Troubleshooting tips for completing forms

If you’re having trouble filling in and submitting forms, check the following conditions.
Quick things to check first
- Make sure the security settings allow form filling. (See File > Properties > Security.)
- Make sure the PDF includes interactive, or fillable, form fields. Sometimes form creators forget to convert their PDFs to interactive forms, or they intentionally design a form you can only fill in by hand. If you can’t type in the form fields, then the fields are probably not interactive.
- Check for additional capabilities and restrictions in the purple document message bar, just below the tool area.
Continue reading for additional tips for Acrobat and Reader users. You can also check these topics in Acrobat help:
- Forms basics
- Completing and submitting PDF forms


Additional forms tips for Acrobat users
- If the form doesn’t have interactive form fields, open the form in Acrobat 9 (any version) and choose Forms > Add Or Edit Fields. Check if this message appears: “Currently there are no form fields on this PDF. Do you want Acrobat to detect the form fields for you?”. You can click Yes to run the Form Field Recognition tool, or use the Typewriter tool to create form fields.
- If the message “This operation is not permitted” appears when Reader users open or submit your form, check for unembedded fonts or hidden objects. Choose Files > Properties > Font to check for unembedded fonts. Choose Document > Examine Document to locate and remove content you don’t want. For more information, see http://www.acrobatusers.com/forums/aucbb/viewtopic.php?pid=35535#p35535.
- If you have checked all these conditions and still can’t fill out and submit the form, post your question on the Acrobat forum at http://www.adobeforums.com/cgi-bin/webx/.3bbeda8b/.
Additional forms tips for Reader users
- If the form doesn’t have interactive form fields, you can ask the form creator to place form fields on the document. Or, you can download a 30-day free trial of Acrobat 9 (Windows only). In Acrobat, you can use either the Typewriter tool or Form Field Recognition tool to create form fields.
- If the form creator enabled additional capabilities, then the Document Extensions panel (View > Navigation Panels > Document Extensions) is available. You can open the panel to see what else you can do with the form. For example, you might be able to save and print data, add comments, and digitally sign it.
Other functions, such as editing document content, or inserting and deleting pages, are restricted.
- If you have checked all these conditions and still can’t fill out and submit the form, post your question on the Reader forum at http://www.adobeforums.com/cgi-bin/webx/.3bbeda8a/.