How to create a fillable PDF on a Mac.

A young woman in a yellow blouse working in a brightly lit room to create a fillable PDF on a Mac.

Make, send, and share fillable PDFs on your Mac in minutes with the help of these guidelines.

PDFs, or Portable Document Format files, are one of the most popular ways people share documents with each other. If you’ve ever downloaded an online form, like a bank statement, chances are it was a PDF. And the reason they’re so common is that they have been designed to reproduce on any device (desktops, laptops, tablets, smartphones, and so on).

But even though PDFs are easy to view anywhere, they can be tricky to edit on Mac computers — especially if you want other people to fill out your form. So here are some tips on how to create a fillable PDF on a Mac.

Craft your fillable PDF document.

Use any word processor or template to draft the first version of your document. Just make sure you can export it as a PDF when you’re done.

Include everything you want to appear on the final fillable PDF, such as form instructions and the name of each form field. You might want to include tick boxes to allow a user to select from a list, longer fields for open-ended questions, or shorter fields for simple information like name, address, and date.

If you want people to sign the PDF, you can add space for signatures here too. Then, give your document a proofread and save it to your Mac in PDF format (.pdf).

Transform your document into a fillable PDF form.

Next, you’ll need a PDF management application. If you don’t already have one on your Mac, use Adobe Acrobat or Acrobat online services to easily work with PDFs. If you’re using the Acrobat desktop application, follow these easy instructions to complete your fillable form:

  1. Open the application, click the Tools tab, and select Prepare Form.
  2. Upload your document.
  3. Add form fields where appropriate.
  4. Save and download your form as a PDF.

Can you make a fillable PDF on Mac Preview?

The built-in Preview app on your Mac computer doesn’t let you create fillable forms or convert flat forms into interactive ones. However, if your PDF is editable, you’ll just need to click the Show Form Filling Toolbar button and use the tools there to navigate the fillable fields. If you only need to sign, you can use Preview to add signatures.

  1. Click the Show Markup Toolbar button, or click the Sign button.
  2. Click Create Signature.
    • You’ll then have the option to create a signature using your trackpad, your computer’s built-in camera, or your iPhone or iPad.
    • Follow the prompts to create the signature in the method you chose.
  3. Click the Sign button, and click the signature to add it to the PDF.
  4. Drag the signature to where you want it to appear and adjust its size.
  5. Save the PDF.

Send your PDF for signatures.

If a signature is the only thing you need filled in on a form, you can use the Request e-signatures tool in Adobe Acrobat online services for free.

  1. Click the “Select files” button, or drag and drop a PDF into the drop zone.
  2. After Acrobat uploads the file, sign in to send it for e-signing.
  3. Add recipients’ email addresses, then click Next.
  4. Mark where signers need to fill in and sign.
  5. Click Send to send your document for signing.

You can share a fillable form with other students, colleagues, or teammates. If you need to make edits to your PDF, or if you have more documents to convert to PDFs, you can find all the tools you need in Acrobat online services — which you can access for free in your favorite internet browser. You can send a form for signatures, allow others to add comments or edit text, add images, convert into another format, and much more. Discover what more you can do with Acrobat today.