Online courses and free webinars seem to be the IT thing these days, especially if you’re a blogger, content creator, or social media savant. In order to create the ultimate, Insta-worthy course experience, we often spend a ton of time creating custom workbooks and course guides to help our audience get the most out of our offerings. Lucky for us, Canva and pre-made templates have made it pretty easy to create beautiful, functional workbooks in no time flat.
But with everything happening online these days, it’d be a nice touch to give our audience workbooks that don’t require home printers to fill them out, right? Because let’s be honest, home printers seem to be going the way of fax machines in 2021 and we all like to save a few trees.
Maybe you’re sitting there with your beautiful PDF workbook, freshly downloaded from Canva and ready to be uploaded, and you’re wondering how you go about making it digital friendly. Well have no fear friends. We’re tackling that very topic into today’s post, with a free solution that is both quick and easy to use.
Step 1: Upload your document
To quickly and easily make your PDF fillable, first go to PDFEscape.com and select the Free Online version of the application. Then you’re going to want to choose Upload PDF to PDFescape and find the file you want to upload.
Step 2: Add your Form Fields
Once your file opens, you’ll see a variety of different edits and actions you can take in the toolbar on the left hand side.
To add fillable form fields, select the Form Fields button and in the window that pops up, you can choose from a variety of fields in the dropdown, including:
- Text – This is a fillable text box that allows a single line of text. Great for those questions that require a short answer.
- Text Paragraph – This is a fillable text box that allows for multi-line text. Great for questions that require longer answers or for notes/reflections pages.
- Checkbox – This allows you to easily add checkboxes to your document, perfect for to-do lists or questions that can have multiple correct answers.
- Radio – This allows you to easily add radio buttons to your document. These are best for questions where only one answer is allowed, like multiple choice questions, yes or no questions, or sliding scales.
- Dropdown – Dropdown fields allow you to add a dropdown selection to your document and outline the desired responses
- List box – Similar to a dropdown field, the list box allows you to add a list of desired responses to your document so your audience can select one.
Once you select the Form Field you want to use, just click on the place you want to add the field in your document. You can resize them to your needs and drag and drop them into place. By right clicking on the field, you can duplicate it, delete it, or open up the object properties, where you can make additional changes.
A note about Radio fields
Duplicating Radio buttons links them to each other and ensures someone can only choose 1 option out of the group.
To create a new set of Radio buttons, you need to create a new radio button from scratch in the Form Fields and then duplicate as many as you need to complete the set.
Step 3: Customize your fields
For your text Form Fields, you can customize the font style and size. Other customization options, for the text Form Fields and others, can be found when you right click the field and select object properties.
Step 4: Download your completed document
Once you’ve added all your form fields and you’re ready to download your finished document, head over to the left hand side of your window and select the green download button. It will download automatically.
Then all you have to do is double check that all of your forms came through appropriately, and your file is ready to go!
PDFescape is a super simple and free solution for most of your projects. But one thing to keep in mind is that the free version of the platform has a limit of 10MB or 100 pages (whichever you reach first). So it might not work for all of your projects.
If you find you’re unable to upload your document into PDFescape, try this:
- When you initially download your document from Canva, download it as a Standard PDF, instead of a Print PDF. It’ll still be a good quality PDF, but it’ll be a much smaller document, so it’ll be easier to upload.
- Download the pages that need to be fillable and the pages that don’t into two separate documents. Then upload only the pages that need to be fillable into PDFescape. When you’re done and have made all the changes you need to your fillable pages, upload those and the non-fillable pages into another free program that allows you to combine PDFs, like the Merge PDF Tool on smallpdf.com.
- If neither of the above work, you might consider paying for PDF program that allows you a little more flexibility, like the paid version of PDFescape or Adobe Acrobat Pro.
And there you have it! If you have any questions or additional tips, drop them in the comments!