How to Fill Out a PDF File

Editable PDF files are a wonderful way to fill out a form without printing the document and writing on it by hand. They make sure that the end result is legible and clean, and they save paper. However, not all PDF forms are editable. This can be a real problem if you'd prefer to fill out a form on the computer instead of printing it out. Fortunately, there are a few options that will allow you to fill out a PDF file, even if it wasn't created to be edited.

Things You'll Need

  • PDF files
  • Adobe Acrobat Reader
  • Sun PDF Import extension


    • 1

      Download the PDF import extension for your operating system. Open the file with OpenOffice and click “OK” to proceed with installation. Accept the license agreement.

    • 2

      Open your copy of OpenOffice. Click the “Open” icon and navigate to the PDF file you wish to edit. Select the file. OpenOffice will convert the file and open it in OpenOffice Draw. Each line is now in its own text box.

    • 3

      Select a text box you wish to edit. Double click on the box, and you'll see your pointer change to a text cursor. You can now select and change text as though your PDF file was an ordinary document.

    • 4

      Click the “Export as PDF” icon in the toolbar, or choose “File,” “Export as PDF” from the menus.

    • 5

      Choose the file name for your new, edited PDF and save the file.

Tips & Warnings

  • Update your copy of Acrobat Reader before moving to other programs. New copies of Reader may open a previously uneditable file.
  • cannot open locked PDF files.
  • The PDF import extension is in beta as of January 2010 and may not work correctly every time.
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  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images

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