Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Creating Fillable Forms using Solid Converter PDF

Given how digitized most workplaces have become, printing out a PDF form and filling it in with a pen seems odd (and time-consuming). Why did you print it out? Because someone sent you a PDF file that you cannot fill out in Adobe Reader.

This can be a pain, but it doesn't have to be. You can use Solid Converter PDF to Word to convert the PDF file into a Word DOC which may be filled in like any other DOC file.

Converting your PDF form to DOC:

Right click the PDF file and select Solid Converter PDF | Convert using Wizard.

In the window that appears, set "Layout and Formatting" to Exact and click Last | Finish.

(click image for full size)

After the PDF is converted, the converted Word DOC should appear in Microsoft Word automatically (assuming that you haven't changed this default setting).

- If your PDF file was not made from a scanned document, you should be done at this point. Click into the fields that you want to fill in and type away.

- If your PDF file was made from a scanned document, you will likely have a series of flat images in your Word DOC.

By itself, this isn't very useful. However, after adding text boxes you'll be able to fill it in easily.

- In Microsoft Word 2003 go into Tools | Options | General | Uncheck "Automatically create drawing canvas..." and click OK:

Next, go into Insert | Text Box | Click and drag where you want to draw the text box, then release.

- In Microsoft Word 2007 go into Insert | Text Box | Draw Text Box | Click and drag where you want to draw the text box, then release.

- In both Word 2003 and 2007 A text box will be created that you can fill in. Unfortunately, it isn't transparent and it has a black border.

Type some sample text into the text box ("Type your text here", for example), then right click one of the edges of the text box and select Format Text Box.

(Selecting Format Text Box in Word 2003)

In the Window that appears, go into the Colors and Lines tab. Under Fill set Color to "No Fill" ("No Color" in Word 2007) and under Line set Color to "No Line" ("No Color" in Word 2007) .

(The Format Text Box window in Word 2003)

Click OK. You text box will be transparent, excluding the sample text you entered.

Right click the edge of the text box and select Copy, press escape twice and go into Edit | Paste (Home | Paste in Word 2007). Move the text box to a field and resize it if needed.

Keep pasting and moving text boxes until you have text boxes over all of the fields in the document. After that you can fill in your document.