Received a PDF document with multiple forms via email and not sure how to fill it in?
We'll show you all the ways to fill out, add text, or simply add a fillable form to any PDF document, online or offline below.
A paperless office starts with filling out a PDF form on the go and emailing it back within the minute.
PDFs are great because they’re typically universal - pretty much anyone can open and view them. They are convenient and can be viewed on almost any type of device.
The only disadvantage PDF documents can have is that they’re uneditable and it can be difficult to modify them.
If you need to sign or fill in a form on a PDF that is already fillable (or not), there are a few different ways you can do this.
Below we’ll cover a few different options if you’re looking for ways to fill out a PDF form and email it with software such as Adobe Acrobat, online services, and more. And we'll also cover how to fill out a PDF form that is not fillable.
Here’s what you’ll learn:
- How to Check If Your PDF Document Is Fillable Onscreen With Adobe Acrobat
- How to Fill Out a PDF Form And Email It (Online and Offline)
- How to Fill In Interactive PDF Forms
- How To Convert A PDF File To A Fillable Form
But first, you’ll need to check and see if your PDF is already fillable.
How to Check If Your PDF Document Is Fillable Onscreen With Adobe Acrobat
To determine if your PDF is already fillable, you can use Adobe Acrobat.
Follow these steps to find any interactive fields in your PDF document (if applicable):
1. Open the form in an Acrobat product.
2. Select the Hand tool, and then drag it over fields in the PDF form. The form contains form fields if the Hand tool changes to either of the following icons:
- An I-beam (the Text Select tool, which you use to type text in a text field
- A pointing hand (which you use to select an option or to check a box)
3. In Acrobat 3D, Acrobat 7, or Adobe Reader 7, click Highlight Fields or Highlight Required Fields in the Document Message Bar. Interactive fields display a colored fill.
Once you make any text or other changes to your document, you can always flatten the PDF file later.
How to Fill Out a PDF Form And Email It (Online and Offline)
Depending on your available software or personal preference, there are many different ways you can fill in your PDF forms.
The options mentioned below include online, offline, and through different PDF software.
Let’s take a look.
Filling out a PDF form with Adobe Fill & Sign
Adobe has a product suite that can take care of almost any need with PDFs.
Their Fill & Sign app allows you to fill, sign, and snap a picture of forms and fill them out anywhere.
Here’s how to fill out a PDF form with Adobe’s Fill & Sign.
1. Open a PDF document in Acrobat DC.
2. Click the “Fill & Sign” tool in the right pane.
3. Fill out your form. Complete form filling by clicking a text field and typing or adding a text box. You can add checkmarks and fill in radio buttons too.
4. Sign your form.
5. Click “Sign” in the toolbar at the top of the page. Then draw, type, or choose an image for your signature. Then click “Apply” to place your signature on the form.
Fill out a PDF form online with PDFescape
PDFescape is a free online PDF you can use to fill out forms and more.
Like most online PDF tools, you’ll first have to upload your PDF document on the site and follow the steps online. The process is fairly straightforward, but like most online tools, you should be careful with what you upload.
So, make sure you’re following the best practices for secure document management when filling out PDF forms.
With that said, here’s how to fill out your PDF forms online with PDFescape:
1. Log into PDFescape and click “Open” in the top left corner.
2. Next, click “Upload PDF to PDFescape” and choose the document from the files on your computer.
3. If your form is already fillable, you can click on the areas and fill as desired. If you’re looking to add text boxes or other form fields, you can do so by clicking the desired option in the top left corner of the navigation menu. To add your text box, simply click and drag on the document and type to fill in.
4. After you’ve finished editing or filling your document, click the save icon in the left navigation menu to save and download the PDF to your computer.
How to fill out a PDF form online with Google Docs
If you have a Gmail account, you already have access to Google Docs online for free.
Google Docs allows you to edit your PDFs on your computer. You can add text, edit pages with images or remove them, add shapes, and even add signatures.
It's easy to convert PDF files into Google Docs as you only need to have the original file. However, due to the differences between the PDF format and Google Docs format, font styles, images, and other formatting choices can be affected when turning PDF into Google Docs.
Though, for simple text editing and filling, Google Docs can do the trick for document forms.
Here’s how to fill a PDF form with Google Docs:
1. Open Google Drive in another browser tab and go to the file you wish to edit. Upload the file to Google Drive if it is saved to your computer.
2. Right-click on the document and navigate to "Open with...".
3. From there, select Google Docs from the list of editors available. The document will open in a new tab in Google Docs. The text in the opened document will be editable.
4. To add text, place the cursor anywhere you wish and type.
5. After you've finished editing, go to File > Download > PDF Document (.pdf). The document will be downloaded to your device in PDF.
Looking for other ways to edit PDF documents with Google Docs?
Be sure to also read:
- How to Save Your Google Doc As A PDF and Other File Formats
- How to Turn a PDF File Into Google Docs Without Losing Formatting
- How to Edit PDF Documents in Google Docs or Online
Now, let’s take a look at how to make the same changes with Google Drive on mobile.