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Digital Scholarship Center: Acrobat Pro: Digitally fill out forms with Adobe Acrobat Pro

Information about the resources in the Digital Scholarship Center

Acrobat Pro: Creating a Digital Form

A digital form is a file that allows the user to add their content to the form including a signature. Digital forms are used to streamline office processes and can help make your workflow or online course more efficient. You can use Acrobat Pro to create a digital form from a document created in a standard word processing application such as Microsoft Word, Microsoft Publisher, Apple Pages, or Google Doc. You can also use desktop publishing or even presentation applications such as Adobe InDesign, QuarkXpress, or Microsoft Powerpoint as long as you can save the file as a pdf.

  1. Start with a document create in one of the applications mentioned above. Save the document as a PDF.
    Download this sample pdf document : Timesheet-Form.pdf

  2. Open the PDF file in Acrobat Pro.

    Once opened, go to the Tools Pane on the right and select the Forms & Signatures button. If you do not see the Tools pane go to the View Menu > Show/Hide > Tools Pane to select. If you do not see the Forms & Signatures button select More Tools button/ (See below)

    Then select the Prepare Form button (See below)


  3. The following window will open displaying your document. Select the Start button.

    The software should automatically recognize the cells of your form. If it doesn't, proceed to #4 to create your text fields.


  4. Create text fields select this icon.

    Then draw a box in the area you want the user to add content. Add the text field name. See the below example.


  5. Save you PDF. 

  6. Click on Fill & Sign

  7. Your document will open up. At the top of your document, you will see a toolbar like the one below: Forms and Signature Toolbar

  8. We will start with the Text Tool. Find a place where you would like to add your text. Once you click, you will see the text editor (like the one below). Fill out your information and click elsewhere to exit out of the text tool. Text Tool

  9. Next, let's select an option for the Term section. In the toolbar you will see a variety of shapes: an x-mark, a check-mark, a circle, a line, and a dot (for fill ins). We will use the circle to select our term. Click the circle tool near your text, and adjust. Shape Tools

  10. Finally, we will add our signature. When you click on the Sign Icon, you will have two options, Add Signature or Add Initials. We will choose Add Signature. A popover will appear on your screen Signature Tool

  11. There are three types of ways to get your signature in Adobe Acrobat Pro.

    1. Type
    You can type your name with a script font as seen below, you can change which font to use in the Change Style dropdown: Signature Type Tool

    2. Draw
    Another option is to draw it out on the computer with a mouse or tablet (we have tablets here at the DSC available to check out, for more info click here.)
    Signature Draw Tool

    3. Image
    The last option is to write your signature on paper and take a clear well lit picture of it and add it in the Image section. Below is an example of a signature added by image. Signature Image Tool: Actual Picture Signature Image Tool: Converted Signature
  12. After you're done with your signature, click Apply. Next, re-adjust your signature. Adjusting Signature

  13. After you finished your form, save it by going to File > Save As and choose your location and file name. You are now done filling and saving your form, you can now send your PDF form off to the requester.