Fillable PDF Design - How To Create Branded Interactive Forms | Steph F. ~ A Brand Apart Design | Skillshare

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Fillable PDF Design - How To Create Branded Interactive Forms

teacher avatar Steph F. ~ A Brand Apart Design, Freelance Designer & Coffee Guzzler

Watch this class and thousands more

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Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Watch this class and thousands more

Get unlimited access to every class
Taught by industry leaders & working professionals
Topics include illustration, design, photography, and more

Lessons in This Class

8 Lessons (22m)
    • 1. Intro

    • 2. Chp1 - Designing The Form

    • 3. Chp2 - Making Fillable Fields

    • 4. Chp3 - Testing The Form

    • 5. Chp4 - Designing An Order Form

    • 6. Chp5 - Creating Fields with Calculations

    • 7. Chp6 - Testing The Order Form

    • 8. Chp7 - Your Project!

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About This Class

If you’ve ever had to create an application form, questionnaire or some other document that requires inputs from users, printing and filling them out by hand is not only tedious, but also requires they be scanned or photographed to send back.

In this class, I’ll show you how to take those pdf forms and convert them to fillable documents so that users can type in their responses and email the same document back to you.

You can also create your own documents that you need to send out on a regular basis, such as invoices or quotes, and have fillable areas for cost breakdowns that can be calculated automatically, saving you the headache of doing this manually each time.

The best part is that each form will have your design and branding on it rather than a stock template or spreadsheet, and you can include interactive elements such as links to URLs, etc.

Some of the topics I’ll cover are:

  • Designing your document with fillable areas in mind
  • Exporting it from Illustrator or InDesign
  • Creating fillable areas for text
  • Converting input fields to do calculations and add totals

By the end of the class, you’ll be able to create your own form to use yourself, or send to customers to fill in themselves. So if this is something you’re looking to incorporate into your workflow, let’s move on to lesson 1!

Meet Your Teacher

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Steph F. ~ A Brand Apart Design

Freelance Designer & Coffee Guzzler


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1. Intro: guys mining stuff. I'm a freelance graphic designer living in Vancouver, B. C. Over the past nine years, I've designed things like brand identities, promotional materials, packaging websites If you've ever had to design a form or a member application or some sort of document that you needed people to filo. Printing these and doing it all by hand is not only tedious, but then it requires that they be scanned or photographed or facts back to you. Yes, fax machines still exist in this course. I'm going to teach you how to take a static document and turn it into a syllable. Pdf so that your users can type in their responses and email it back to you directly. And this is also useful. If you need to send it documents your cellphone a frequent basis, like invoicing or some sort of documents that require calculations. You can set up a pdf so that it'll do tallies for you. Add taxes, do totals. Some of the topics I'll cover are designing the pdf, exporting it and then setting up the document to have both text based Philip all areas and numerical ones that can be set up to do calculations. This class is aimed at users who have a working knowledge of illustrator and acrobat or in design. But all the stuff that I'm doing is gonna be pretty basic. So even if you just want to download the trial versions of each to follow along for now, you should be OK. By the end of this class, you'll be able to take any type of static document and make it into an interactive one. You can also add you RL's, and the best part is that each one will have your own branding on it. So if this is something you're looking to add to your workflow, then uh, let's move on to Lesson one. 2. Chp1 - Designing The Form: So let's pretend you need to design a form like a questionnaire or an application. Just something with text based fields. So you could use Google forms or an online version. People could just email them out and submit them. But if you need something that you need Teoh, no print. Oh, keep on file. Keep a hard copy or something like that. That's what you would use this for. So we're gonna design a questionnaire about a client looking to get some work done. So what are some things you need to know from them? So you need to know their name, the contact info, all that kind of thing and then some specifics about the job. So what are they looking have done by you? Is that a website? Is that packaging design? Is there a deadline when they need the project completed by whether they have a budget in mind? Um, you know, if they have any materials on hand or if it's something that's going to be done from scratch. Um, so at this point, I'm just having all the boxes just on their own. It just felt a little bit too overwhelming in a way so I'm just separating them up by categories. So the first is just the information about the person and then the middle box eyes going to be the project specifics. And I'm just realigning everything to make a bit more space for third box that I'm going to have at the bottom. That's just, uh, miscellaneous questions. Um, sometimes it's helpful to know how the people found you, whether it's word of mouth or if it's from finding your portfolio online, it's just good to know how they come across your work and then any other information that they might need. Teoh let you know about, um, is that final field at the bottom there? So now that that's all designed, let's go ahead and open it in Acrobat and create the fallible portions 3. Chp2 - Making Fillable Fields: I've gone ahead and opened the questionnaire. We just designed in two different acrobats. Thistles, Acrobat 10. And this is a creative cloud on the reason I did that. As you can see, that the layout is a little bit different in each one. So, um, first all to convert it to a form in on older version of Acrobat, you would go to tools. And then there's a tab here it says forms and you can just go to create. It'll say, Use the current document, you say Yes, Click next again, and you can see it's converted all of the areas into thes purple boxes and took the title from above the books. It's kind of smart that way, so we'll do the same thing over here in this one. You have to go to tools and then you go to prepare form start and he does the same thing so you can see in both of these They have a right hand column that lists all of the names of the boxes. You can change these if you want, but the important thing to remember is that no box can have the exact same name on it. If if you do, if you say you call this one name and this one name, whatever the input is in this one, if they type their name here, it would automatically get entered into this one, too, because these boxes would have the same name. So that's really important to remember, especially when we move on to the form that does calculations. So this one looks like it's been converted. Fine late. Really, That's older is to it for a text based one. You just want to make sure that all of the areas that you need somebody to type an answer are converted to these purple documents or purple fields and, um, and that there aren't any extra purple fields that you don't need. Sometimes this one, I'm not sure why it didn't do it this time, but sometimes whenever it sees a box with text in it or around, it converts it to a fill a ball field. So you would just delete those boxes. But say that there's a field that you need to add that wasn't picked up by Acrobat. What you would do is go up here to add new field, text, field and you see, you've got this little highlighted portion Say you want somebody to add something underneath your title here so you would just drag and drop, and then you would call it something. So let's just call it a title. And if you want to make this a required field, meaning they can't send it without that being filled in, you could take that off. But we don't really need that for this one, so you can see here it is. Over here, it's been entered. Now, something else that you can do is change the font and the styling of the inputs. If you right, click on the field and go to properties. And here you can see that the font size is 12 and it's chosen Helvetica, and under this field you can choose the alignment. So say so. You want to change the font size to attend, and you want to change it so that it's everything is always centered. You would close that, and so now this one is going to be a centered, and it's gonna be slightly smaller than these fields. So now you can go to file save as and let's save it right here in my new school share folder called Questionnaire. So same thing on this one. If you wanted to add another text field, you would click this button up at the top while you're still in the editing portion. Drag and drop. Call this title and here it is, down here, Right. Click on you can either right click in the title fields over here or on the actual box on and, you know, change stuff in here too. Since we've already saved this one, though, I'm just gonna not worry about saving it in. This version of Acrobat will just close it. And in the next one, we'll open it up and we'll check out what it looks like as unfilmable portion. 4. Chp3 - Testing The Form: So I went ahead and open the document in both versions of Acrobat, and you can see they're pretty much the exact same thing if you wanted to test it out. This is the area that we put that title on. This is name so you can see the difference here. This one's a little bit smaller and center. This one runs left to right, and it's a little bit bigger, just like how we had it set up in same thing on this one. So if you had sent this to a customer, they could just type in all their information here, save it and email it back to you. So in the next video, I'm going to show you how to do a form that you can set up. Teoh have, um, fields that can be calculated for order forms or invoicing or that sort of thing 5. Chp4 - Designing An Order Form: So a while ago, I designed a form for a client who grew organic microgreens so different restaurants would place orders with them. He grow their selective varieties. And then when he dropped off the product, he would leave an invoice with, um So I set up a form for him that he could feeling himself that listed the product name and cost. And then he could fill in the quantities that were ordered, and it would calculate the final total for him. So let's go ahead and pretend that we're doing something similar here for a store that has seasonal and regular produce. So keeping in mind that they're going to be areas that will be converted to fill a bill, portions and some of these will be calculated. Um, so some of the items that were going to set up here right now I'm just putting in the item description, the quantity ordered and the value per item so that it will be It will be able to use those areas once they're filled in to create a total, which is the longer box at the end. That's a sub total for each line. So at the bottom of this statement, I have another total. So this is going to be the totals for seasonal items. And then we're going to replicate this for regular priced items, the same exact thing where it is going. Teoh change one of thes to be a standard pricing rather than a variable pricing. So Item number three is always $5 regardless, and Item seven is always $10 but I don't want to five and six their their cost can change based on I don't know seasons or specials or something like that. And then there at the bottom is going to be the overall total. And then, if you add tax on, there's a little box for the amount of tax, and then the very final box at the bottom is the grand total. 6. Chp5 - Creating Fields with Calculations: So I hope in the form in both versions of Acrobat, this one I already converted to a form socially the same process in this one. If you go to tools, prepare form and start, you can see it's done the same thing as this one. So there are quite a few fields on here that we don't need. The acrobat automatically fills in like this little local box and then these boxes down here, Um, so I'm just gonna go ahead and delete those you just left, click on it once and then delete carried of those extra little hidden one here. Now, you'll see that these all pulled in the names from the categories underneath. Um, um, if I had called this subtitle underneath the box, they would have automatically filled those in sub total, which I didn't do. But so now I'm just gonna go and rename them all just for clarity when it comes time to do the calculations. So generally you don't really need to rename your fields in Accra. But the one thing you want to make sure of is if you do rename them that they will have a different name. That's because if I had just called this one sub total not sub total to, it would just automatically fill in whatever at this field was filled in with. So if you want them to do different things or have different things filled in there, then you have to make sure that they have different names. So what we're going to start by doing is right. Click on this one and go to properties and click on Calculate, and what we're gonna do is multiply these two columns together so you go to the value is the product of the following fields, so you choose which ones you want to multiply together. Since when is Q T y and E. A. C. Click off E A and Q T y, and you can see now there's a zero right there just to make it look a little bit better. Well, center it and then under the format, you can go to number and you can choose a currency symbol so each one of these will be a dollar value now. Okay, so let's do the 2nd 1 saying why, you right? Click properties calculate. Value is the product of this is Q t white to in e A. To now. This one's a little bit different because there's no secondary field to multiply it by, so it's gonna require a little bit of JavaScript. What you want to do is tell it to call up this number and multiply it by five. So same thing we go to properties, calculate. But we're going to do a custom calculation script right now. This one I already have typed out. So I'm just going to copy and paste it. But I'll posted in the projects tab for you guys as well, If you need it. Peace didn't here. So are you saying get variable one, which is Q t white three and multiply it by five. Now, this field, we want to total up all of the seasonal specials. So right, click Properties calculate. And this is gonna be the sum of sub total sub total too. And sub total. Three. I fought for these two to change the the appearance of them a little bit, so we'll just go back and redo those. We will not put them in the center, and we want to give them a dollar value. Okay, so that's all of the seasonal specials done. Now one thing you can do is Subtitle five is basically going to be the same calculation as some total two or sub total one. So what you can do is just copy this field. Delete sub total five paste it just control V And now see, this is called sub total to as well. And remember what I said is you don't want any fields to have the same name, because regardless of what you put in here, if you keep this called sub total to, it's going to do this calculation. So if you quick and the calculate you can see it's already set up for these two fields, so the first thing you want to do is change the name of it. Sub total five, and then we're going to change the columns that are going to be calculated. So this is going to be E. A three and q t four, And the nice thing with copying and pasting is the dollar thing is already set up, and it's already centered, so you can go ahead and close now. If I had changed the calculation and put these fields in there before renaming the sub total five. And it was still called sub total too. And I changed that it would have changed this one too, if that makes sense. So since this was still called sub total to when I was changing these columns, then it would change this calculation as well. So you just want to double check. This is still set up to be ea to in quantity to Okay, so weaken do that with sub total six as well. We can either set it up from scratch or a copy and paste on earlier one and change the calculations. But we maze will just go ahead and choose this again. And then same with this one. You could just copy this field rather than pasting in the calculation again. So first we'll rename this to some total seven. And then we're going to go to the calculation because rather than this being a multiplication of five, it's gonna be multiplied by 10. And it's not q t three that we're multiplying anymore. It's six. Okay. And then saying with this one where it is going to do this some eso total 567 now same is with sub total eight and four. This is just going to be a total of the totals columns. So we're going to add up everything that was totaled in this column and everything that was totaled in this column since one is a little bit easier, you want to go down to sub total eight and subtitle for And we're gonna add those together Never the taxes. This is also another calculation that l provide you guys. This is ah, set up to calculate 5% sales tax. So now this is saying it's going to multiply. I had this set up when I was still called undefined. So I want to change that to say, sub total. You're basically making this portion and the quotes, whatever this field is right here that you're going to add the tax on to and then that value is going to be multiplied by five. Okay. And then finally, grand total is going to be the sum of sub total nine and taxes. So since we're here, oldest center and what not could the son of in total nine and tax and that's it. It seems like a lot, But once you have this set up. You can just use this over and over again, and you know that everything will be OK. And you don't have to do any calculations manually, which can often times lead to errors. So in the next video, we're just gonna open this up again. That's a customer and or as you filling it out for somebody and just make sure that all the calculations work. 7. Chp6 - Testing The Order Form: Okay, so I open the form in both versions of Acrobat again. It doesn't really matter which one you open it in. They both function the same way. I just wanted you guys to see the different layouts of each one of Creative Cloud and an older version, but they'll function the same way regardless. So let's go ahead and testes it. So So you get one of item number one, and there are $5. You got two of item number two and their $3 then you get five of item number five. So, as you can see, it's totaled up each line properly. And then it has a running sub total down here, which is being incorporated into these boxes down here. Um, so we'll just do two of those three of these, and we're gonna blow the budget and get 10 of item number seven. So here you can see again. This is just a total of this one portion, and then this is the total of the entire form times 5% tax on your grand total. Here. So that's about it. Um, it seems like a lot, but the set up is really the bulk of it. Once that's done and you have this form, you could even use this as, say, your invoice. You can keep these as text based boxes, like what we had in the original example. Fill in, um, what you did and then what the cost is. And you can have it totaled up each time automatically, rather than having to do it manually and possibly leading to calculation errors. Um, the nice thing is that each of these is going to be designed by you, so it'll have your branding on it, your style. And you could do a whole suite for your clients if they have forms that they have to send you out on a regular basis. So in the next video, we'll look at, um, your project and what you consume it. 8. Chp7 - Your Project!: for your project. What you could do is create a form, any kind of form that you want upload a J pig of it so that we can see the overall design and then either show a screen grab of the purple fields, the syllable portions or preferably upload it to a drive and send us the link. But post a link in your project so that we can download it and tested it and give me some feedback. As always, if you have any questions along the way, please don't hesitate to ask. I'm always around and I help it if I can't. I know it's a little bit tricky when you first get started. But once you get the hang of it, uh, these forms are pretty easy and pretty handy. So thank you so much for joining me for my class. Feel free to reach out any time, either in the discussions tab or even message me directly. Thanks