Learn how to create a form from scratch using Adobe Acrobat.

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This document explains how to create a basic form from scratch in Acrobat DC. (If you are looking for information on how to create a form from an existing file, distribute a form, track form or fill and sign a form, click the appropriate link above. To explore the common questions on forms, click the Forms FAQ link.)

 

How to create a form using Adobe Acrobat

You can start with a blank PDF, add the required text and labels in the PDF, and then add form fields to complete the form.

Following are the three major steps to create a form in Acrobat:  

Step 1: Create a blank PDF

  1. To create a blank PDF, launch Acrobat and press the following key combination:

    • On Windows: Shift + Ctrl + T.
    • On Mac: Shift + Command + T.

    A blank PDF is created and opened.

  2. Save the PDF: In the upper-left corner of Acrobat window, click the Save icon, choose the location where you want to save the file, name the file, and then click Save.

Step 2: Add required text and labels in the PDF

  1. Click Edit PDF in the right pane, or click Tools > Edit PDF. The Edit PDF toolbar is displayed.

    Edit PDF toolbar
  2. To add a text label, choose the Add Text tool in the toolbar, click at the desired location in the form, and start typing the text. For example, if you want to add a title at the top of the form, click at top-center and then type the title (for example, “Vacation Request Form”). Change the size, color, and style of the typed text using the Format options displayed in the right pane.

  3. Add all the text labels one-by-one, and align them properly, so that later you can add appropriate response fields next to the labels.

    Note:

    To align all text labels together, click the Edit icon in the toolbar, select all the labels, right-click and then choose Align Objects > Left or another option as appropriate. Once the labels are selected, you can also move them in any direction using the arrow keys – up, down, left, or right.

  4. To add a logo or image in the form, choose the Add Image tool in the toolbar, select the image, click OK, and then place it at the desired location. Adjust the size or location of the image as appropriate.

  5. Once you’re done with labels and logos, click Close at the right end of the Edit PDF toolbar, and save your changes.

    Below is an example form with labels created using the Add Text and the Add Image tools.

    Adding labels and logo to the form

Step 3: Add form fields to each label

  1. Press the following key combination to start the Prepare Form tool:

    • On Windows: Shift + Ctrl + 7.
    • On Mac: Shift + Command + 7.
  2. If you see a prompt about no form fields in the PDF, click NO to confirm. The Prepare Form window is displayed with the Form toolbar on top.

    Form toolbar
  3. Add fields using the form field tools in the toolbar. Delete, resize, or arrange the fields as needed. To add a field:

    1. In the toolbar, click the tool corresponding to the field type, or right-click anywhere in the form and then choose the tool.
    2. Click at the desired location in the form to place the selected field.
    3. Set the field properties. The field properties vary based on the type of the form field.

    While you’re adding fields, click Preview to see how they look. Click Edit to come back to the editing mode.

    Considering the example of the Vacation Request Form, below screenshots show it in the editing mode and the preview mode.

    Form fields in editing mode
    Form fields in edit mode
    Form fields in preview mode
    Form fields in preview mode

  4.  Once you complete adding form fields, save the form.

    For more information about working with forms, see the list of help articles below.

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