Create fillable PDF forms on a Chromebook using these steps.

A woman in an office uses a Chromebook to create fillable PDF forms.

All you need to create a custom fillable PDF with your Chromebook is a web-based PDF management app and these simple tips.

PDFs are a great way to share information and make sure your document’s format stays intact. When you need to collect information from coworkers, customers, or even fellow students, a fillable PDF form is an easy way to do this. If you want to create a fillable PDF on a Chromebook, just keep these guidelines in mind.

Stick to web-based applications for PDFs.

Chromebooks are versatile and lightweight. But because they use a unique operating system, you should reach for web-based applications instead of downloadable desktop programs.

Web-based apps for PDF management are easier to use on your Chromebook, and you don’t have to worry about software compatibility issues. If you aren’t sure which app to choose, start with Adobe Acrobat. You can also make and share fillable PDFs with Acrobat online services.

To create a fillable PDF using Acrobat, follow these steps:

  1. Open Acrobat. Click the Tools tab and select Prepare Form under the Forms and Signatures section.
  2. To select an existing file, select Single File > Select a File. To create a new digital file from a paper document, select Scanner. To create a new document directly within Acrobat, select Create New or Create a Web Form.
  3. If it’s working from an existing or scanned document, Acrobat will automatically generate fillable form fields.
  4. To create new form fields, use the toolbar at the top of the screen. To edit form fields, use the toolbar on the right side of the screen.
  5. Once your form is finished, select File > Save As, then send it to collaborators for signing later. Or click Distribute to collect responses and signatures immediately.

To create a fillable PDF using Acrobat online, follow these steps:

  1. Select Tools > All Tools.
  2. Scroll down to the E-Sign header.
  3. Select the appropriate action for your project, whether creating a web form, creating an e-sign template, requesting signatures, or more.

Collect information with form fields on your PDF.

To create a form, log in to a web-based PDF app and start with a template, or discover other ways to make a form from scratch.

To create a form using Acrobat online, follow these steps:

  1. From the Home screen, select E-Sign along the top banner or navigate to the E-Sign header by clicking All Tools.
  2. Click “Create e-sign template.”
  3. Select an existing document to convert to a fillable PDF. Adjust document and access settings from the options on the right.
  4. Click Preview > Add Fields.
  5. Use the toolbars on the top and right of the screen to adjust and add form fields.

When creating your document, think about the type of information you need to collect (such as names, addresses, or telephone numbers) and create a form field for each. Form fields are blank spaces, checkboxes, radio buttons, or similar features that will let people enter information on your fillable PDF. Once your form has every field you need, save it in PDF format (.pdf) and start sharing.

You can also learn more about how to fill and sign PDFs. This is the process collaborators will use once you have shared with them the fillable form you created.

  1. From the Acrobat online Home screen, select E-Sign along the top banner or navigate to the E-Sign header by clicking All Tools.
  2. Click Fill & Sign.
  3. Select the file that needs to be signed.
  4. Use the toolbar on the left to either request signatures from others, or sign the document yourself.
  5. Once completed, use the icons in the top right corner to select what happens next in the document — read aloud, share the link, download, and more.

Can you recover a fillable PDF on a Chromebook?

Sometimes documents get lost or deleted accidentally. The good news is that Chromebook contains features for recovering those files, including fillable PDFs. If you find yourself needing to recover a PDF, try the following options:

Restore from the Recycle Bin.

Recover the PDF from the Recycle Bin or Trash folder. If you haven’t enabled the Recycle Bin on your Chromebook, do so using these steps:

  1. Open the files app.
  2. Click the three dots in the top right corner and select Settings.
  3. Select Show Recycle Bin.
  4. Select the desired file and click Restore.
  5. To enable the Trash folder, open Chrome and type chrome://flags in the address bar.
  6. Search for Enable Files Trash.
  7. Enable the flag and restart your Chromebook to finalize the update. The Trash folder will appear in the Files menu after restarting.

Restore from backup.

Recover the PDF from a backup source. If your files are backed up using software or external storage, you may be able to recover the file there — or at least an earlier version of it. Check all possible backup locations including online storage like Google Drive or Dropbox or destinations where the file may have previously been sent.

Restore from recovery software.

Recover the PDF using external data recovery software. It is possible that some data may be lost from the file, but some version of the file may be recoverable.

Get started with fillable PDFs. Explore everything you can do with Acrobat today.