Have you ever wanted to provide your clients with virtual handouts that they could easily type on to save their answers or notes instead of having to print out?
I don’t know about you, but I haven’t owned a printer since I was in college and needed it to print my papers out at 1am to turn in the next day. Which one time resulted in a very late night run to Wal-Mart to get more printer ink, but I digress.
As someone who has taken a few online courses as well as helped put them together for my clients, I can’t stress enough how valuable having editable or fillable PDFs included in the course are to those taking it.
Which is why I went live on Facebook (8:30 mins) to show how to create fillable PDFs using an online tool called PDF Escape. And then live again (2 mins) with a follow-up video (because I pushed the wrong button and my first live ended… whoops!) to show you want a finished product looked like.
If you’re not really into videos, here are a few photos that walk you through the process.
After you login to your free account, you’ll see a screen that looks like this. Typically I create documents through Canva first then upload them to PDF Escape to make them fillable.
There are a lot of tools you can use in the tool which I list out below, but if you’re trying to create a fillable PDF you’ll mostly be using the Form Field tool from the left hand menu. Once you select Form Field, it will ask you what type of field you would like.
I typically stick to either text, which will give you 1 line of text or text paragraph, which will allow your users to type multiple lines of text.
When you create your form fields, they will show up green on your document in this format. Don’t worry, they don’t download as green! They actually come out as a light blue hue, but while you are editing the green is really helpful to see what you have done.
Other tips for using Form Fields:
- When you want your single line texts to look uniform, right-click on your first creation and select “duplicate.” This will allow you to add nice looking text lines like in the example below.
- Once you add a form field, you can change the font (limited to 5 options), the font size, bold, italicize as well as the color. You can’t put in a hex code, but it gives a pretty wide range of colors and variations.
- You can test what the font will look like by typing into the fields and then simply delete when you’re happy with the look.
Another really helpful feature is inserting links. You can add links through Canva, but if you forget or want a wide area to click on for a link, you can add it through PDF Escape.
Select “Link” from the left hand menu, then click and drag over the text or image you want linked. (you can see my box in the bottom right hand corner over my website link) It will then prompt you to put in the URL then select Ok!
Once you are happy with your final document, you can save and download by clicking on the green box with the down arrows. (Note: If you hover your mouse over the icons it will tell you which each does)
And here is what the final version looks like once you’ve downloaded. As I mentioned above, the fillable fields turn into a light blue instead of green. And you have a nice looking document you can provide to your clients or customers.
Other features included in PDF Escape:
- Text: You can add additional text to your document.
- Image: Add an image to your document such as a logo or stock photo.
- Line: Add a solid line to your document. Line width can be adjusted to be thick or thin.
- Rectangle or Circle: If you need to add a box or circle around text or to a blank area.
- Check mark: Add a check mark anywhere within the document.
- Whiteout: Add a white box or cover up a mistake within the document.
- Freehand: Draw directly onto the document. Probably works better with a stylus pen than a mouse 🙂
- Sticky Note: Add a note icon with text. When document is downloaded it will just appear with the sticky icon and once it is hovered over with the mouse the text will appear.
- Highlight: Highlight the text or an area. Can select any color available as the highlighter.
- Strike through: Strike through text.
- Underline: Thin line for underlining purposes. Width cannot be adjusted.
- Annotate Rectangle or Oval: Shapes that can include notes, unlike on the insert tab where it will only insert the shape without any notes.
And there you have it! That’s how I create fillable PDFs for my clients to provide to their customers or include in their online courses. Let me know if you find these tips useful and would like more of them by leaving me a comment below. 👇