I came across three forms tips in the Adobe Acrobat User Community Newsletter. These tips are designed to increase your productivity when signing or creating forms.
Tip 1: Create a signature stamp to sign PDF forms
A scan of your signature converted to an Acrobat stamp makes it fast and easy to sign forms without printing them. From the Comment task pane, open Annotations. Select Custom Stamps from the Stamp icon pulldown. Select Custom Stamps >Create Custom Stamps. Import a gif of your scanned signature. Now place the stamp whenever you need to sign. It will be accepted almost anywhere that you could use a real-world signature stamp. Here’s a video that shows you how: Create a signature stamp to sign PDF forms.
Tip 2: Edit form fields without using the Form Editing Mode
Once you’ve created your form and are back in Viewer Mode, you may want to make more changes. Rather than go back into Form Editing Mode, simply activate the Select Object mode. All form fields are instantly highlighted. Right-clicking a field brings up a menu with the same option as in the Form Editing Mode. Click the hand tool to return to normal browse mode. Here’s a video that shows you how: Editing form fields in a PDF Document.
Tip 3: Change tabbing order of a form
To change the tabbing order of a form, click the Tools task pane and open the Forms panel. Click Edit and open the Fields panel. This shows all of the form fields in the document. The tab order is the order of the fields as listed. To change the tab order, simply drag and drop a field name to a different location. Here’s a video that shows you how: Getting Started: Creating Simple Forms (starting at 00.48 seconds on the timeline).
A lot of people seem to be having trouble filling in forms. Does this illustration help you identify which type of form you have? (Click the illustration to see it full size). Basically, if you can’t type in the fields, and you don’t see the Typewriter tool, all you can do is save or print the form. If you have suggestions for improving the illustration, please leave a comment.
See the full Help topic here:
Acrobat X: Fill in forms
Acrobat 9: Fill in forms
Reader X: Fill in forms
Users continue to ask interesting questions about creating, completing, and submitting forms in Acrobat and Reader. I’ve tried to address most of those questions in the troubleshooting tips in this help topic: “Completing and submitting PDF forms”.
Here are some additional forms tips, gleaned from user comments on help pages.
- If you do not see a Submit button in the body of the form, look for it in the purple document message bar, just below the toolbar in Acrobat and Reader. Acrobat automatically creates this button if the form author did not add one.
- If you received a form in e-mail and have trouble submitting it in Microsoft Outlook, try clicking the Send button. This may help, depending on which version you’re using and how the application is set up.
- The information you type into a field can extend beyond the visible space provided. The additional information is available when you click the + sign, but it does not print. You might be able to decrease the font size to display the entire contents of the field.
- You cannot edit a PDF form if you have the free Adobe Reader. You need at least Acrobat Standard to edit PDFs.
Do you have other forms tips?
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