From Text to Interaction: How to Make a Fillable PDF in Word


No matter the industry you are working in, dealing with multiple Word documents is unavoidable. One obstacle we encounter during work is fillable forms. These forms are important for user interaction, where they can fill out the required info on their PCs. So, creating them in a Word processor would make our lives at work manageable.

What if you do not know how to make a fillable PDF in Word? It would be unpleasant. But you can still change the situation with these effective methods mentioned in this article. Read on to learn how to create fillable PDFs in Word.


Part 1. Why Make a PDF Document Fillable

Creating a fillable PDF may seem contradictory, but with the right tool, it's likely to be a smooth process. Making a PDF fillable offers numerous advantages in various contexts. Below are reasons you may want to create a fillable PDF form:

Universal compatibility: PDF formats are compatible with all platforms and always appear correctly on any device. Creating fillable PDF forms will let you share PDFs with their original formatting retained.

Security: PDF files can't be edited easily without a professional editor. When you make a PDF fillable, you will allow only specific places to be filled in. This makes it more secure than Word documents.

Collaboration: If multiple collaborators are working on the document, and you want to gather input or feedback directly within the file, then creating a fillable PDF file will come in handy. They can fill out the form fields directly within the document, which will streamline the process efficiently.

Part 2. How to Create a Fillable PDF in Word

If your computer has Microsoft Word, you can easily open a PDF document in Word, then insert some form controls to your file and make it fillable. However, you must save the fillable file as Word. But exporting it as a PDF will remove the form fields. In addition, elements in the PDF document will be lost if you open it in Word. So, if your file has complex formatting, this option isn't the best. It will only be effective for personal, non-complex files.

However, before you create forms, you should add Developer options to access advanced properties in the toolbar menu.

Here are steps to show Developer options on Windows:

Step 1. Tap the "File" button, then choose the "Options" tab from the navigation toolbar. You'll see the "Word Option" window appearing.

show developer options on windows

Step 2. Choose "Customize Ribbon" from the navigation menu on the left and, check the "Developer" option, then hit "OK". You'll see the Developer option on the toolbar menu.

Steps to show Developer options on a Mac:

Step 1. Tap on the "Word" option from the toolbar at the top, then choose "Preferences".

Step 2. You'll see the "Word Preferences" window, tap on "Ribbon & Toolbar" and check the "Developer" option at the right section of your window, then press "Save".

tap on ribbon and toolbar

After that, you can now create a fillable PDF in Word by following the steps below:

Step 1. Open your PDF document in Word, then confirm by tapping "OK" when it shows you may lose formatting. Adjust the document formatting with Word options.

Step 2. Click on the "Developer" button from the ribbon and press "Design Mode". Then use content control icons to insert the fillable fields.

how to make a fillable pdf in word

Step 3. Tap "Design Mode" again to switch it off. Now save the document in Word.

Read More:

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On-the-Go Solution: Word to PDF Converter Offline for Quick Conversions

Part 3. How to Make a PDF Document Fillable with a Professional Tool

One top-notch PDF editor that boasts exceptional features such as editing, annotating, converting PDFs, and adding signatures is PDFelement. It's an all-in-one tool that offers all solutions you want to handle PDFs like a pro. With it, you can create fillable PDFs from scratch without worries.

PDFelement offers tools to detect and add fillable forms filed in PDF documents. Also, it empowers users with other abilities to work on their PDF documents. You can edit the text and images in the document.

This is one of the leading PDF converters that lets you convert documents to and from PDF to Word and other formats easily. With this tool, you can add text boxes, checkboxes, and more.

PDFelement main features:

  • Make PDF documents fillable effortlessly.
  • Let users edit PDFs conveniently by adding shapes, text, images, etc.
  • Work efficiently and faster.
  • User-friendly interface.
  • Allow editing of PDF.

Below are steps to make your PDF document fillable easily:

01First, download the PDFelement on your PC and install it. Now run it to open up the primary interface.

02Upload your PDF document in the tool by clicking the "Plus (+)" button and opening it.

upload pdf document

03Head to the "Form" tab, where you'll find tools like the "Add Text", "Add Checkbox", and more to create a fillable PDF form. Use these tools to add fields and boxes to your PDF file.

create a fillable pdf form

04After adding the form fields, tick the "Preview" button at the top right to fill in the form. When done, tap the "Save" button to save your file or press "File" > "Share" to share the file to the cloud.

how to create a fillable pdf in word

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Part 4. How to Make a Fillable PDF in Word

You can easily create PDF fillable from a Word document, and it is possible both offline and online. Here are different ways to do that:

4.1 How to Create a Fillable PDF in Word by Adobe Acrobat

To easily convert a Word file to a fillable PDF, you require PDF features such as create PDF, fill, edit, etc. Adobe has all these tools readily available for users. While loading Word Doc to Acrobat, it'll convert to a PDF, and with the Prepare Form feature, you can automatically detect those fillable fields & form fields. You may easily add, move up, delete, and do more to the fillable fields. Below are the steps to use Adobe Acrobat to make a PDF fillable:

Step 1. Install Adobe Acrobat Pro and run it. Go to the "Tools" option and "Create PDF".

the tools option of adobe acrobat pro

Step 2. Choose the Word document you wish to convert to a fillable PDF, then press the "Create" tab.

Step 3. Click on "Tools" and choose "Forms & Signatures" then "Prepare Form".

how to make a pdf document fillable

Step 4. Choose the PDF file you create from the Word document, then hit "Start". Adobe will detect all the fillable fields as well as add form fields.

Step 5. Click the "Save" icon to save your fillable PDF.

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4.2 How to Make a PDF Document Fillable via DocFly

This is a free-to-use online tool that can convert and edit PDF files. With the Form Creator in the edit module, you can add text, paragraphs, fields, etc. But you can only download 3 PDF files for free. Check the steps on how to change a Word Doc to a fillable PDF:

Step 1. Head to the Docfly website in the web browser and drag and then drop the Word document you wish to convert to a fillable PDF.

Step 2. Choose Word document, then press on the three-dot menu at the top right section. Next, select "Convert to PDF".

select convert to pdf

Step 3. Tap on the file you converted, then press "Edit" and choose "PDF Form Creator" and "Text Field", then add the fillable fields.

create fillable pdf with word

Step 4. Hit on the "Export" and "Download" buttons to save the form to the file on your device.

See Also:

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How to Save a Word Document as a PDF on Windows & Mac Systems

To Sum Up

That's it. Creating a fillable PDF in Word is an easy process. You just have to know the correct steps to take. To successfully make a PDF form fillable in Word, you should enable the Developer option, and everything else will follow. The easiest way to make a PDF fillable while retaining formatting and the document layout is to use PDFelement. It is a powerful tool with all the tools in one place to handle all your PDF woes without a problem.

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