The template used in today’s tutorial is the 30-Day Fitness Planner if you want to purchase and follow along.

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Want to make your PDF documents interactive by allowing users to enter text fields? Super – I’m going to show you in 5 minutes how to do this on ANY InDesign or PDF document.

5-Minute Lesson

1 Adobe Acrobat Pro

First, you’ll need Adobe Acrobat Pro or Nitro PDF. I believe Nitro PDF works exactly the same way but in this tutorial, we’ll be using Adobe Acrobat Pro.

 

2 Tools>> Prepare Form

Second, if you’ve already created boxes in InDesign, the auto-detection in Adobe Acrobat will usually pick that up and magically create text boxes for you. How nice is that!

But if not, you can easily add Text boxes by clicking the text box from the menu and dragging and dropping one anywhere on your document.

And that’s it. I said it was easy, right?

For more great tutorials, head over to the blog http://blog.prettyfabulousdesigns.com/

Transcript

Hi everyone. I’m Lisa from Pretty Fabulous. This week I’m going to teach you how to make a fill in the blank editable PDF document. When I say fill in the blank, we’re just going to talk about giving people the option to type text into your PDF documents that you’re providing to them.

All of the In Design templates in my shop are not fill in the blank. You must do some work on those PDF files if you want to change them. Let’s take this one, the fitness planner in In Design. We are going to make that an editable PDF. First, what you’re going to do is you’re going to make any changes you want to this In Design document. This is a perfect place you could make a fill in the blank area. There’s a couple other areas. Take some measurements, you can make these fill in the blank. You could also obviously make these fill in the blank. Let’s go ahead and do that.

The first thing you want to do is make sure that you export this into a PDF document. Over here where it says format, just make sure PDF is chosen and export that file. We’re going to go ahead and open it in Adobe Acrobat. Now this is really important if you see it says Adobe Acrobat DC, you want to make sure that you have Adobe Acrobat Pro. If you have the regular free version of Adobe Acrobat which is the reader, it will not work. You will not be able to make an editable PDF at all. You can purchase I believe Nitro PDF is another option. Again, I think Nitro PDF is so expensive, you might as well buy the Adobe Acrobat version which is simply a … I believe just another charge if you’re already paying for, In Design you’re paying $29.99 a month. Then you could upgrade to this for $49. You’d get the entire Adobe Acrobat Suite.

Let’s go through and the first thing that you want to do is over here on the right you are going to choose prepare form. Now if you do not see this over here on the right, you can simply go over here to tools and you’ll see it there. You will see prepare PDF over here. Sorry, prepare form as well. You’re going to go ahead and click open. It’s going to tell you that this document … Well, it’s going to give the option to say this requires signature. Ignore this and simply just click start.

Now, it is going to render some of those pages. Just wait, it’ll take maybe a couple seconds. There we go. What it has tried to do is it has tried to already guess which parts of your page needs signatures. This area right here, because I already had a box that I created in Adobe In Design, it thinks that it’s a text field. I know this, because it has the little t over here. That’s actually just fine with me, because it has done the work for me.

Let’s pretend that that wasn’t the case. All you’d have to do is go up here to text field, click that once. You’ll see there’s a little text box that is hovering on your mouse. You can click over here. You can drag and drop. Release it, and it’s done. You have a text box. That’s all you have to do. It’s not that difficult. It’s not that hard. I don’t know why everyone seems really confused. They want to learn how to do this. I’ve seen 60 minute tutorials on this. That’s all you have to do to create a text box.

Let’s go through the rest of our document, and see what else we have over here. I think I said there was a second area where you take measurements. We could make those text boxes as well. All right. Same thing. This has actually already gone through. If you go over here on the right, you can see the fields. It’s created text fields for me, so it’s not a big deal.

I will say this if you’re making a new text field, do not, I repeat this, do not copy and paste. Don’t go here and hit control c, and then try to go over here and hit control v. What’s going to happen when they start typing their text, when they put information in here, the document will believe that these two are the same exact thing. It will fill this out in both places with whatever text they put in. This is only useful if you are filling out say I think an I-9 form or something else where your name needs to appear in two different places. You want to help people where they don’t have to type their name in twice. Do not copy and paste any of these boxes. It will not work. I promise it will be an issue.

This is already taken all of this. This is actually really nice. That is something that is going to be super helpful for you and again if they don’t have these in here already, all you have to do is go to text field and drop it in here at the bottom. All right.

Let’s go ahead and all you have to do is let’s close this out. Now, our document is an editable PDF. How do I know this. I can simply test it. I’ll put my mouse here. This is my entered text. That means that it worked. Now I can enter text, or the people that you sell your planners to can enter text. You can do this with any document that you want that does not come editable. You want to just add your own flair or some of your own branding, or whatever you want.

This is the easiest way to do it. I’m not sure what they’re teaching in those one hour lessons on how to create an editable PDF. I promise this will work, and it’s going to be a perfect solution for you. Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below. Otherwise, I will see you guys next week.