How to edit PDF form fields

PDFs offer many advantages in the business world. They’re an effective way to protect your content and formatting, so you can send the files to multiple parties without worrying about unapproved changes being made.

Though PDFs are ideal for contracts and other important documents, it isn’t always easy to edit them. Luckily, there are several ways you can edit PDF form fields, whether you’re completing a form yourself or you need to revise it before sending it to others to sign.

Make edits directly to your PDF forms

With a PDF editor like Adobe Acrobat, you can edit a PDF document directly. To do so, open your PDF file in Adobe Acrobat, then click on the Edit PDF tool in the toolbar on the right.

When you’re in form editing mode, you can make several types of changes to the PDF file. You can edit text, alter a field name, or add new text and fillable fields. You can also choose different fonts.

Once you’ve made the necessary edits, you can save the file as a PDF and upload it to your website, email it as an attachment, or share it as you wish.

If you don’t have Adobe Acrobat, an online editor like Smallpdf may help. With Smallpdf, you’ll need to upload your PDF form. The editor then lets you add text, shapes, and drawings. You can also make annotations for future review, and you’ll have the ability to edit the size, font, and color of any content that you add to the form.

Pro Tip

Turn your PDF into an online form to edit PDF form fields with ease.

Add a digital signature

If you need to edit a PDF because it requires a signature, you can easily do this online with a program like HelloSign. Once you’ve uploaded the PDF, HelloSign lets you add text, dates, and other important information.

HelloSign also lets you digitally sign a PDF form. You can then download the form yourself or email it to others for their signatures. This saves you from having to print, sign, and then scan in the form again, making it easy for multiple parties to sign the document.

Edit your original Word document

If you still have the original document you used to create your PDF files, you can make edits to that document without having to work directly in the PDF.

When working with your original file, you can adjust anything, including changing your formatting and your form fields and even adding new fields to your existing form.

After making any necessary edits, you can save a Word document as a PDF file. It’s always a good idea to save a copy as a Microsoft Word file for easy future edits. Then, you can create PDF files from that edited document, and you’ll always be able to easily revise that original document.

Use Jotform

The Jotform Smart PDF Forms tool makes it easy to edit and create PDF forms. With Smart PDF Forms, you can turn your hard-to-edit, non-responsive PDF forms into fillable online forms. They’re mobile-friendly and easy to complete, saving your recipients both time and energy.

Converting a form is easy. Just upload your PDF form, convert it to an HTML web form in a click, and then collect responses. You can manage those responses in a central database with Jotform Tables. In addition, you can save a copy of the completed form in the original PDF layout.

When you turn your PDF form into an online form, you’ll be able to edit that online version as needed. You can use your original form as a template and tailor it to your needs by

  • Adding new fields with an easy drag-and-drop editor
  • Rearranging your form’s layout
  • Moving and resizing fields
  • Deleting fields that you no longer need
  • Password-protecting your PDFs
  • Turning your PDF into a form that’s HIPAA-compliant

By adding and deleting form fields, you can easily customize the form to your needs.

Edit PDF form fields successfully

The best way to edit your PDF form fields will depend on your goals and the software you have. When it comes to altering the form itself, Adobe Acrobat offers versatility, but it does require a subscription. If you just need to digitally sign a form, then an online signature tool like HelloSign may be an ideal choice.

If you want optimal control over your PDF form and you anticipate needing to make frequent or significant edits in the future, Jotform’s Smart PDF Forms may be the best route. Once you’ve created an online fillable PDF form, it’s easy to edit, and you can customize the form to your needs.

This article is originally published on May 13, 2022, and updated on Oct 03, 2022.
AUTHOR
A journalist and digital consultant, John Boitnott has worked for TV, newspapers, radio, and Internet companies for 25 years. He’s written for Inc.com, Fast Company, NBC, Entrepreneur, USA Today, and Business Insider, among others.

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