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How to Create & Fill Forms in PDFs on Mac

No more filling out printed forms and scanning them to share with others. UPDF has solved this problem with its Ultimate Form Solution. You can now create, edit, fill, and even sign forms directly in the UPDF app for Mac.

All the features you need, such as text fields, checkboxes, dropdown menus, form field recognition, and more, are available. Creating one form and making multiple copies with options to customize according to your needs has never been easier.

This comprehensive step-by-step guide will teach you how to create, edit, and fill out forms in any PDF document. Alternatively, you can watch the video guide below to learn more about these features.

1. How to Create Fillable Forms on Mac in PDF Document

When working on your Mac computer, there are two significant steps in creating a form in a PDF document.

You can easily create different fillable form designs and adjust them as necessary by following the steps below:

  • Open the document where you want to add a new fillable form.
  • As you can see in the image below, you can click the Prepare Form mode and start making changes.
Prepare Form mode in UPDF Mac

Video guide on How to Create a Fillable Form on Mac

There are many options you can choose from here, which are as follows:

Text Field

By clicking this button, you can easily add a text field/box anywhere on the PDF document where you want the form filler to enter information.

Once selected, you can increase or decrease the text box size according to the number of entries you require in the form. With a simple click on the outline of the text box, you can easily move the location to where you desire.

Video guide on How to Add Text Field to PDF Form on Mac

Check Box

Like text boxes in the fillable forms, you also need different check boxes for Yes/No or multiple-choice questions. You can easily add them using the Check Box icon right next to the text box icon on the top.

Radio Button

Where you need to select more than one option, you can also use the Radio Button, which is the following icon from the Check Box icon. This button fills up upon clicking it, showing you have selected that option in the form.

Video guide on How to Add Checkbox and Radio Button to PDF Form on Mac


With this option, you can create a dropdown menu in the form from which your fillers can select the most appropriate option. You can add multiple entries to the dropdown menu and a suitable header, making it easy to understand.

Video guide on How to Create a Dropdown List in a PDF Form on Mac

List Box

The list box allows you to add many dropdown menus in the form so that you can select multiple options in the form from each of the list boxes.

A Button

You can use this OK button if you want any button added to your form that does a specific action. Upon being clicked, it can direct to a URL or even reset the form you choose, among many other options and actions.

Form creation options in UPDF Mac

Video guide on How to Add Action Button to PDF Form on Mac

2. How to Edit Properties of Form Fields with Innovative Features

You can start making essential changes after you add all the fields in your form, as explained below.

  • You can edit different boxes by double-clicking on them.
  • You will see three menus on the pop-up editing panel on the right menu bar: General and Style. In the general menu, you can change the Name and access Tooltip, among other options. You can easily change the aesthetics of your forms using the style menu, such as the box's border color, its space, and the text used.
Property panel of form field
  • You can select the options menu to customize your added boxes, and UPDF autosaves when you select these options.
  • Once you are satisfied with the changes and additions that you have made, you can switch to Read Mode and review all the changes that you have made.

3. How to Customize Your Form

The customization process has been further streamlined in the latest update and has become another of UPDF's unique and innovative features.

Duplicate Across Pages

Choose the textbox, field, etc., select the Duplicate option, and apply it across the desired range of pages. Save the document to save all the changes you have made.

Create Multiple Form Copies

After you have added one field like a dropdown menu or a checkbox, you can use the Copy feature and paste multiple dropdown menus, checkboxes, and so on right there in the form. After copying, you can also change the size of fields.

Form Effects

You can change the alignment of your forms or elements using this feature, like aligning in six different directions or changing distributions.

Field Recognition & Highlight Excising Fields

In the image below, you can see the first option from the right, which helps you select and highlight different fields that help you edit or fill them as required. You can also use it to clear forms, import and export data from different sources, or use field recognition to enhance your forms further.

Field recognition

4. How to Fill Forms in PDF Documents

In this step, we will guide you to check your newly created forms and review whether each aspect functions appropriately. You can do this by filling out the PDF-based form using the following steps:

  • You need to switch to the Reader, Comment, or Edit PDF mode to fill in the form.
  • Select any highlighted boxes, as shown below, and start changing.
Edit PDF form with UPDF Mac
  • If the selected area or field is a text field, you can add text.
  • Similarly, the checkboxes and radio buttons will fill up when you click them.
  • The dropdown menus will work as intended, so you can see different options and select as needed.
  • Select the Save option once you make all the necessary changes or choose Save As to save it in another format or file.

Alternatively, if you want to fill out a fillable PDF form that you created with other tools, you can select the 'Form Field Recognition' option. UPDF will automatically highlight the fillable form fields. After that, you can easily fill them out.

Enable form field recognition
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