About PDF forms

Power PDF supports the following actions:

  • Filling in active PDF forms, including those with XFA components

  • Importing form data into unfilled active forms and exporting data from filled forms

  • Preparing forms using auto-detection (Form Typer) and manual form control editing.

Use the product to fill active PDF forms that contain standard PDF form elements including buttons, text fields, check-boxes, radio buttons, drop-down lists and more. Form field calculations also function for forms with such calculations in them.

Form Typer – making existing PDF forms fillable

Since PDF is ideal for making documents universally viewable online, it is common to find PDF files that contain 'forms’. However, due to the complexity associated with designing fillable PDF forms, most PDF forms are static, having the visual appearance of forms but lacking electronically fillable form fields. Power PDF overcomes this limitation with Form Typer, a unique technology that “discovers” where fields and checkboxes are located on a static PDF form, and overlaying the appropriate fields onto the form. With Form Typer the original appearance of the form is preserved, with invisible fields overlaid on top. Retaining the visual appearance of the original is important, especially for forms used in government or legal transactions.

Nearly any form can be processed using Form Typer, including paper forms scanned to image PDF and forms designed in Microsoft Word or Corel WordPerfect that are saved to PDF (using PDF Create or another PDF creation application).

Manually Adding Form Elements

Power PDF allows you to overlay text, check box, radio buttons and digital signature fields onto an existing PDF. You can move, resize and delete these by selecting them when the appropriate form element is active in the Forms drop-down list. For example, when the Text Field selection is active, you will see all Text Fields that are overlaid onto the PDF. Click to see a full list of available form elements. When you open a PDF containing active form fields you are warned of this.

Signature fields

You can explicitly add a signature field to a form that can be later filled with a signature coming from a Certification Authority. Whenever you add a signature to a document it is placed into a form field. When you open such a document you are warned that it contains a signature.

Scanning Paper Forms

Use the Form Typer feature to turn paper forms into fillable PDF forms. Use your favorite scanning application, such as PaperPort or OmniPage, with your scanning device to create a scanned PDF of the form. Open the PDF using Power PDF, and run Form Typer.

Forms from Word Processing and Desktop Publishing

Most forms are designed using word processing and desktop publishing products. To convert these to fillable PDF forms, first save them to PDF from the original application (Microsoft Word, etc.) Then open the PDF file using Power PDF and run Form Typer.

See Filling Forms and Preparing Forms for Distribution for a set of typical form handling scenarios.