adobe isn't friendly when it comes to collaborating with others in the same form.

Looking at the above shortcomings of Adobe, why not choose a better alternative that can turn all the above shortcomings into features? This is exactly what UPDF has to offer. It is cost-effective (start from US$25.99/year), compatible with all PDF forms, user-friendly, secure, and collaborative. Therefore, download UPDF and experience a better way to create a fillable PDF form.

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Part 3. How to Create a Fillable & Interactive PDF Form with Adobe's Alternative

Adobe provides all the features you need to creating a fillable PDF in Adobe, but its above limitations hinder the experience. So, let's now discuss how to create a fillable and interactive PDF form with Adobe's alternative.

UPDF is a powerful PDF form creator tool and an ideal alternative to Adobe. It offers users a wide range of features to create interactive forms they want. The best thing is that it offers free access to most functions, including PDF form creation.

creating a fillable pdf in adobe updf prepare form

Users can create a fillable PDF form from scratch or use its form recognition feature to automatically recognize fillable areas from non-fillable forms. Besides that, it also supports digital signatures.

The key highlights of UPDF are as follows:

  • Easy and Free Form Creation: It allows you to create simple to complex forms easily and for free.
  • Wide Range of Form Fields: It enables you to insert various form fields, such as text fields, drop-downs, radio buttons, checkboxes, etc.
  • Convert Forms from Other Files: It can convert forms in Word, Excel, or other formats to fillable PDF forms with simple clicks.
  • Advanced OCR: It can intelligently detect paper-based forms and create fillable PDFs with its advanced OCR technology.
  • Customizing Fields Properties: It allows you to customize the fields properties, such as color, font, size, action, etc.
  • Digital Signatures: It allows you to sign forms digitally or electronically.
  • Sharing: It can share PDF forms as a shareable link, QR code, or email.

In short, UPDF's form-creation capabilities provide a professional and seamless way to create forms for data collection, surveys, contracts, etc. Download UPDF and test its exceptional form creation capabilities yourself.

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Below are the four simple steps to make a fillable PDF form with UPDF:

Step 1. Download and launch UPDF on Windows/Mac. Click the "Open File" button from the main dashboard to open the PDF to create form fields in it. Alternatively, you can create a PDF from scratch by clicking File > Create > Blank Page.

Step 2. Click the "Prepare Form" mode from the left sidebar and choose the form fields you want to insert from the top toolbar, such as checkbox, radio button, text field, etc.

creating a fillable pdf in adobe edit form

If you have non-fillable form fields in the PDF, click "Form Field Recognition" under the tool icon to let UPDF convert them into fillable ones instantly.

creating a fillable pdf in adobe form field recognition

Step 3. Once you have added all the form fields, double-click them to change the properties, such as field name, color, font, etc.

Step 4. Once your form is finalized, save the file or click the "Share" button from the right sidebar to share it with others.

That's it! This way, you can easily create fillable PDFs with UPDF without any complicated steps. However, UPDF capabilities do not stop here. It can do more than PDF form creation, as follows:

  • Read PDFs: It provides a seamless way to read and consume PDF content with different page layouts, light/dark modes, slideshow, and other features.
  • Edit PDFs: It can add/edit text, links, and images in a PDF.
  • Annotate PDFs: It can draw, underline, mark, highlight, add stickers, and do plenty of other annotations to PDFs.
  • UPDF AI: Its AI assistant helps to chat with PDFs and ask document-related questions.
  • Compress PDFs: It can shrink the size of large PDFs with simple clicks.
  • Convert PDFs: It can convert a PDF to image, text, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.
  • Organize PDFs: It can rearrange, rotate, crop, add, split, remove, and extract PDF pages.
  • Protect PDFs: It can password-protect, redact, and watermark PDFs.
  • Batch PDFs: It can convert, insert, combine, encrypt, and print multiple PDFs at the same time.
creating a fillable pdf in adobe updf editor

Overall, UPDF is an all-in-one PDF form creator and editor tool you need to fulfill almost all PDF-related activities. In short, download UPDF right away and have a fully-featured PDF tool on your desktop/smartphone.

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Part 4. Comparison Chart Between Adobe and UPDF

Now that we know the features and steps for creating a fillable PDF on Adobe and UPDF, let's create a comparison chart and see which one leads regarding features and user experience.

FeaturesAdobe Acrobat Standard DCAdobe Acrobat Pro DCUPDF
US$43.99/one-time fee 
Check pricing here >>
Create Fillable PDFCreate a Fillable PDF from Scratch
Multiple Fillable Form Fields
Recognize Non-fillable PDFs
Change Fields Properties
Compatibility with all PDF Forms
Convert Forms from Other Files
Read PDFsOpen and Read PDFs
Read in Different Page Layouts
Display as a slideshow
Edit PDFsAdd/Edit Texts
Add/Edit Images
Add/Edit Links
Add Rich Text by Drag and Drop
Annotate PDFsHighlight/Underline
AI AssistantSummarizing
Compress PDFsReduce File Size
Convert PDFsConvert PDF to Word, PPT, Excel, HTML, RTF, image, text, and XML
Save PDF as PDF/A
Convert PDF to BMP
Convert PDF to CSV
Convert PDF to GIF
Organize PDFsRearrange, Rotate, Crop, Add, Split, Remove, and Extract PDF Pages
Protect PDFsPassword Protect
Redact Sensitive Information

From the above comparison table, it is clearly evident that UPDF is a more powerful, intuitive, and feature-rich PDF form creator and editor tool than Adobe. Its premium PDF-related features at a negligible cost are the game changer. Therefore, download and purchase UPDF and have the best user experience.

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Considering the widespread use of PDFs, fillable PDF forms have also become popular. Therefore, this guide has discussed in detail creating a fillable PDF in Adobe. Although you can easily make a fillable PDF in Adobe using the above steps, its hefty cost, compatibility, complexity, and other issues are a concern. Therefore, we recommend you use UPDF, the more advanced and easy-to-use tool for creating fillable PDFs and doing other edits with simple clicks. So, to wrap up, download UPDF and create fillable and interactive PDFs effortlessly.

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