How to Convert a Word Document to a Fillable PDF Form

By Steve McDonnell

Adobe Acrobat Pro enables you to automatically create a fillable form from any PDF file. You can convert a Word document to a PDF using either Word or Acrobat.

Things You'll Need

  • Adobe Acrobat
  • Adobe Designer

It's easy to convert a Word document to a PDF, either in Word or in Adobe Acrobat Pro. Once converted, you can automatically create a writable form with the Form features in Acrobat and then modify the form as necessary.

Step 1

After you launch Word, select Open, navigate to the location where your Word document is stored, select the file and choose Open.

Step 2

Convert to PDF.

When the document opens, select File and then choose Export. Select Create Adobe PDF from the menu, choose the Create Adobe PDF button, type a file name for the converted file and choose Save.

Step 3

Create form.

Launch Adobe Acrobat Pro to open the PDF document and create a form from it. Choose File. Select Create and then Create Form.

Step 4

Choose the converted document.

Choose Select a file, navigate to the location where you stored the converted Word document, select the file and choose Open. Leave the form field auto detection set to On and choose Start to create the form from your converted Word document.

Tip

You can convert the Word document and create the PDF form in a single step using Acrobat Pro. Choose Create Form, Select a file, change the file selection type to All Files (.) and select your Word document. Acrobat converts the Word document to a PDF and creates a form from the converted document without your having to launch Word; however Word must be installed on your computer.

Step 5

Edit form.

Review the form that Acrobat Pro automatically created and modify it as necessary. Use the editing icons next to Prepare Form to add new writable fields to the document, use the formatting buttons at the top of the right column to align your labels and data fields; you can also modify the names of the data fields assigned to the writable values if you want them to be different. Choose the blue Preview button on the Prepare Form line to preview a copy of the form.

Step 6

Add text field.

For example, to add a field that wasn't converted from Word, such as the Comments field, choose the button to add a new text field, position the field on your form, use the handles on the bounding box to size the field and type a name for the new field.

Step 7

Save document.

Click the Save button at the top of the screen to save your changes.

Tip

If you don't have a license for Adobe Acrobat DC or Adobe Acrobat Pro, there are some less expensive alternatives that enable you to edit PDF files by editing in the cloud or installing software on your desktop.