How to make any download a smart, fillable PDF worksheet

How to make any download a smart, fillable PDF worksheet

You’ve found a great PDF worksheet online, and bonus, it’s free. Woo-hoo! You hit download and get ready to start typing your content into the form. It’s going to be great, this is exactly what you need. It’s also less paper clutter, and more organised, searchable files to keep your research on track.

Download finished, your fingers are on the keyboard and you’re ready to type. Except you can’t. In reality, that PDF worksheet doesn’t have fillable fields. Therefore, no typing. Agggh! Now you’ll need to find another solution after all.

The struggle is real.

What if there was another option? If there was no need to find a workaround or print out pages if you don’t want to. Instead, use a nifty tool in Acrobat Reader to turn your download into a fillable PDF worksheet.

You can find out how with a quick demonstration in the video below.

Fillable PDF worksheet tutorial

Fillable PDF worksheet vs non-fillable

You’ll be able to tell at once if your PDF worksheet has been set up with fillable fields or not. The example below shows two worksheets, one with purple shading over the lines while the other has none. The purple shading represents fillable fields. So when comparing the two worksheets we can see that the one of the left is fillable, and the other is not.

PDF worksheet with fillable fields next one without no fillable fields
LEFT: Worksheet with fillable fields (shown in purple), RIGHT: Worksheet without fillable fields

Want to grab a copy of the All-In-One Genealogy Worksheet? Click here!

Acrobat Reader vs Acrobat Pro

There are two versions of Adobe Acrobat. There is the Pro version which has #allthefeatures, and the Reader which is free forever. While Acrobat Reader has limited features, it has everything you need to turn your PDF worksheet into a fillable form.

Screenshot of the Acrobat Reader website
Screenshot of the Acrobat Reader website

Click here to visit the website to download the Adobe Acrobat Reader DC

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