PC Doctor April 16, 2019

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Dear PC Doctor:

Sometimes I get forms emailed to me, or I see them on a website and I need to fill them out and send them back to someone. Sometimes they are PDFs that I can fill out, and sometimes they are PDFs that I can’t edit – I end up having to print them, fill them out, scan them, and then email them back. Do you know why this happens?



Dear Phil:

I’m not sure exactly what’s happening, but it could be due either to the program that created the PDF or the one you’re using to open it.

From my reading, it appears to be that, to create and use a fillable PDF, you need to use Adobe Acrobat DC, (not the free version), or another PDF creator. Do you know what you have?

It may also be that the person who created the original form did not create it as a fillable PDF. According to Adobe: “Not all forms are fillable. Sometimes form creators don’t convert their PDFs to interactive fillable forms. Or, they intentionally design a form that you can fill in only by hand or with the Fill & Sign tool. These non-interactive forms are called flat forms.” If you have Adobe Acrobat Pro, you can turn a flat form into a fillable form by following the instructions on their support site. There are other programs that do this, too. If you do an internet search for alternatives to Acrobat Pro, you will see many products listed and you’ll be able to access reviews.

I hope this helps!

Until next time,

Happy Computing!

PC Doctor

Editor's Note: Questions should be directed to PC Doctor, care of the Athol Public Library, info@athollibrary.org or Athol Public Library, 568 Main St., Athol, Mass. 01331, or dropped off at the library.