Create Fillable PDF Forms

A Step-by-Step Guide

Access to and engagement with information is an ongoing struggle. And it’s here that the fillable PDF form comes in handy as an incredible tool for document efficiency.

If you've ever received a boring PDF and wished for a more engaging experience, you're not alone! In this article, we will show you how to create fillable PDF forms, to make data collection easier.

What is a Fillable PDF?

Fillable PDFs, also known as interactive PDF files, go beyond the static nature of traditional PDFs. It allows users to add information directly into the document, transforming it into an interactive and dynamic form.
This functionality facilitates data collection, surveys, and other applications where user input is essential.

What is the Difference Between Fillable Forms and PDF Documents?

Regular PDF documents are akin to digital snapshots – static representations frozen in time. They accurately reflect the information they contain but lack the engagement of an interactive fillable PDF form.

The defining feature of fillable forms is their ability to capture user input. Whether it’s entering text, selecting options from dropdown menus, or ticking checkboxes - these forms empower users to contribute information directly.

How to Create Fillable PDF Forms?

  1. Choose the Right Solution: Selecting the appropriate solution is the first crucial step. Providers like RSign offer robust features for creating fillable PDFs.
  2. Design the Form Structure: Plan the layout of your form with text fields, signature fields, checkboxes, and dropdown menus to ensure a user-friendly and intuitive form. 
  3. Add Form Fields: Make it convenient to create forms via drag-and-drop features. Insert the necessary form fields and label each to guide users to provide accurate information. Some typical fields include name, date, address, and more.
  4. Set Field Properties: Customize the properties of each form field. Define the type of input allowed, set character limits, and establish validation rules to ensure data accuracy. You can even set dependencies within fields, such as asking for a spouse's name only if the recipient selects the "married" option.
  5. Test the Form: Before finalizing your fillable PDF, conduct thorough testing. Verify that each field functions as intended and that the form is easily navigable. Testing helps identify and rectify any potential user experience issues.

Save and Distribute Your Fillable PDF Form

Once your form is ready, save it and choose a distribution method. You can email the form, upload it to a website, or share it through cloud services.
Services like RForms by RSign have enabled users to create and distribute fillable PDF forms on demand.

How Do I Convert an Existing PDF into a Fillable Form?

Repurposing existing PDFs into fillable forms is a practical approach, saving time and effort. Follow these steps to convert a regular PDF into an interactive, fillable document.

  1. Use Online Conversion Tools: Numerous online tools specialize in converting PDFs into fillable forms. RSign offers user-friendly interfaces for a smooth conversion process by adding tags within the document so that when you upload to the platform, the tool automatically places the appropriate input fields in place for you. 
  2. Import into Platform: Alternatively, import your existing PDF into form-creation tools. These programs often feature conversion functionalities that recognize form fields and convert them into interactive elements.
  3. Adjust Form Fields: Review and adjust form fields as needed. Ensure the conversion of all elements into their fillable formats. Lastly, add more fields if required before sharing.


Q: Can I create a fillable PDF form for free?

Yes, free tools are available online to create fillable PDF forms. Many robust tools and services offer a free trial, so you can experiment before the purchase.

Q: Are fillable PDF forms secure?

Yes, when properly created, fillable PDF forms can be secure. However, use reliable software and consider encryption for sensitive data.

Some tools send your forms encrypted without involving (installing) any other third-party encryption service. You can choose the level of encryption within the platform without switching interfaces.

Q: Can I convert a scanned document into a fillable PDF?

With OCR (Optical Character Recognition) technology, you can convert scanned documents into fillable PDF forms, though additional manual adjustments may be necessary.