How to create an editable PDF template

Knowing how to create an editable PDF template often seems like something of a dark art. 

Yes, Portable Document Format (PDF) is ideal for sharing documents in their original form, free from formatting issues. But editing them can often feel like a nightmare. 

Don’t worry. We’re going to show you the steps and tips to create an editable PDF template with ease. 

What is an editable PDF?

Typically, PDFs are read-only documents. An editable PDF is a digital document that allows users to add, modify, or delete text, images, or other elements. 

Editable PDFs allow users to make changes directly within the file using special editor software.

Why use editable PDFs?

There are many use cases for editable PDFs in today’s world.

They’re widely used in business, education, government, and other sectors where users need to share, review, and update digital documents.

Editable PDFs enhance the productivity of your team and streamline your workflows, even when team members or customers are distributed across the globe.

By replacing paper contracts and documents with easily customizable forms, you can get them filled out and signed from anywhere, instantly.

By saving filled forms digitally, you can securely store and easily share data via email, keeping everything in one accessible location. 

With PDF editor tools, such as drag-and-drop text fields, font and formatting changes, and template options, PDFs can be customized to suit your needs on both Mac and PC platforms.

Some other reasons to use editable PDFs include:

  • Making corrections 
  • Creating presentations
  • Revising content in a received PDF
  • Leaving notes, comments, or annotations
  • Adding page numbers to long documents
  • Changing values, numbers, and data in tables or spreadsheets
  • Blocking out or deleting text in a sensitive document
  • Completing forms
  • Teams collaborating on documents.

How to create a fillable PDF

Let’s explore how to make a PDF fillable. To create fillable PDF documents, you must first choose your program or software. 

From there, you can design the layout, including the fields for user information.

Common form fields include text fields, checkboxes, dropdown menus, and buttons. 

Consider the purpose of the form and the type of information you want to collect when designing it.

Let’s look at the appropriate steps for a fillable PDF form using PandaDoc, Microsoft Word, and Adobe Acrobat:

Using PandaDoc

PandaDoc makes creating a fillable pdf a breeze:

  1. Open PandaDoc and navigate to the Forms section on the left-hand panel.
  2. Click “Create form”. Select the file you want to make a fillable PDF or upload it.
  3. Add fillable fields to PDF.
  4. Click “Publish” to save the fillable PDF form. 
  5. Click “Get code” to generate a web link to the form. 
  6. Click “Copy link” to send the link to recipients. 

Using Microsoft Word

To create a fillable PDF using Microsoft Word, you need to convert your original PDF document into a Word document.

Word will make a copy of the PDF in Word format and won’t alter the original file.

Bear in mind that the format of your PDF may alter slightly when you open it in Word.


  1. Open your PDF in Microsoft Word.
  2. Edit the document as required.
  3. Click “File” > “Save As” > “Browse”.
  4. Find the PDF option and press “Save”.

Using Adobe Acrobat

Now let’s run through how to make a fillable PDF in Adobe Acrobat:

  1. Launch Adobe Acrobat on your computer
  2. Click “Tools” > “Prepare Form”
  3. Browse the target PDF file and upload it
  4. Click “Start” and open the PDF file 
  5. Use the various form fields on the toolbar as required, then “Save”.

Acrobat will often add some new form fields automatically, just adjust or move them if required. 

Easily convert a PDF to a fillable form for free

With PandaDoc, you can simply convert a PDF to fillable PDF, on the house. 

There are endless possibilities for PDF fillable forms.

For sales professionals, the document type offers a simple method of collecting customer data and avoiding duplicates.

HR departments use fillable PDFs to request, record, and file important information in one place. 

With PandaDoc, you can add information on top of any PDF or other common file types. Enjoy the flexibility of adding data fields, signature blocks, and more. 

Turn restrictive PDF files into rich, fillable forms with customized text fields.

Learn how to create effective document templates and make your team more productive with fillable PDF forms.

PandaDoc allows you to make a fillable PDF form from wherever you are, on any device.

Choose from a wide range of PandaDoc’s form templates to discover how to create an editable PDF template with ease. 

PandaDoc is the top choice for converting PDFs into editable forms and eliminating the need for expensive software like Adobe Acrobat.

Give it a try for free and experience the convenience firsthand!

Why not schedule a quick 15-minute demo, to learn more?