How to fill out forms in a PDF

Filling out forms in a PDF is a common task, especially when dealing with digital documents that require user input. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to fill out forms in a PDF using Adobe Acrobat Reader, which is a free and widely used PDF reader:

Step 1: Open the PDF Form

  1. Launch Adobe Acrobat Reader if you have it installed on your computer. If you don’t have it, you can download it for free from the Adobe website (
  2. Open the PDF form that you want to fill out by clicking on “File” and then “Open,” then navigate to the location of the PDF file on your computer.

Step 2: Activate the Form Filling Tool

  1. Once the PDF form is open, you should see form fields, such as text boxes, checkboxes, radio buttons, and dropdown menus. These fields are designed for user input.
  2. If the form fields are not automatically interactive, you may need to activate the form-filling mode. Click on the “Fill & Sign” tool in the right-hand pane (or “Tools” > “Fill & Sign”).

Step 3: Fill Out the Form Fields

  1. Use your cursor to click inside a form field. A blinking cursor or highlight will appear, indicating that the field is active.
  2. Enter the requested information in the text box or select options from dropdown menus, radio buttons, or checkboxes.
  3. Continue to click on and fill out each form field as needed. Use the “Tab” key to navigate between fields quickly.

Step 4: Save Your Changes

  1. After filling out all the required fields, save your changes. Click “File” > “Save” or “Save As” to save the filled-out PDF to your computer.

Step 5: Review and Print

  1. Carefully review the filled-out form to ensure all information is accurate and complete.
  2. If you need a hard copy, you can print the filled-out PDF by clicking “File” > “Print” and selecting your printer.

Step 6: Email or Share the Form (Optional)

  1. If the form requires submission via email or online, save the filled-out PDF, and then attach it to an email or upload it to the appropriate website or platform.

Additional Tips:

  • Some PDF forms may have digital signature fields. If you need to sign a form digitally, Adobe Acrobat Reader allows you to create a digital signature.
  • If you make a mistake while filling out the form, you can usually delete or edit the text within a form field by clicking on it and making the necessary changes.
  • Be cautious when saving or sharing filled-out forms, especially if they contain sensitive information. Always use secure and trusted methods for transmission.

Please note that not all PDF forms are interactive, and some may need to be printed and filled out by hand. Additionally, other PDF viewers may have different tools and features for filling out forms, so the above instructions are specific to Adobe Acrobat Reader.