Nitro Blog

PDF Hacks: Converting a Paper Form Into a Fillable PDF Form


Nitro Pro makes it easy to create fillable forms on a scanned document so users can fill them in and send them back.

Imagine this scenario…

Your boss has presented you with an old paper questionnaire and requested that you distribute it to the greater team via email, and then return the responses back to him. What do you do?

You have a few options here:

  1. You could re-type up the form from scratch 
  2. You could scan and send the document as-is and let your teammates figure out how to fill it out you could quit your job because it’s too much work
  3. You could turn it into a PDF

We recommend option #4. You might be wondering how to turn paper documents into a PDF. Read on, we promise!

Nearly every PDF editing software program on the market today uses OCR to recognize text on a scanned paper document. Now you can provide your team with digital forms that can be filled out from the comfort of their own desktop, eliminating errors, unreadable text, and the need for individuals to print, fill out, and re-scan the form altogether.

How to convert a paper form to fillable PDF

Nitro PDF Pro makes it easy to create fillable forms on a scanned document so users can fill them in and send them back.

Here’s how converting a paper form to a fillable PDF works:

  1. Load your source document into the flatbed scanner or the automatic document feeder of your printer.
  2. Once scanned, Nitro Pro will automatically detect your scanned document, create a new PDF and prompt you to perform OCR to make it searchable and editable.
  3. Click on the Forms tab, and select Text Field.
  4. Click and drag on the PDF to manually create a text field over where the paper fields were already created.
  5. You can further customize the field by right-clicking and selecting Properties. Here you can change formatting, confirm values, and even perform calculations.

Once you’ve created your fillable forms in Nitro PDF Pro, make sure to take an extra step and password protect your file if your file contains sensitive information about your business or clients.

You just completed the task, kept your job, and impressed your boss with your PDF skills. Well done.

Still using paper document processes? Boost Your PDF Productivity by downloading a free trial of Nitro PDF Pro today.