Six Easy Steps to Prepare Forms Like a Boss

If you’re like most small business owners, there’s never enough time – and always a bit too much busywork – to manage everything perfectly. But a new decade is here and it’s a time to set goals. Let’s resolve to make 2020 the year we finally streamline how we create, share and manage important documents and forms, like sales contracts and applications.

Tools like Microsoft Word and Excel make creating documents easy. But, in order to share them as forms that clients and customers can fill out, sign and send, there are a few hoops involved. Ok, maybe more than a few.

First, you have to convert the document into a PDF so it can’t be altered. Next, you must send it as an email attachment to your clients. Then, you pray that they’ll see it and be able to print it out, fill it out accurately, and scan it back as a digital file, and – deep breath – they finally email the completed document back to you.

Easy, right? Not so much. If only there was a better way to convert your Word and Excel files into digital documents with interactive form fields. Some way to easily create and share forms that your clients could receive, fill out and return electronically, with no email or paper.

Well, there is a better way. If you’re prepared to prepare forms like a boss, Adobe Acrobat DC can handle the headache and take your productivity to the next level. Here’s how it works:

Step 1: Find your file

First things first. You’ll need an existing digital document, like a Word or Excel file, that you want to convert to a fillable form. Or, if you’re using Adobe Scan, you can just as easily scan a printed hard copy of your form and turn it into a PDF in a jiffy.

Step 2: Open Acrobat DC

This one is obvious, but you’ll definitely need to have this program running. Once it’s up, click on the “Tools” tab and select “Prepare Form.”

Step 3: Wave a magic wand

There’s no magic required, but it may seem that way. Just select a file, or scan a document, and the power of Adobe Sensei in Acrobat will automatically analyze it and add in form fields where they should go.

Step 4: Field your dreams

This is where the fun begins. You can add new form fields, including fields for e-signatures or check boxes, and edit the ones Acrobat has automatically added to your heart’s content. Just use the top toolbar and adjust the layout using the tools in the right pane. It’s your digital document, after all!

Step 5: Saving and sharing

The hard part is over. Who are we kidding? There was no hard part! With your new fillable PDF form dialed in, it’s time to save it and put it to work. You can even save it as a template to save time next time. Simply click “Distribute,” add your recipients, and collect their responses automatically. Don’t forget to add that signature field for recipients to e-sign on the go.

Step 6: Scan, form, profit!

You’re already a pro at running your business. Now you’re a forms pro, too! Interested in taking it to the next level and becoming the Zen master of fillable forms? Check out our detailed how-to guide here to level-up your Acrobat DC knowledge and power your productivity.