This is a story about how I turned a Word document (with the intention to print and scan) into a fillable PDF form that performs calculations. I hope that you learn from my experience and use PDFelement to create your own fillable PDF forms for tasks outside your job!

It’s official. I’m an adult. While this shouldn’t be news to me, it’s still a fact with which I slowly come to terms. On occasion, I face the full brunt of “adulting” and have to do the thing that grown ups do. A recent experience brought me into contact with a friendly sole proprietor that provides window screens for town houses. Riveting stuff. The mundane task was quite simple: buy windows screens or deal with the wrath of angry houseflies, mosquitoes and bees. So many bees.

The friendly proprietor emailed me an order form to complete and return. I wasn’t too surprised to find that the order form was a table created in Microsoft Word. This is a fairly standard practice by small business owners. But when you have access to an unbelievably powerful PDF editor, you can take advantage of it and replace printed paper with smart documents that do the work for you. PDFelement isn’t just a tool for work; it can easily be incorporated into personal errands and tasks, too!

Here are the steps that I took to make this PDF dream a reality:

Step 1: Create a PDF

Turn a Word file into a PDF file by clicking “Create PDF” from the quick start screen.

Step 2: Make the PDF into a fillable form.

Transform a digital PDF document into a fillable form by selecting “Form Field Recognition”. You can also build the form manually with the tools you see under the Form tab.

Step 3: Customize the form fields

Examine the form and decided which fields should be calculated. In this case, the Total is made up of the sum of Price/Unit fields, Installation Fee, Sub-Total, and Fed. Tax Amount. To apply a calculation, double-click on the appropriate field and click the Calculate tab. Choose the required mathematical function and select the fields involved. Go to the format tab and modify a field’s format, such as currency or percentage. Then close the properties window.

  

Step 4: Fill out your form

Close the Form editing window and start filling out your form. Observe that modified fields calculate automatically.

 

Are you still printing, scanning, and filling out forms by hand? Try using PDFelement to create your own interactive PDF form and use video tutorial to supplement your learning. You’ll become a PDF form wizard in no time!

If you want to learn even more about building interactive PDF forms, check out this fantastic post by Rebecca explaining the nitty-gritty of mouse triggers.

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Posted by Melissa K.

Melissa has been building her expertise in PDF technology since 2014, strengthening her technical skills in all things PDF and productivity related. On the weekends, you will find her birding and volunteering as a Nature Guide for her local community.

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