How to Create A PDF With Fillable Forms in LibreOffice

PDF is a very popular format for static document that doesn’t require changes. You may also have seen PDF files that come with form that you can fill in. In case you are wondering how you can create a PDF file with fillable form, here is one easy way you can do so, and it is free of charge.

The tool that we are using to create PDF with fillable form is LibreOffice, specifically Libre Writer – the document editing tool of the LibreOffice suite.

Assuming that LibreOffice is already installed in your PC (it is pre-installed in most Linux distro, and for other OS, you can download it here).

1. Open Libre Writer and create your document.

2. On the toolbar, go to “View -> Toolbar -> Form Control” and click it. This will add the Form Control toolbar to your Libre Writer interface.

libreoffice-open-form-control

You should see something like this:

libreoffice-form-control-toolbar

This toolbar allows you to drag and drop the various form fields to the document.

3. Now, drag the “Text box” to the document. You can size it to be an one-line input field or a multi-lines text box.

libreoffice-form-textbox

4. Next, right click at the text box and select “Control” (or you can simply double click on the text box). This will bring up the Control window. This is where you can edit the meta-data of the text box, such as its name, label field, max length etc. You can also add events such as changing text on mouseover, focus, keypressed etc.

libreoffice-textbox-metadata

Once you have got the hang of it, you can proceed to add various form fields to your document. This is a simple form we have created.

libreoffice-form-layout

5. After you have finished with the document, go to “File -> Export as PDF”. Make sure the “Create PDF Form” checkbox is selected. The most commonly used format for data submission is FDF, but you can select PDF, HTML or XML format as well.

libreoffice-create-pdf-form

Click “Export” and you are done creating the PDF form.

Now open the PDF file in your PDF viewer and you should see all the form fields in the document. To test it, you can fill up the form and save it. Close and reopen it again. You should see your form data intact.

libreoffice-form-in -pdf

Isn’t it simple?

Image credit: Filling in personal details on an application form
by BigStockPhoto