User Guide Cancel

Create a form from scratch in Acrobat

  1. Acrobat User Guide
  2. Introduction to Acrobat
    1. Access Acrobat from desktop, mobile, web
    2. What's new in Acrobat
    3. Keyboard shortcuts
    4. System Requirements
  3. Workspace
    1. Workspace basics
    2. Opening and viewing PDFs
      1. Opening PDFs
      2. Navigating PDF pages
      3. Viewing PDF preferences
      4. Adjusting PDF views
      5. Enable thumbnail preview of PDFs
      6. Display PDF in browser
    3. Working with online storage accounts
      1. Access files from Box
      2. Access files from Dropbox
      3. Access files from OneDrive
      4. Access files from SharePoint
      5. Access files from Google Drive
    4. Acrobat and macOS
    5. Acrobat notifications
    6. Grids, guides, and measurements in PDFs
    7. Asian, Cyrillic, and right-to-left text in PDFs
  4. Creating PDFs
    1. Overview of PDF creation
    2. Create PDFs with Acrobat
    3. Create PDFs with PDFMaker
    4. Using the Adobe PDF printer
    5. Converting web pages to PDF
    6. Creating PDFs with Acrobat Distiller
    7. Adobe PDF conversion settings
    8. PDF fonts
  5. Editing PDFs
    1. Edit text in PDFs
    2. Edit images or objects in a PDF
    3. Rotate, move, delete, and renumber PDF pages
    4. Edit scanned PDFs
    5. Enhance document photos captured using a mobile camera
    6. Optimizing PDFs
    7. PDF properties and metadata
    8. Links and attachments in PDFs
    9. PDF layers
    10. Page thumbnails and bookmarks in PDFs
    11. Action Wizard (Acrobat Pro)
    12. PDFs converted to web pages
    13. Setting up PDFs for a presentation
    14. PDF articles
    15. Geospatial PDFs
    16. Applying actions and scripts to PDFs
    17. Change the default font for adding text
    18. Delete pages from a PDF
  6. Scan and OCR
    1. Scan documents to PDF
    2. Enhance document photos
    3. Troubleshoot scanner issues when scanning using Acrobat
  7. Forms
    1. PDF forms basics
    2. Create a form from scratch in Acrobat
    3. Create and distribute PDF forms
    4. Fill in PDF forms
    5. PDF form field properties
    6. Fill and sign PDF forms
    7. Setting action buttons in PDF forms
    8. Publishing interactive PDF web forms
    9. PDF form field basics
    10. PDF barcode form fields
    11. Collect and manage PDF form data
    12. About forms tracker
    13. PDF forms help
    14. Send PDF forms to recipients using email or an internal server
  8. Combining files
    1. Combine or merge files into single PDF
    2. Rotate, move, delete, and renumber PDF pages
    3. Add headers, footers, and Bates numbering to PDFs
    4. Crop PDF pages
    5. Add watermarks to PDFs
    6. Add backgrounds to PDFs
    7. Working with component files in a PDF Portfolio
    8. Publish and share PDF Portfolios
    9. Overview of PDF Portfolios
    10. Create and customize PDF Portfolios
  9. Sharing, reviews, and commenting
    1. Share and track PDFs online
    2. Mark up text with edits
    3. Preparing for a PDF review
    4. Starting a PDF review
    5. Hosting shared reviews on SharePoint or Office 365 sites
    6. Participating in a PDF review
    7. Add comments to PDFs
    8. Adding a stamp to a PDF
    9. Approval workflows
    10. Managing comments | view, reply, print
    11. Importing and exporting comments
    12. Tracking and managing PDF reviews
  10. Saving and exporting PDFs
    1. Saving PDFs
    2. Convert PDF to Word
    3. Convert PDF to JPG
    4. Convert or export PDFs to other file formats
    5. File format options for PDF export
    6. Reusing PDF content
  11. Security
    1. Enhanced security setting for PDFs
    2. Securing PDFs with passwords
    3. Manage Digital IDs
    4. Securing PDFs with certificates
    5. Opening secured PDFs
    6. Removing sensitive content from PDFs
    7. Setting up security policies for PDFs
    8. Choosing a security method for PDFs
    9. Security warnings when a PDF opens
    10. Securing PDFs with Adobe Experience Manager
    11. Protected View feature for PDFs
    12. Overview of security in Acrobat and PDFs
    13. JavaScripts in PDFs as a security risk
    14. Attachments as security risks
    15. Allow or block links in PDFs
  12. Electronic signatures
    1. Sign PDF documents
    2. Capture your signature on mobile and use it everywhere
    3. Send documents for e-signatures
    4. About certificate signatures
    5. Certificate-based signatures
    6. Validating digital signatures
    7. Adobe Approved Trust List
    8. Manage trusted identities
  13. Printing
    1. Basic PDF printing tasks
    2. Print Booklets and PDF Portfolios
    3. Advanced PDF print settings
    4. Print to PDF
    5. Printing color PDFs (Acrobat Pro)
    6. Printing PDFs in custom sizes
  14. Accessibility, tags, and reflow
    1. Create and verify PDF accessibility
    2. Accessibility features in PDFs
    3. Reading Order tool for PDFs
    4. Reading PDFs with reflow and accessibility features
    5. Edit document structure with the Content and Tags panels
    6. Creating accessible PDFs
  15. Searching and indexing
    1. Creating PDF indexes
    2. Searching PDFs
  16. Multimedia and 3D models
    1. Add audio, video, and interactive objects to PDFs
    2. Adding 3D models to PDFs (Acrobat Pro)
    3. Displaying 3D models in PDFs
    4. Interacting with 3D models
    5. Measuring 3D objects in PDFs
    6. Setting 3D views in PDFs
    7. Enable 3D content in PDF
    8. Adding multimedia to PDFs
    9. Commenting on 3D designs in PDFs
    10. Playing video, audio, and multimedia formats in PDFs
    11. Add comments to videos
  17. Print production tools (Acrobat Pro)
    1. Print production tools overview
    2. Printer marks and hairlines
    3. Previewing output
    4. Transparency flattening
    5. Color conversion and ink management
    6. Trapping color
  18. Preflight (Acrobat Pro)
    1. PDF/X-, PDF/A-, and PDF/E-compliant files
    2. Preflight profiles
    3. Advanced preflight inspections
    4. Preflight reports
    5. Viewing preflight results, objects, and resources
    6. Output intents in PDFs
    7. Correcting problem areas with the Preflight tool
    8. Automating document analysis with droplets or preflight actions
    9. Analyzing documents with the Preflight tool
    10. Additional checks in the Preflight tool
    11. Preflight libraries
    12. Preflight variables
  19. Color management
    1. Keeping colors consistent
    2. Color settings
    3. Color-managing documents
    4. Working with color profiles
    5. Understanding color management

This document explains how to create a basic form from scratch in Acrobat DC. (For more information on PDF forms, click the appropriate link above.)

 

How to create a form from scratch

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.

  1. In Acrobat, choose Tools > Prepare Form.

  2. Choose Create New, and click Start.

    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.

    Create a form from scratch

    Note:

    If you don't see the Create New option, update your Acrobat. To automatically update from Acrobat, choose Help > Check for updates, and then follow the instructions in the Updater window to complete the update process.

  3. Click Add Text in the toolbar, and type wherever you want to add text or any other information in your form.

    Add text

  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.

    Add image

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

    Adding labels and logo to the form

  5. To change existing text or images, click Edit in the toolbar. All the text and image fields are enabled for editing.  

    Use the Edit tool to change existing text or images

  6. 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

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

    For more information on form fields and how to set their properties, see the next section.

How to add form fields, action buttons, calculations, data & time, or a submit button in your form

  • What are the different form fields I can use in a PDF form?
    You can use text boxes, drop-down lists, radio buttons, check-boxes, list boxes, and more. Set the form field properties like text resizing, date fields, calculations, or trigger custom scripts, to define fields' behavior. Learn more.
  • How do I add a clear form or reset form button to my form?
    A clear or reset form button clears any data a user has already entered in the form. You can also set up the reset button so that it clears only specific fields. Learn more.
  • How do I add a submit button to my form?
    When you distribute a form, Acrobat automatically checks the form. If it doesn’t find a submit button, it adds a Submit Form button to the document message bar. Users can click the Submit Form button to send completed forms back to you. Learn more.
  • Can I add action buttons in a PDF form?
    Yes, you can add action buttons in a form to open a file, play a sound or movie clip, submit data to a web server, and much more. Learn more.
  • How do I change the size of the form fields?
    To resize the field manually, drag the border handle. You can also resize the form field by one pixel or to a specific dimension. Learn more.
  • How do I move fields in a PDF form?
    You can move form fields by simply dragging them. Learn more.
  • Why is the form's data getting copied when one field is filled?
    If you copy form fields and paste them into the same form, the fields share the same name and properties of the copied cell. To resolve this, double-click the field to open the Properties window. In the General tab, change the name of the field. Repeat this step for all the copied fields. Learn more.
    Join the discussion on Adobe Forums .
PDF form fields

  • How do I use basic calculations in a PDF form?
    The calculations like sum, product, average, minimum and maximum can be done using the predefined calculations. Learn more.
  • How to add a tooltip to a form field?
    Double-click a selected form field to open the Properties window. In the General tab, type a description into the tooltip box. Learn more.
  • How to create a flowable text field?
    Double-click a selected text field to open the Properties window. In then the Options tab, select Multi-Line and Scroll Long Text. Learn more.
  • How to make a field required or not required?
    Double-click a selected form field to open the Properties window. In the General tab, to make the field required, select Required. To make the field optional, deselect Required. Learn more.

  • How to make a field read-only?
    Double-click a selected form field to open the Properties window. In the General tab, select Read Only. Learn more.
  • How do I add a barcode form field?
    In Acrobat, choose Tools > Prepare Form. Click the Barcode icon () in the toolbar and place it on your form. Learn more.
  • How do I add a date and time field?
    While you are preparing the form in Acrobat DC, click the Date field icon in the toolbar, and then click the location in the document where you want to place the field. Learn more.
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