How to Fill Out PDF Forms

by velesan

Learn how to fill out PDF Forms quickly and easily ... and best of all, for free!

The Right Software

Makes Filling Out PDF Forms Easy

It's closing in on tax time once again, as it seems to do every year. (Very consistent isn't it?) Taxes are becoming easier to file nowdays, no more need to wait in line at the post office, even if you wait until the last minute. You can fill out online, but that requires knowing how to work with PDF files. PDF files have become the industry standard for business publications and especially for online forms that you can print out, or file online.

This makes being able to fill out PDF forms on your computer a very handy ability to have. To do so requires special software that is designed to read and/or edit PDF files. The PDF file isn't a simple one like TXT where what you see is pretty much what you have under the surface too. It is a proprietary format developed by Adobe, and now usable through many third party editors and readers.

There are a lot of PDF utilities out there, but they aren't all created equal. Some are very expensives, while others are available freely ... and they can have very different purposes. Generally speaking, for filling out PDF forms you only need to utilize the PDF readers. You won't need to have a PDF editor. That is a very good thing, because PDF editors can run hundreds of dollars whereas readers for PDFs are usually free.

Once you realize this fact, you can avoid half the hassles involved in filling out your PDF Forms.

Making Things A Bit More Complicated

... but easier still!

A relatively new facet of how to fill out PDF forms is how you can now do so without software downloads required at all! This means you don't have to have a program installed on your computer to be able to fill out a PDF, you only need an active internet connection.

The way it works is that the server that the website is located on has software that allows it to transform PDFs into HTML pages. So when you upload your PDF form that you want to fill out, it shows you a web page version of that form. Then you can fill out the form just as you would any other form you find on web pages. Once you are finished, the server will convert that HTML form back into a PDF.

This makes filling out PDF forms very simple. In some cases the service can even submit the form for you for added convenience. The only drawback is potential security risks that you take by transmitting your PDF form to their server. For very sensitive data, you will want to make sure that you are using a secure connection with a website that you trust.

So Which Software to Use

... if Online isn't Right for You?

There are so many ways you can go on this, it's hard to give a definitive answer as to which is best. One package may allow you to edit easily, but may not have all the features you are looking for. Another PDF reader may have all the features, but be cumbersome to use.

Most people end up using Adobe PDF reader, since it is more commonly pre-installed on computers. I myself prefer Foxit Reader, as it seems to be a bit quicker and more responsive, as well as not being such a large install.

An interesting choice is to use Google's Chrome browser, which has a PDF reader integrated into it. I've found that there are some compatibility problems with printers though, which can make printing PDFs more difficult than it should be. Still, if you're just looking for how to fill out PDF forms, perhaps all you need to do is utilize the browser you already have!

Updated: 01/04/2012, velesan
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Vinnie Lambdin on 09/11/2015

Hi if anyone needs a blank form on how to fill up a PDF here is the link it might help

Britta on 09/10/2015

Excellent piece - I Appreciate the points ! Does someone know where my assistant could get a fillable a form example to edit ?

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