Filling out a PDF file

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by SPNarwhal, Mar 10, 2013.

  1. SPNarwhal macrumors 65816

    SPNarwhal

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Location:
    illinois
    #1
    This might seem like a silly question, but I need to fill out a PDF file and E-Mail it back to somebody, how do I go about doing this?

    I know I could print all 8 of these pages out and fill it out by hand, but I'm expected to e-mail it back? Not sure I want to deal with trying to convert scans back into a PDF.. (This is really all unknown territory to me)

    I heard Adobe Reader can do it, and I downloaded it, and while it does open the PDF, I can't actually write inside of it. ?

    I also found a website that allows me to open PDF's but first off, only allows me to place a text tool to write over the actual image of the file itself, and that website won't let me save the PDF anyway unless I am a member.

    Any help? Just looking to be able to type into this PDF so I can fill it out and send it back, not sure what program I will need or anything like that, advice is extremely appreciated.

    Thanks!
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    To fill in the PDF, it has to be created as a fillable form. If it wasn't, you can't fill it in electronically, unless you have Adobe Acrobat, used for authoring/editing PDFs. If it's not created as a fillable form, printing/filling out/scanning is probably your only option.

    Troubleshooting forms
     
  3. SPNarwhal thread starter macrumors 65816

    SPNarwhal

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Location:
    illinois
    #3
    Weird.

    It might better for me to just type over it and fill it out in text form rather than hand-write it. But, bigger question, how do I convert something back into a PDF? If I were to print, write, scan. How do I turn these 8 pages back into a PDF? It's all really confusing.
     
  4. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #4
    A PDF is a little like a picture (JPEG) of something and is NOT a standard text/word processing file. However PDF's have metadata (text of the content is often included) that may be emended that can "change" the appearance (like a fill in form) of the PDF.

    Now making a PDF is easy. Just hit Print and in the bottom left is a PDF button that allows several options.

    You can also open a PDF in Preview and do limited editing (text/annotation/objects).
     
  5. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #5
    Actually, if you have Mountain Lion you can just use Preview on a plain ordinary PDF. Earlier versions of OS X may work as well, but I know it works with ML and I can't test with earlier versions of OS X. You need to open the Edit Toolbar, and then you are good to go. Preview will attempt to identify fields that can be filled in... the start of a long line for instance. It doesn't seem to mark the line as "editable" but if you click the beginning of the long line you will get the insertion cursor. Start typing. For fields that aren't identified, simply use the text box to add text wherever you need to. Finally, you can scan and save your signature to be added to forms that need signing. I had to go through a bit of rigamarole because I was doing this on a Mac Pro... the 'save signature' thing assumes you are using a laptop with a camera. But there are instructions on the 'net for doing it with a Mini or Mac Pro.

    When you are done you can just save as usual. It will be as a PDF. I've not had anybody who can't open one of these.

    Ps... all markups on the attached screen shot were done in Preview.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. SPNarwhal thread starter macrumors 65816

    SPNarwhal

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Location:
    illinois
    #7
    So, I'm in preview and I hit edit, and I can highlight all the text but I can't actually insert any? Not sure what is going on.

    The PDF files should be recognizable and writable since they're not scans, they look just like word documents. Not sure how to allow access to write on it, or really even OVER it with Preview, although would much prefer to be writing in/on it.

    The places to fill out are filled in with an underline. ______________

    i.e., Name: _________________________
     
  7. Julien macrumors G3

    Julien

    Joined:
    Jun 30, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta
    #8
    It's not Edit. Look at snberk103 picture ("this button makes the magic happen")and hit Show Edit Toolbar icon. Then you can add text on top of the PDF.
     
  8. SPNarwhal thread starter macrumors 65816

    SPNarwhal

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2009
    Location:
    illinois
    #9
    Don't be mad at me, but where is the "Show Edit Toolbar" icon? I don't see that anywhere.
    I go into view and there is no option there either.
    -

    nevermind, I hit the Text thing and it allows me to write over it now.
    Good enough I guess! Can't write in it formally, but it will be good enough for the receiver I hope.!

    Thank you everyone.
     
  9. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #10
    What version of OS X are you using? I know this works for 10.8 (Mountain Lion) but if you are using an earlier version it may not be there. It took me awhile to find the Edit Toolbar (which is different than 'Edit' - as you've discovered :))

    The Text Box thing does exactly the same thing.. the only difference is that you have to position and size the box yourself.

    PDFs may contain editable text when they are created, but not necessarily. That is why it is sometimes a challenge to edit the existing text, and why simple PDF viewers don't allow you to at all since users may blame Preview for an experience that is sub-optimal.
     
  10. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #11
    Yes, you can annotate, and yes, you can fill out a fillable PDF form (something earlier versions of Preview couldn't do) but how can you fill in a PDF form field, if such a field has not been created and it's not a fillable PDF form?
     
  11. snberk103 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2007
    Location:
    An Island in the Salish Sea
    #12
    I don't know how it works, but if you click the cursor on a long horizontal line or boxes in a plain PDF - in most cases - the cursor changes to an insertion cursor. That is... it there is a solid (thin) vertical cursor that remains on the line. If you start typing the text appears. I know that this sounds like I'm talking to a child, but it is much much easier to show than to explain. I don't know which versions of OS X this works in besides 10.8.2.

    Basically, Preview is recognizing the most common ways that people indicate fields that need to be filled out in form.... lines and boxes... and then allows you place text in those locations. It's a very cool feature, and one of those little useful things that Apple does so well. And not many people know about it.
     
  12. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #13
    Interesting! I'll have to test that with some non-fillable PDFs. Thanks for the info.
    I haven't been referred to as a child in a loooong time! I feel young again! Thanks! :D
     

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