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How to Make a Fillable PDF Form Without Acrobat? (Free and Paid)

For many years, creating fillable PDF forms through Adobe was the only method that people were aware of. Nowadays, there are many alternative ways. If you are those who want to know how to make a fillable PDF form without Acrobat, you are in the correct place. In this guide, we will explore the effective ways to make fillable PDF forms without relying on Acrobat.

Part 1. How to Make a Fillable PDF Form Without Acrobat on Mac/Win

If you are working with either a Mac or Windows computer, UPDF offers efficient assistance in making and creating fillable PDF forms. This powerful PDF form creator boasts a wide array of features, enabling users to insert various fields into their forms. Moreover, there are two distinct approaches to utilizing this productive tool for making fillable PDF forms on your devices. UPDF's iOS version also features the capability of filling PDF forms.

One is to convert non fillable PDF forms into fillable one with the form recognition feature, which automatically recognizes fillable areas. And if your forms are in Excel, Word, or some other format, UPDF can convert them to fillable PDF forms easily.

The other one is where you start from scratch. It is a more customizable approach to allow you to create a fillable PDF form with different fields. These include a text field, check box, radio button, drop-down, and a few more. And users can also align the fields, customize them, import and export data, and even duplicate the fields to other pages.

Download UPDF right away by hitting the "Free Download" button and head to the steps given below, as we will discuss two methods to make fillable PDF forms.

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make fillable PDF form without acrobat

Way 1. Create Fillable PDF Form Without Acrobat Automatically

For this technique, we will take up a Word file with a table. You can use the "Form Field Recognition" to convert PDF into fillable one automatically. Look through the steps to create a fillable PDF from Word without Acrobat:

Step 1. Launch UPDF and Create a PDF from Word

After you have installed UPDF, launch the tool and access it. In the top left side, hit the "File" tab and place the cursor on "Create." Then select the "PDF From Word" option and choose the required document.  

Step 2. Recognize the Form Fields in Prepare Form Mode

Click on "Prepare Form" in the left-side toolbar to reveal the menu bar on top. There, hit the "Gear" icon and choose "Form Field Recognition" from the drop-down options. This will make your PDF file fillable in UPDF.

Way 2. Create Fillable PDF Form Without Acrobat Manually

Another way of how to make a fillable PDF form without Acrobat Mac/Windows is to create forms manually. This way is often useful when you need to insert customized fields into your documents:

Step 1. Create a Blank Page and Enter Prepare Form Mode

Download UPDF to your computer via the below button. Explore the UPDF tool, and on its main interface, go to the "File" tab on the upper left side, place the cursor on "Create," and tap on "Blank Page." Once created, hit the "Prepare Form" icon in the left side toolbar, and you will see extended form-related options in the top bar.

how to make a fillable pdf form without acrobat create pdf

Step 2. Insert the Required Fields into Your Forms

Choose what you want to add in the form field from the above options, including "Text Field," "Check Box," "Radio Button," "Drop Down," "List Box," and "Button." 

how to make a fillable pdf form without acrobat prepare form

Step 3. Customize the Fields as Per Requirements

For each field discussed above, you can even customize them. Double-click the field, and in the right-side panel, customize it. You can modify the "General" settings, such as lock fields, insert default values, and type tooltips. In the "Style" tab, users can change colors, align fields, resize them, and set formulas for fields. Lastly, in the "Action" tab, set the action and trigger buttons to your fields.

how to make a fillable pdf form without acrobat form propeties

Step 4. Explore a Few More Options for Form-Making

Furthermore, import and export the form data by hitting the "Gear" icon and using the "Duplicate Across Pages" feature for forms if needed. Finally, save the fillable PDF form on your system in the desired location.

With these many easy-to-follow steps, UPDF is surely the best tool to use. To use it right now on your systems, tap on the "Free Download" button or upgrade to pro version at a low price if you like it.

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Video Tutorial on How to Create Fillable Form on Windows

Part 2. How to Make a Fillable PDF Form without Acrobat Free?

You get plenty of options when you search online for websites and apps that can help you make fillable PDF forms. However, many of these tools are expensive and paid for. So, if you are looking for how to make a fillable PDF form without Acrobat free, DocFly is the tool to use. Using this tool, users can insert various fields into their forms, including date and signature fields.

Moreover, you can also customize each field based on your needs. Making fillable forms online using this tool is not often preferred, and this tool depends on internet connectivity. What's worse, the exports are limited in the free version, and users don't get many file storage options. If you are satisfied with all these limitations and still want to use this tool, follow the steps provided below:

Step 1. Access the DocFly tool on your web browser and tap on the "Click to Upload Your File" option for importing a Word file. Tap on the "Three Dots," choose the "Convert to PDF" option, and confirm the choice by clicking the "Convert to PDF" button again.

convert imported word file to pdf docfly

Step 2. Next, access the converted file, and in the top bar, choose from 10+ form fields to insert in your PDF. As you click each field, such as "Text Field," you will get to customize it, such as changing color, style, and font size. Once done, hit the "Save" button to save the PDF form or hit the "Export" button to "Download" it.

make a form and export it docfly

Part 3. Why Choose Other Alternatives Instead of Adobe Acrobat?

After analyzing both the tools discussed above, we can state that these alternatives are a better option to use instead of Adobe Acrobat. This is due to the much-advanced form-filling features at a very low pricing. However, among these two alternatives, UPDF is the best to use. To learn about why it stands out, head to the table given below:

  UPDFDocFlyAdobe Acrobat
Fillable PDF Form ElementsText Field
Check Box
Radio Box
List Box
Customize Element Styles
Customize Element Action
Recognize Form FieldAuto
Convert to Fillable PDF FormConvert Word to PDF Fillable PDF Form
Convert Excel to PDF Fillable PDF Form
Convert Non-Fillable PDF Form to Fillable One
AlignAlign Left
Align Vertically
Align Right
Align Top
Align Bottom
Align Horizontally
Copy FieldsCreate Multiple Copies
Duplicate Across Pages
DataImport Data
Export Data
LimitationFile Size Limit
Limited No. of File Import

It can be noticed that Adobe's price is way higher than that of UPDF and DocFly. Also, it has limited form-filling or creating features, which makes both the other alternatives best to use. However, being an online tool, DocFly needs a stable internet connection, while UPDF can be used offline. Plus, UPDF has many advanced form-creating features, such as setting different alignments and creating duplicate fields.

So, without any further delay, use this tool now on your systems. To download it, tap on the "Free Download" button or access the UPDF's official website to use this tool.

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Even with all the limitations we discussed about Adobe Acrobat, if you still want to continue using this, follow the steps we have given below.

Part 4. How to Create Fillable PDF Forms with Acrobat?

Adobe Acrobat is a professional PDF editor that can help you create fillable PDF forms. Here are the steps for you to create fillable PDF forms easily:

Step 1. Using your system, launch Acrobat and explore the "All Tools." Next, under the "Edit" section, choose the "Prepare a Form" feature and press "Select a File" to import the Word document. Continue to click the "Create Form" button.

enter prepare form mode in Adobe

Step 2. Once the file is imported, choose from different fields in the left side panel under the "Prepare a Form" section. Customize each field based on your requirements. Afterward, users can also hit the "Send" button at the bottom left side to distribute the forms accordingly.

 insert fields into a form adobe

Final Words

Summing up, by now, you must have learned the best ways on how to make a fillable PDF form without Acrobat. Both DocFly and UPDF are the best alternatives to Adobe Acrobat, but as discussed, DocFly has a certain limitation and is not always the recommended way. That is why we suggest you use UPDF with its advanced PDF form-making features and an array of customization.

Also, UPDF offers all of its features at a single and cost-effective rate. So, why not try out UDF by yourself? Head to its official site to get this tool or press the "Free Download" button.

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