General discussion

Software to fill out .pdf form

I'm about to fill out a lengthy application to sit for a professional exam in New York State. The application forms are in .pdf format. As far as I can tell, the forms are not set up with editable fields. The forms are located here:

I'm looking for some freeware or low-cost software to complete the application electronically.

Can anyone recommend software to do this?

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Reply to: Software to fill out .pdf form
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The free software is offered on that site.

That PDF file needs to be completed manually, and not on a computer. Download it, print it out, fill it in and send it off with your fee to the address contained on the form.

That site you gave offered a link to Adobe Free PDF Reader. Did you try that?


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Current versions of Adobe reader ...

can be used to fill in pdf-forms. But they must be made for that purpose, and most aren't. The usual pdf is print-only, as this one seems to be. Not your fault, just a decision of the exam organisation.


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Software other than Adobe?

Thanks for the replies.

I understand that this form in not created such that it can be filled out with Adobe Reader. I guess I'm asking if anyone knows of any software out there, other than Adobe software, that can be used to fill in a .pdf form such as this. I'd also like to be able to save the edited form.

I have found one such program, PDFill, but the mechanics of the program are tedious to use. Is anyone aware of other software?

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This may help;

It has a free trial period. But if that PDF form is not interactive then you would need CutePDF Professional, or Adobe Acrobat 5 or higher.

This is the problem, as Kees explained. If the form offered by that web site is not of the type where you can fill it in from the computer, then you will either need specialist software to convert it, and that usually costs.

You could try something like;
but whether that works or not I can't say. Also, I would not want to divulge personal details online like that.

None of my business, but I am not sure I understand your need to complete this PDF form on the computer. That Office of the Professions site clearly, it seems to me, wants you to complete these forms by hand. There are reasons for this. Manually completed application forms are a valuable tool recruiters have to know more about applicants. The way the form has been completed can give a wealth of information about the applicant's suitability for the post being applied for. A computer typed form limits that insight.

When you print and fill in the form you can always get it photocopied.


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re: CutePDF

I agree, it does appear that the form is intended to be filled out by hand.

However, no one I've talked with has filled this application out by hand (between friends and coworkers, 20+ people). Everyone I've talked with has used a typewriter. I actually have copies of 6 recent applications (oldest is 2 years ago) on my desk right now, and all are typewritten.

Small sample size, I know. And I'm sure there are people that do this by hand, but I'll probably end up using a typewriter too.

Anyway, I'm not surprised that there's nothing free or low-cost out there. I did search before coming here without any luck, but I thought it was worth a post.

Thanks for the help!

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good solution

I used to have the same problem two years ago when I was applying to college. I am international student so it`s more appropriate to print my information instead of writing it by hand. My handwriting is horrible and sometimes unreadable. saved my life at that time. I use it all the time now filling my job applications. It`s very convenient because you don`t have to install any software and it`s cheap.

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Watermark in Word may do the trick

Just found this elsewhere online ( and wanted to spread the wealth:

1. Open a new document in Microsoft Word, then go to the Insert menu and select Watermark (this may also work in any word processor that allows pictures as watermarks).
2. When the Watermark dialog box appears, click the Picture checkbox and then click on the Select Picture button.
3. Select the PDF you want to fill out and click Insert. Make sure you uncheck the Washout box and leave Scale set to Auto.
4. Click OK, and the PDF will appear as the background of your blank document.

(Works for Mac OS; not sure abut PC.)

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Software To Fill Out PDF Form

You can use the above link to fill out any PDF form for free. You will need to upload the form, fill it out and download the completed form. It's very useful.
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If you're using a Mac...

I was struggling with this too, which led me to this forum. After beating my head against the wall trying to fill out a form that was supposed to be submitted via email, but which was not formatted for electronic completion (so many are not, sadly), I opened the PDF with OS X's Preview app in order to save it as a JPEG to try the watermark solution detailed above. While doing so, I saw the "Annotate" button and found that I could complete the form using the text option. (The tools appear at the bottom.)

The default text is red, but you can bring up the text option dialog by pressing Cmd-T. It could hardly be easier... Such a relief.

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