By Scott Trudeau


November 17, 2008

If you haven’t had the opportunity to sign up for a FREE account I suggest you do so in the near future.  You get a handful of some really fantastic tools which include Buzzword,  Adobe Connect Now, a PDF tool, and some online storage space.  Buzzword is the perfect application for laying out a document that will eventually be turned into a PDF interactive form in Acrobat 9.

Acrobat 9 is Adobe’s newest PDF publication tool and the Adobe “wizards” have made it easier than ever to turn a simple document into an interactive PDF.  In this tutorial I’ll demonstrate how to:

  • layout a form using Adobe’s free Buzzword service (really cool)
  • export the file to PDF
  • convert the PDF to a digital form using Acrobat 9’s “Form Field Wizard”
  • configure the fields to calculate form data

Scott Trudeau


  • By Carol Spear - 10:57 PM on December 2, 2010  

    do you know how to calculate using military time in forms.

  • By Teresa - 12:26 AM on April 13, 2011  

    how to skip a field that has been calculated automatically?

  • By Staci Cer - 4:32 AM on April 21, 2011  

    This is brilliant! Thank you for showing these options, I never knew of them. I’m having a heck of a time trying to subtract. I read about having to use javascript and did the simple Field1 – Field2 and the field names are spelled correct and the spacing is also correct. I still can’t make it work :(. If anybody has suggestions, I am open! 🙂 Thank you!

  • By Rob - 1:17 PM on August 1, 2012  

    Hi Scott,

    Can you tell me what the custom calculation script would be to subtract one time field (HH:MM) from another time field (HH:MM)? I also need to work this form to calculate time for a rolling day. For instance, if I depart someplace at 23:12 & arrive at 02:15 the following day, I need the form to calculate the travel time.


  • By How can I calculate a field by .555 ? - 4:25 PM on August 21, 2012  

    I would like to have one field equal another multiplied by .555. I am looking at properties and calcs but stuck after that. Can you help?

  • By Rex - 9:02 AM on September 25, 2012  

    G’day Scott,

    I’m hoping you may have the answer to my search. I am trying to find a way for Adobe PDF to count the number of fields ‘completed’. They are check boxes on a large table and i want to count the completed checked boxes in a row and in a group and then calculate stats from the SUM. I just need to be able to count how many fields in a row have been ckecked.
    I can’t find a COUNT function and I thought you may have a way of working that out.

  • By Bob - 1:18 AM on October 16, 2012  

    Great tutorial. I have managed to get as far as you had in your tutorial except that the formulas did not calculate! Also, my formula is slightly more complex – Qty1 * 2.5+70. In my Excel spreadsheet, I used the IF function so a blank cell will remain that way. I also am looking for a way to take a date in one field, add a number of days and have the result be a date (in this case an expiration). Can that be done?

    Many thanks for the great tutorial

  • By Bob - 10:57 PM on October 16, 2012  

    I have an Excel form that I use often. I would like to make it a PDF. I did the conversion and all is well with the text fields. The problem is with two sections: a fee calculation which works like this: “X” sqFt * $2.50 plus $70. I have searched and searched to find a formula but the best I can do will actually make the calculation, but leaves $70 in the results field even if the quantity field is blank or zero. The calculation is pretty simple but the “plus $70” seems to throw it off somehow.

    The second problem is that the form is issued with an expiration date. So, we have a date field, a days field and an expiration date field. The permit is issued on a date, for a certain number of days and thus expires on the expiration date. Works fine in Excel but I cannot make it work using Javascript. Can anyone help me?

  • By Jennifer Medich - 6:26 PM on January 11, 2013  

    Adobe wont let me select cells I need calculated. I can select all or non. What am I missing??

    • By Shar Caulley - 5:07 PM on January 18, 2013  

      I am having the same problem as Jennifer Medich…cannot select more than one field for a calculation. Thanks for the help!

  • By Judy - 9:20 PM on January 14, 2013  

    I have a master time calendar for our unit. I would like the information entered, along with the formatting, to drop into an employee master calendar. I can’t seem to find out how to do that.